I walked Arnie every single day for five years. Somehow by year six or so, with Mojo along, it dawned on me that I shouldn’t be the only family member walking the dogs. Sporadic attempts were made by Denis here and there, but they petered out, and soon dog-walking was a thing of the past.
However, Nicky’s a big fan of Caesar Milan, and is also a psychology major, so he very successfully put those two factors together. He told me stories day after day about how important it is for dogs to be walked. To his credit, over the past several months he’s also made some sporadic efforts to walk the mutts.
I finally caved and took Mojo and Ricky for a walk around the neighbourhood on Friday. Then, much to my surprise, I took them again yesterday and today. I’m very hopeful this is a sign of renewed adherence to daily dog-walking. I realized how much I missed the neighbourhood, and have already enjoyed two great conversations with neighbours I haven’t spoken to in years.
A couple of days ago as I walked by one neighbour who was out raking his lawn, he said, “I hear you’re on your own.” I explained that technically I wasn’t, given the fact Nicky lives here, but that yes, Denis had moved out. As I continued on my walk I thought, I simply love this area because I feel people know me, and care about me.
It’s such a great neighbourhood in that it’s a lot like the small town of Osoyoos where I grew up. In Osoyoos there are one or two key people to whom you tell a story, knowing by the next day the majority of townsfolk will know it. It just seems an expedient way to spread news.
I was quite delighted to see that it works just like that in the Hall Road neighbourhood. Of course there’s my blog, which I know some devoted fans read who happen to be neighbours. Then there’s a lovely woman who goes to my gym, and who lives here, and who may also have told a person or two. In any case, I think it’s rare to live in a neighbourhood where people still know each other.
I think another reason for the dog-walking is the great fall we’ve had. The weather’s been so mild. In the 20 years I’ve lived here I don’t recall snipping dahlias on October 31st. We’ve always had frost by now in past years.
Yesterday I cut down as many spices as I could stand, as some of them, like the sage, are just plain huge. I’m now drying it, along with rosemary, parsley and tarragon. My plan is to grind them when they’re all nice and dry and then fill cute containers with them and give them to people as gifts.
Tonight it’s Halloween and we usually get about 5 – 10 kids. This makes the recent purchase of the box of 125 assorted tiny chocolate bars kind of odd, doesn’t it? I think Nicky and I are going to be feeling quite dizzy by tomorrow morning.