I live in a secluded subdivision of about 70 homes tucked into a wooded area with meandering streets. Each morning, I take my dogs, one at a time, for a walk around part of it. It is quiet save for the cars carrying occupants leaving for work. I am also frequently greeted by a few morning strollers that happen by and give the obligatory pats and sometimes cookies to the dogs.
The seasons are irrelevant since there is always something to see. Nothing excites my cocker more then to happen upon a flock of wild turkeys, grazing on the sides of the road, or the commotion they make while escaping. The terrier, on the other hand is enamored by the squirrels and chipmunks. We also have an abundance of deer that nightly cross the road down behind my house, after making a midnight snack of my hostas. Some mornings there are so many hoof prints on the soft shoulder that it looks like a herd has passed through. Lately, on several occasions, I have run up on a gray fox. This is the first one I have seen in 16 years of living here. One morning she (I’m assuming “she”) was accompanied by her kit. That encounter made me nervous as they can become aggressive in protecting their young. I always keep my dogs on leash as they would chase anything, to their folly, I’m afraid.
Until recently, I would walk the subdivision later in the day as a way of getting a little exercise. As such, I became very familiar with many other residents, but more specifically, their dogs. It was often embarrassing when I would come upon a neighbor and know the dogs name and not theirs. Bummer. I took to carrying dog cookies in my pocket and it didn’t take long before the local canine contingent identified me as the candy man. As I would approach you could see them straining on their leads to reach me. One particular full sized poodle even knew where I carried them in an inside pocket of my jacket. He was not above putting his paws on my chest and sticking his nose inside the jacket. Others would walk up to me and sit down and wait patiently for their treat. And of all the little friends I have made, there was not a mean one among them. I am talking of course about the dogs.