When I first moved here, I would head to the park by Lake Travis every morning to walk with a group of other moms for about an hour. It was therapy AND exercise, in a beautiful setting. But gradually, the group dissipated as our lives grew busier.
Charly, and then Max, too, became my walking partners. They're pretty good as far as motivating me to get my butt moving goes - that guilt thing they can do with their eyes - and they're pretty good company - VERY good listeners - if they don't streak off into the woods after a deer or rabbit. But our conversations are pretty much one-way. Okay, all one way, unless you count joyful glances and tail wags that say "Oh boy, we're going for a walk! Thank you, thank you, thank you!" as conversation.
This morning I had a new walking partner, one that chattered the whole way: Frankie, the guinea fowl. Usually he drops off about 100 feet down the road, but this morning he went with me almost the whole mile. The dogs had disappeared into the woods early on, so I was glad for the company.
I actually turned back before the half-mile point - I started worrying about him. But I shouldn't have - he kept up his quick trot all the way back to the house and didn't seem winded at all! In fact, he reminded me of one of those Secret Service agents that run ahead of the president's car - jogging along, looking left and right, left and right, keeping an eye out for danger. My guard guinea in action.