olive, the littlest frenchie bulldog...ooo woo ooo
As soon as I close the door behind me, I hear the little pads of her feet hit the hardwood, her tags jingling. She greets me, presenting a toy or bone, and she sits patiently, trembling until I set my bags down to give her her first afternoon rub. I ask if she wants to go out, and her playful nature drives her to deke from left to right; she's stalling, although she and I both know how badly she needs to go. She watches me, with my coat buttoned, hat on and gloves limp, gathered in the clutch of one hand, her harness and leash in the other. I turn away, in an attempt to show dominance, but also to shield the smile--she's such a funny creature. Team Olive: 1. Team Me: 0.
Once we finally hit the drive, she heads out toward the sidewalk and I can't help to wonder if she's walking me or if I'm walking her. And as we carry on, kicking up the freshly fallen snow, I have my answer: the near 30 pounds of pure muscle that she is, is pulling me right along; I love that she gives me energy when I have none. Somehow we're running, always she leading the way, and I try to keep a decent clip in my clunky rubber boots. It feels good to get the blood pumping, and I think it's best to keep her going, to keep her warm, while my fingers begin to numb. She's nibble, and as she's dodging branches, I'm being dragged behind chuckling at the fact that this pup is showing me up. She even looks back to make sure I'm keeping up, while I look down, hoping we don't hit an icy patch. And then a neighbor appears from around the corner, and our mindless romp comes to a complete. Halt. There are sounds she makes that I was unaware were even possible, and they come out when she spies another person, another dog, anything she wants to get a closer look at. But now that she has my endorphins pumping, I desperately try to drag her back, and eventually we scuttle off. She makes her mark with a piddle on this lawn and that corner and then bounds her barrel chest through the highest snow pile she can find, only to pull me with her to pick up her other mark; the cuffs of my pants fill with flakes.
I'm glad she gets me out when the temperatures fall below 35: my preferred lowest temp. I wouldn't want to miss this extra time with her. Just the two of us checking out the neighborhood; she's taught me to be more observant. Together, we smell what people are having for dinner and who's house that wonderful fire smell is coming from. She takes note of the dogs that have been out for a walk and probably wonders where they are now, while I note the large footprints that are followed by two smaller ones and wonder which house that father and child live in. When we return home, I wipe her paws and she bounds up the stairs. And then I sit, to write, to leave my mark, and she climbs in my lap to join. On this day, I couldn't think of anything better.