Tale of a Tail-less Little Dog in the Big Empty

“She really doesn’t want to go, Martha?”

“Nope. I’m not going to spend time trying to catch her when I have another perfectly good dog who DOES want to go, right?”

“Yay! Yay! Yay! I’m going to sit here and you put my harness on, OK?”

“Good boy, Teddy.”

“Bye Bear! Bye Bear! Can’t we take her? She’s looking at us through the fence.”

“That’s her thing, Teddy. She has free will. She chose not to come.”

“Yay!!! Yay!!!”

“Up, puppy. You do that so good, Teddy.”

“I know, Martha. I’m the shit when it comes to getting in the car. Is that a good song, Martha?”

“Yeah, it’s a good song.”

“Why don’t you sing?”

“I can’t sing this one.” (Truth is, only Teddy thinks I can sing ANYTHING.)

We arrive, park, get out of Bella. I take my handy-dandy poop bag for my little guy just in case and we take off.

“Martha, there is all kinds of NEW POOP everywhere! Martha, my geese are out of control. Wait, there’s more! More geese!”

I look and there are goslings.

I need to take a real camera instead of subjecting you to this…

“Stop, Teddy,” I say and take a zoomed in photo of tiny birds. OH well.

We go on and then, suddenly, beside the trail…

“MARTHA! MARTHA! MARTHA!!!”

“No Teddy. You have to leave that alone. That little guy has enough enemies already.”

“What IS it? What is that miraculous beast? I WANT it!!!”

“Cottontail rabbit, Teddy.”

“Rabbit. Hmmmm.”

“Probably somewhere in your ancestral memory.”

“My WHAT?”

There are other signs of spring in the Big Empty now. The trees…

It is a hazy, windy day today with cool temperatures…

Look, more poop. And more. I’m going to taste this one.”

“Don’t eat that shit, Teddy.” I laugh to myself. Here in the Big Empty who’s going to laugh with me?”

“Martha, listen. There’s that sound you like.”

You can almost see the Meadowlark

“Hang on little dude. I’m going to try to take her picture.”

“Are you going to stop here?”

“Yeah. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see the osprey or the hawks again.” I sit down on a rock. In fact, this walk has been slow and painful. Various parts of my body hurt from wielding the pick-axe. I’m no spring chicken. But, you know, it’s just one foot in front of the other and there is NO race. I don’t mind at all because walking is better than NOT walking. Left, right, left, right, left right. No one is here. No one is judging me. Just this little guy who stops periodically to jump up on me for a hug. He thinks I’m great.

While I’m sitting on “my” rock, a pair of ravens flies over, surfing the wind. Teddy climbs up into my lap as much as he can. I think of the thousands of times I’ve sat on a rock somewhere in the turn around or half-way point of a hike and a beloved dog has sat beside me or laid its head on my lap while I watched birds. “What’s better than this?” I think from my “lofty” promontory of roughly 28 inches. “A great dog and ravens playing on the wind.”

On the way home (the walk back was easier and less painful than the way out which is why it’s better to walk) I hear a good old song that I LOVE and that I can sing. Nothing deep, no Rocky Mountain High or anything, but Teddy was happy, licked my hand (probably thought I was in pain) and snuggled beside me.

27 thoughts on “Tale of a Tail-less Little Dog in the Big Empty

  1. Perfect song for your walk. I saw your meadowlark, they blend in so well. I often hear them on my walk but seeing them is trickier!

  2. That sounds so much like my hike with Avery in the Big Empty last week. Sitting in the shade of a scrub oak, watching the vultures wheel overhead.

    “Oh look! A new chew toy running around!”

    “No Avery. That’s a fence lizard. Sometimes they give you a little tail but even then they just run away. Rather like my young adult sex life.”

    • Thank you, Shannon. I’m still learning. Each slow step carries the wish I could run instead. The next step says “You did already. Now do this.” ❤

      • The change is hard. I’ve never been a runner but I have definitely been faster on the trail. I’m learning to slow down and enjoy the walk more and not worry if others are faster than me. It is hard but I think my fast days are done.

        • It’s been a good lesson for me and I am very grateful for it. The world has taken on a depth and I’ve been able to savor more than I did before and to accept myself better. I would not have missed this lesson, not even the really hard parts. The only problem I have is that I really LOVED to run. The way I see it on a good day (which is most of them) I’ve exchanged running for seeing. ❤ I hope you guys will be able to realize your plan of coming out to Colorado when this whole virus is over.

          • I get that, things like running do provide something that just walking does not. And yes, I sure do hope Colorado is a thing. I’d love to say by next year but who knows what travel will look like for the next few years. Hawaii is next, supposed to be this fall. We will see.

  3. The dogs of the world are going to be so sad when we really DO go back OUT there. We’re not going anywhere right now, though if it ever stops blowing and raining and being so damned cold, we could go to one of our parks and take pictures of rivers and trees and maybe even … some geese 😀 I don’t think we could have gotten through these months without the dogs.

  4. A wonderful outing! I’m only commenting after Sparky has locked himself in the bathroom because a photo of Teddy would start the “I want a dog” conversation!! Aussies are (in my opinion) the best dogs – smart, empathetic, trainable in the extreme, and pure people-pleasers. The photos do show the birds so you were successful. I just wish I could hear the meadowlark.

    • I made a video with the meadowlark’s song a few weeks ago. It’s on my blog somewhere. Teddy is now a year old and he is really starting to want to learn things and get them right. He’s so different from Bear though both are smart and affectionate. Bear has her livestock guardian dog agenda. Teddy wants to know MY agenda. ❤ Get a dog. Everyone should have one.

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