Thursday, September 9, 2010

Near-Autumn Walks and Such

Today was a busy day at work. These are good days because not only do I feel like I'm actually doing something and serving a genuine, actual purpose but it also makes the day go by very quickly. It's nice to look at the clock and realize that a couple of hours have passed instead of, as on a normal day, glancing up very frequently and wondering why barely any time has passed.

In addition to it being a nice busy day, it's also another, cool autumn-day. Last night, I slept with my bedroom windows open and I woke up chilly under my light bedcovers. If I knew the coolness was going to stick around, I'd add another blanket to my bed but I know it's supposed to warm up again. Besides, I have two dachshunds on my bed who provide me with a little extra warmth so I really don't need it.

Of course, I'm aware that I'm actually the one providing the warmth to the dogs. I'm not that delusional that I think they're trying to do me a favour. This can be evidenced by Rory burrowing under the covers after having a little groan.

Rory groans a lot when she's sleeping. If you so much as touch her while she's in 'sleep-mode', she makes this rather adorable groaning sound. If she stirs in the night, she groans. If she's annoyed about being disturbed, she groans. You get the idea.

Thus, last night, I half-heard her groan in my own sleepy state and then I felt her try to find a way under the covers. She couldn't seem to find a way in and she started to get upset so I ended up lifting the covers up so she could warm up. Sookie, meanwhile, rather cutely just snuggles up with me so that we woke up almost nose to nose. There is a reason why I call her my 'teddy bear dog.'

Since it's cooled down, it means the weather is highly amenable to taking walks with the dogs. They've started actually responding to the word "Walk" and so when I say it, they sit by the door, waiting. They didn't used to do this. They used to hide. That was when I used to put on their adorable but rather fiddly and complex little pink harnesses. Now they're bigger, those harnesses don't fit and they have much more comfortable ones that require a mere slipping over the head and stepping into it in order to get it on.

We try to take our walk before Larry-the-Potential-Serial-Killer comes home from work. It's riskier to walk by his house on nice evenings. It's also harder to get away if he does entrap us in conversation because I can't necessarily use the, "I need to take the pups home because they need to drink water," excuse that I use when it gets hot.

Still, we haven't seen Larry in a while. Well, we haven't seen him to talk to him. We did walk and see him in his garden but, fortunately, he was engrossed in picking tomatoes and he didn't see us. It probably helps that I walk very quickly and I also try to remain very, very quiet so he doesn't hear us. I'd like to think the puppies know we're avoiding him because they certainly seem to walk faster.

For the most part, walking with the pups in the evenings is a pleasure. It's beautiful weather, I'm getting exercise and we can explore the neighbourhood. The only part that isn't so much of a pleasure is the squirrels. I can always tell when Rory and Sookie see a squirrel because suddenly, my arm feels as though it's trying to be disconnected from its socket and the leash goes very, very taut. I'm trying to teach the girls that they cannot, in fact, climb trees and follow the squirrel but they still attempt to do so until I remind them who's the boss by giving them a stern tug on their leash.

Squirrels are their new bunnies. We have quite a few around our back yard. Having discovered the source of the hickory nuts- which is a tree in Possibly-Joe's front yard- I'm no longer alarmed at finding hickory nuts around my house. The girls like to try to chew them but the nuts are so tough, they can't break the shell. The squirrels, however, have taken to sitting on the fence or up in the trees and chewing on the nuts. You can hear the "tchhk tchkk tchukk" of their teeth as they chomp the encasement for the nuts. It falls to the ground and leaves quite a mess, rather like a human who throws their trash all over the place and doesn't pick it up.The puppies have learned to recognize the "tchhk tchkk tchukk" sound. The minute they hear it, they go into obsessive-crack-junkie-mode and they attempt to locate the source. The squirrels are far craftier than the rabbits though. They can climb trees for one thing and they're also much quicker. The puppies have been thwarted on more than one occasion as they attempt to catch a squirrel for playtime.

There's no doubt about it, with the chill of the night air and the increased number of nut-harvesting squirrels, autumn is almost upon us. Give it a couple of weeks and we'll start calling the hot days "Indian Summer". For now, as summer is losing her hold and giving way to autumn, we're in that pleasant transition between seasons where you never know what each day will bring. While I'd rather it stayed cooler, there's something about not knowing which show itself tomorrow that's rather nice.

It's just nice to be surprised sometimes.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

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