For some reason we go out the back door at home. I’m not sure, it might have something to do with the buttons they have to push, or maybe it’s because that’s where they keep their shoes. Shoes are funny things aren’t they?
From the back door we head down the driveway and out to the street. If I’m in a big rush I’ll pee on the rock at the end of the driveway. If I’m not, I’ll hold it a bit longer and just start sniffing everything I see.
There’s a lamp post nearby that always draws me. It’s rusted a bit, probably from years of being peed on, but you can still tell that it’s painted green. The light it casts is yellow, making the green paint appear black at night.
After the lamp post we keep going – past the sleepy elm, the trembling aspen and a bunch of coney pines. There’s a truck I like to mark, and further along from there, a fire hydrant – yellow, with black knobs – and then a big sign with the word STOP on it. HA! I pay no attention to that – I pee on it anyway.
Across the road, kitty-corner to the stop sign is a house with a bunch of funny decorations in the front. I got UJ to take a picture the other night. Not really my kind of thing, but if I’ve learned one thing in my two-and-a-half years it’s that some people – just like some dogs – are a little strange.
After the house with the strange things in front we carry on. There’s a tree in the lawn of the yellow house that always fascinates – and a lovely odour like bird and poop always emanates from the same spot of grass in front of the pale green place. I can even smell it through the snow.
The house at the corner has a lovely big lawn – which is always meticulously kept. We turn right there and just like the green place there’s something at one spot near a small tree that must be some kind of dognip or something. It just drives me ga-ga.
If I’ve got jobbies to do I like to go as far away from the sidewalk as I can. I check to see if UJ is watching, and if he is I scowl a bit and politely ask him to look the other way. For some reason he always calls me a good boy when I finish with that chore, and he bends over and checks what I’ve done. Personally, I don’t get it. I mean, I’m done with it – why is he still interested in what I’ve left behind?
From the big-lawned corner house we either keep going toward the haunted house, or we turn right toward the park. Sometimes I hear a strange kind of barking in the distance that arouses something primitive in me – my hair stands up and I perk my ears and really listen, even though they speak a dialect that is strange to me. UJ tells me they are ‘coyotes’ and one night when they were particularly loud, he even shortened the leash and ran all the way home with me.
Whether we go to the haunted house or to the park we sniff around a bit more and then head home. There are a number of trees and lamp posts and cars that I like to sniff on the way, but most nights it’s all downhill after jobbies.
I like my walks – the smells, the sights, the sounds. It seems to me that walks are what makes my day go well. I don’t like getting dirty on a walk, but sometimes it can’t be helped. When we get home there’s the final routine of getting my feet cleaned. Something to do with the pillows. If it’s dirty out that means they get washed, otherwise a quick wipe is enough. I don’t mind. Because I get my feet cleaned I can sit on the couch.
So that’s my circuit and I hope you enjoyed it. I’m Rusty. Thanks for coming along.