52 FEATS – NUMBER 12 (Dog Walking)

27 Mar

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

Day 7 (Sunday):

I’ve enjoyed this Feat, although it’s been sad realizing that Ripley can’t handle much physical activity anymore.  I reconnected with my mutts, the two family members that have gotten pushed to the bottom of the dog pile in the last few years.  They got nice smells, some petting, extra treats.  I think they were happy.

Last night, I felt an uncommon burst of energy and decided not to just walk, but to run.  (I never run; I hate it.  But yesterday I met a woman with cystic fibrosis that runs.  If someone with low lung function can do it, so can I!)  So I ran, probably more than I have since I was in elementary school.

By the end, I was almost dragging poor Indy!  Even though he is our “youthful” dog, I guess he’s starting to feel his age.  (We’re pretty sure he’s deaf now, too – either that, or he’s decided to start ignoring us.)

I’ve still been taking Ripley out into the front yard to smell around after I walk Indy.  It seems like a pitiful gesture, but I think she appreciates it.  She gets really excited, and a change of scenery must be nice for someone who never gets out of the house except to

My neighbors just got a new puppy – only 10 weeks old.  She’s adorable!  Cute, floppy, nipping, yapping…she’s great.  She reminds me of both of my pups when they were little.  Indy was a scared little dog that ate his way out of any room we locked him in…just so he could sleep on the couch.  Ripley, who tops out at a whopping 70 pounds today, was a tiny, 15 or so pound pup.

My sweet dogs have been with me through so many life changes – my marriage, my kids, 4 rentals and two houses.  I hope they’re happy with where they are – they deserve it.

Day 4 (Thursday):

After a couple nights of giving the dogs extra snuggles and attention, I finally decided to take another walk – this time with just Indy.  I felt bad as I was about to leave, and didn’t even want to let Ripley see what I was doing.  So I sent her back in my son’s room while he was getting ready for bed and I took Indy out.

Indy loved it, of course.  When I got back, I felt like I had to give Ripley a little something, so I brought her out into the front yard to sniff around.  Not exactly the best exercise, but she got to go out and see some new sights.

And I’m happy to report that Ripley is no longer limping!

Good day.

DAY 2 (Tuesday):

This Feat = complete defeat.

I took my dogs for a walk last night around 8 pm, and had such a nice time I felt sure this was the perfect Feat right now.  It was a little after 8 pm, just after dark, and beautifully warm.  It was so nice to be outside in the quiet while the dogs got some exercise and good smells.  And who doesn’t like to take a walk after dinner?  Heavenly.

I walked most of the neighborhood in less than 20 minutes – in no particular hurry – and headed back home.  As soon as I walked in the door, I noticed it:  Ripley was limping badly.

This has happened quite a few times.  She’s old (12 years), she’s big (70 pounds), she’s had 2 knee surgeries.  Sometimes she just gets going too fast on our hardwood floors, slips a little bit, and limps for a couple days.  So I wasn’t too concerned about it last night, thinking that she just overdid it and would be fine in the morning.  Unfortunately, today her limp is not any better.  I’m still convinced that she’ll be fine in a couple days, but I think walks are out of the question for a while – hopefully not forever.

So I’m torn – do I take Indy for a walk without Ripley, in order to complete the Feat?  He’s even older than she is, but still quite sprightly.  Somehow, though, it just doesn’t seem fair to Ripley.  She’ll know where we went, and would be so bummed about it.  Although then the question remains – is it fair to Indy NOT to take him out for a walk if I can?

Hmmm, it’s a conundrum.  For tonight, my plan is just to actually lay on the floor and spend time with the dogs liked I used to do back in the old days.  It’s not a walk, but at least it’s spending time with them.

About Feat Number 12:

I’ve worked on myself, I’ve given to others, and now it’s time to help those who truly don’t have a voice:  my poor, neglected mutts!

Before my husband and I had human babies, our dogs were our kids.  We had pictures of them all over the house.  They sat, laid, rubbed, and scratched anywhere they pleased.  They got constant love and attention, treats and toys.

And then, sadly, things changed once our first “real” child arrived.  Our dogs suddenly became … pets.  They were in the way; they were dirty; they were just one more chore to deal with.  We stuck it out as long as we could, but after baby #2, we banished them outside – something I NEVER thought I would consider.  We were just so tired of the mess…and just plain tired.

I’m happy to say, however, that they eventually did move back inside.  And everyone’s happy about it – us, the kids, and the pups themselves, of course.

So while they’re no longer exactly pampered pooches, they do have free reign of the house and they get to be near us all the time.  There’s only thing they’re really missing out on is taking walks.  It’s something I always forget about, or run out of time for, or just don’t feel like doing.  Confession: I can’t remember the last time I did it.

But this week, I’m going to take those dirty dogs out for a walk every single day!  They’re getting old (12 and 13), and who knows how much longer they’ll be able to enjoy a romp around the neighborhood.

This one’s for you, Indiana Jones and Lt. Ripley!

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One Response to “52 FEATS – NUMBER 12 (Dog Walking)”

  1. Pb Casey March 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    IMO, Ripley will give indications of missing out. In their nature of unconditional love, I think Ripley would want Indy to get some good sniffs in. Being that the walk is their version of the local news, Ripley may well benefit from Indy’s exposure. (Clearly an opinion from clearly a canine parent 🙂 Great feat!

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