Saturday, 5 February 2011
Weekend Bliss (with a few crazies mixed in)
Weekends have become TRULY relaxing AND motivating for me. Not only do I actually try to get things done (whereas before I was too depressed to even sweep the floors some days), I get in some great sightseeing and exercise on my morning long walks with Sheila B. (B for "Beagle").
Having a dog is like having a child in a lot of ways, I've discovered. Gone are your luxurious mornings, where you get to sleep til 9 or 10. Nope, the Beags has to pee BY 7 a.m. If not, she will politely pester you until you groan and tumble begrudgingly out of bed. This morning, she jumped off the bed and then back on, and crawled onto my side, using my hip as her fainting couch. It was darn cute, as annoying as it was.
We headed out the door by 7:20, me with my sweats on and a hat to hide my morning coif, and Sheila's tags jingling as she enthusiastically clicked down the sidewalk. We established this routine last week and it was going well, our long Saturday walk in the chilly January air. Neighbors were pulling junk out of their garages for impromptu sales out on the front lawn. Early sales hawks were already clawing through the merch, or at least peering down at it with interest.
Every time we encounter a person or dog on these walks, Sheila strains in her harness to get as close to them as possible. Sometimes, to avoid my pulling, she'll stand up on her hind legs and walk on those to get some slack. ANYTHING to make new friends. While I'm thrilled that my dog is friendly to both dogs and humans, she has no idea that there could possibly be someone on this earth who thinks that she's not the most amazing dog around. I'm kinda with her though on some fronts. Someone who doesn't like dogs? Quel horreur!
Anyway, she's getting better. She's learning not to pull so much, and not to race across the street (which she also liked to do, out of the blue--which is probably why she lost those teeth in the first place--vet thinks she was hit by a car :( ). Most of the time, once she's gotten the initial burst of smelling EVERYTHING within range (a Beagle trait), she clicks gently alongside of me and we both trot briskly along in unison.
We usually make our route through a popular shopping district, where we have to cross a major road. Some haggard looking Latina was standing by the side of the road, looking down at Sheila right before we crossed. As we crossed, she screamed at me, "Pick her UP! Pick her UP! People's is crazy! Oh my GOD, pick her up!" She ran along side me, yelling at me as we crossed the street, Sheila and I in perfect unison, the dog pinned neatly at my side the entire time.
"Next time I see you doing this, I'm gonna report you!" She yelled.
I ignored her this whole time, thinking, Is this woman insane? Or, was there some doggie walking safety etiquette that I was unaware of? I mean, it'd be one thing if I'd let the dog run out in front of me, but she was walking next to me, in unison, while we crossed. This lady's logic seemed unfounded. Would the dog be any safer if I'd picked her up? Probably not much. I mean, if a car was going to strike us, it would knock both of us for a loop. Whether I was holding my dog or not seemed trivial, unless it was a small roll forward, or tap that could possibly hurt Sheila, but not me. Anyway, I'd never heard of such a thing, or seen it. I'd seen people carrying tiny dogs, like chihuahuas or shitzus (because they were used to being carried anyway and couldn't keep up with their owners on foot) across busy intersections, but never a Beagle, however small.
I'de never heard of such a thing.
And that agitated me. I've never EVER been called a bad pet owner by ANYONE in my entire life! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm extremely conscientious of my pet's needs. I read articles, I give my dog supplements. Not everyone does that. I take my dog to work, for Pete's sake! I know that I shouldn't let one crazy, ignorant person get to me, but still.
I had to walk off all of that negative energy. Instead of stopping at Starbucks, which was about 1/2 mile from my house en route home, we trotted all the way to Coffee Bean (which I do like better, anyway) 2 miles away, and we had a sugar-free vanilla latte break before taking the 2 or so mile route back home. It was such a good walk that I decided that we'd do it at least once a week, if not 2x. Plus, it's really worth it to get my favorite coffee chain coffee, instead of settling for one I like less. I think we did about 8 miles, total. The Beags still had energy to spare when we got home!
I find that I have more energy too. And my mood is changing. I feel happier, friendlier, more social. Could it be that the depressive cloud is lifting? I want to move my body all the time, or do something productive with my brain. Dog ownership could possibly be the best thing that's happened to me since I got to Los Angeles.
Woof and Woof!