Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gopher walk

Of all the things I do with my dogs, one of my most favorite activities is going for a walk with them. The very act of saying "gopher walk?" sends both Phoenix and Jamie into paroxysms of delight, even though Jamie can't walk with us again until the cooler days of autumn arrive. It's hard to be a big old dog with a heavy coat when the heat index is 102.

"Gopher walk" is a contraction of "go for a walk" and a perfect example of the kind of silliness that my life tends to descend into on a regular basis. It's similar to Jeff Foxworthy's "djeet yet?" (Did you eat yet?) and "Squeet" (Let's go eat.)

Gopher walks provide lots of time to generate all sorts of random thoughts. Thought I’d share a few.

• The worst thing about living on top of a hill is that no matter where you walk, it’s always up hill on the way home.

• Phoenix and I spend a ridiculous amount of time working on fronts. Sometimes he remembers how to do them, sometimes he doesn’t. We’ll have to work for his entire show ring career to maintain that skill. But it took him exactly one evening to learn where the dead skunk is in a 13-acre hay field and he never fails to go find it every time we walk out there.

• The whir of a pheasant bursting out of the fence row is good for the soul and bad for the heart at the same time. On the bright side, I’ve seen more pheasants this year than in the last five years combined. They're beautiful birds and I hope they're making a comeback.

• Picking up a cool looking rock to carry home always seems like a good idea at the time. The coolness of the rock diminishes proportionately to its size and how far I have to carry it.

• It’s fun to watch my dogs just being dogs. Running. Romping. Sniffing. Finding things in the tall grass. Getting really excited about things they find in the tall grass.

• Hey! Stop trying to dig something out of its burrow!

• Is there any way I can get back to the house without walking up hill?

• I wonder how much vapor drift that crop-dusting plane has? Cuz I don’t want to get dusted for soybean leaf beetles.

• Could I incorporate a dead skunk into front training?

• If those red-winged blackbirds get any closer, one of them is gonna land on my head. (If you’re not familiar with red-winged blackbirds, they are incredibly territorial and not afraid to tell you off if  you get too close to what they perceive as THEIR territory. Which is apparently most of the state.)

• I just swallowed a bug.

• Wonder what lives in that big hole in the bank?

• Wonder if it minds having a dog’s nose poking into its living room?

• What a gorgeous sunset.

• That cloud looks like the Loch Ness monster.

• Holy crap! You just flushed a great horned owl out of that tall grass!

• We need to work go-outs to a blank wall. The overhead door on the machine shed will do nicely.

• We’re really far from the house and it’s a really hot evening. Maybe I should call the Farmer to come get us.

• Maybe not.

• Phoenix, what are you eating?

• What should we have for supper tomorrow night?

• I am so lucky to live in such a wonderful place and be able to go on long, slow rambles with my dog on a hot summer evening.

• I need to start Christmas shopping.

• Where, exactly, is that dead skunk?

• I wonder how many calories this walk is burning. Maybe I could have had a bigger bowl of ice cream.

• Do I have an 8 a.m. doctor’s appointment and a 4 p.m. vet appointment on Friday or is it the other way around?

• I have to find out who’s judging at the Labor Day cluster and decide which days to enter.

• Seriously, is there any way I can get back to the house without walking up hill?


  1. Love it :) we used to ask my golden, "Wanna go for a walk in the truck?", a combination of his two favorite things. Walks and truck rides. It just sounded funny to visitors :)

  2. Love it! Glad I'm not the only one that has a runaway freight train in my brain....SQUIRREL! :-D

  3. Do you do these walks on leash or off leash?

  4. Do you do these walks on leash or off leash?