The weatherman told me this morning it would be another 100+ day, so as soon as the sunlight brushed the hilltops, I stepped outside and called the boys for our walk. Frankie was ready, but Max and Charly were no where to be seen. They'd had the same idea as me, apparently...Walk early, before the hollow becomes a convection oven!
At my call, though, Max came pounding up the hill from the direction of the pond and pranced around the porch, excited about going for a walk. Charly ambled up a minute or two later, breathing hard by the time he got to the house. I worried that he wouldn't be up for another walk, but he just kept plodding along, up the path to the road.
My morning walks aren't related to exercise at all, anymore...they're about feeling fresh air on my skin, letting my mind wander, offering up prayers that I've promised and spending time with 'the boys'. I know my days with Charly are numbered, and the number is getting pretty small. I just stroll along at his pace, now, which suits me just fine. I can admire the hills around me, watch the sunlight slip slowly deeper and deeper into the hollow, look for fossils and talk to him. Every once in a while, I see his hind legs give out on him, but he always catches himself and keeps on moving. If he spots or smells something interesting up ahead, he'll even push himself into a little run. And to mark something, he can still lift that hind leg and balance on the other three. Not for very long, and he's a little wobbly, but he can do it, by golly. It's like he realizes he's old and knows that one of these days he's not going to be able to do any of these things, so he refuses to quit until he has to.
What more inspiring way could I start my day than with this old-man dog who is determined to live life to the fullest and keep doing the things he loves as long as his legs will hold him?