Yesterday was one of those wonderful Winter days here in the South. Intense blue skies, a light breeze and a high of 70. It didn't really matter that it was only that nice for about 3 hours.
Hey...it got there. And we were all out there enjoying it!
We played Frisbee and kicked the ball with the dogs, then got to work.
SM was hacking at the crepe myrtles, murderizing them, while I spent the afternoon knocking-out some Knockout Roses that had grown as tall as I was because some slacker (who shall remain nameless) didn't prune them back last year.
SM, the dogs and I were out in the hood first. It was nice and peaceful for about 30 minutes when the new neighbors work crew pulled in to replace a door or two.
Then our other neighbors emerged from their cocoon and brought their 100 pound lab, Abby, out to play. Now these neighbors have an in ground swimming pool so Abby does NOT get free run of the back yard. They built a nice kennel area for her but Abby doesn't get to run flat out like she can if she's loose.
So it was "Run The Fence" time with Abby flying and our dogs racing her and barking. It was fun to see.
Then everyone went back to work. The dogs slept in the sun.
A few hours later Casey pulls up lame. Too much running on her little toothpick legs. Casey weighs in around 80 lbs. But she's got this tiny little head and these skinny little legs.
One of her nicknames around here is T-Rex.
She looks just like this.
Pulling up lame last night was no big deal. After so much activity everybody zonked out. But I knew she needed to rest today so our usual morning walk was out.
No big deal. I'll just leave her here and take Ginny and Scooter and let her rest. That was the plan at least.
Everyone was clustered together waiting to get geared up. I called Casey over and laid her down explaining that she'd have to stay put. "Stay." I said, hand out in the stop position.
Tap, tap, tap...went the tail.
I walk over to collar the other two and here comes Casey. She plops herself in the middle of the pack, trembling, Ginny and Scooter on either side of her. Big watery brown eyes stare up at me as I consider what to do.
Ginny hums at me while Casey trembles and taps. Scooter's bottom quivers.
"All for one and one for all, eh?" I said.
My Three Amigos...
have turned into the Three Musketeers.
Solidarity. All or nothing. Don't mess with the pack.
So I didn't.
They all stayed home while I went for the walk.
It was weird.
I have walked with dogs most of my adult life. They've always been there. Which got me to thinking about when they won't be there.
One of my hopes as SM and I head for retirement is to travel. Maybe an RV life, maybe not. At the very least, I'd like to be able to park my butt into a rental apartment for a time and explore an area for a few months.
Europe is high on the list. We'd like to spend a whole Summer, 3 or 4 months over there doing the EuroPass thing. SM and I think it would be wonderful to hang out in San Diego for a season. Maybe South America. Vancouver. The list is endless.
But to do those things, we'd have to be dog-less for a while. Squeeze in those travels without the responsibility of an animal.
Which makes me kinda sad.
I've told SM before that I really can't see myself without dogs in my life. But as my own life comes closer to D-Day, when do you decide that you have to stop dog ownership because YOU might not be around much longer?
It's strange to think about but we've all read the stories of elderly people passing on and leaving behind a dog. I really don't want to do that.
It's something to consider.
Kinda like writing a will. Or pre-buying your cremation.
But not today. And not with these pups. These pups will get my very best because SM and I are here to give it.
We are a pack. All 5 of us.
All for one and one for all.