From the moment the word “walk” is mentioned, both dogs scurry about as whines become barks. For this reason, we have come to spell the word and ask one another if it’s time for a “w-a-l-k”. I keep expecting them to catch-on, but so far our subterfuge is working. Even without saying a word (or letter), they soon figure it out from our preparations alone.
As the dogs are harnessed and leashed, the humans get prepared with hats and shoes. With everything set, we close the door behind us and enter the realm of deer. From the first step outside, both dogs are on high alert and pull us from the guest house to the car while scanning the horizon. Along the way, we can sometimes hear hammering at our construction site down below, which has become our starting point for walks. We drive to the site, walk the dogs from there, and then return to take a look at the recent work. Two for one.
The short drive has become a trial because the dogs inevitably see deer along the way. Maybe barks incessantly, Piper whines and paws at the windows like it’s a great injustice to be kept from her prey. As we drive by, the deer are like animals in a drive-through wilderness park, unperturbed by the noisy vehicle passing through. You can imagine them coming closer for a treat.
The walk starts from our property’s driveway and proceeds downhill for exactly fifty percent of the steps. After some initial barking and whining when we arrive, the dogs settle into the flow of the walk quickly. Maybe, always the good student, stays by our side and the leash is never taut. Piper, on the other hand, leads the way.