When Harry the dog and I get to the corner of the street he lives on, he crosses the street diagonally.
At all other intersections we cross in crosswalks from corner to corner, but as soon as he knows that we’re in the homestretch, he determines our landing plan.
And it’s not as though he doesn’t enjoy the walks — he loves them. A couple of days ago he ferreted out a bit of pizza crust from some bushes near an office campus. It was in his mouth before I even saw it. For an old guy who’s nearly deaf and blind, this was a significant find! And he enjoyed it.
He still has a great nose and we pause often along our neighborhood travels for his olfactory investigations.
He lets me decide the route and plods along with trust and amiable willingness.
But the homestretch is non-negotiable — for him, it’s a diagonal shortcut for the win.
I laugh at this little peccadillo of his and say, “You lazy guy, you!” But after all, he cannot hear a word I say, so I just follow his lead.
And then who’s walking who? Am I letting gentle old Harry be the head wolf, thus usurping my position of Auntie-Knows-Best?
The answer is no of course — my pondering of the leader-of-the-pack rules is just me over-thinking.
Harry has no hidden agenda when he takes his shortcut. He’s just happy to be home-sweet-home after a fun walk. Next up for him is simply lapping up water followed by a delicious nap or a visit with the dogs next door.
And I have to admit, the older I get, the more I treasure home-sweet-home like Harry does. Adventures are awesome, but there is nothing like getting back to my very own little quiet space in the Universe.
My cats come out to greet me and inspect anything new that I may bring into their orderly feline world. And then there is time to rest and re-energize, read or write, think or not think, make a lap for Jack, play fetch with Mulder over and over and over (and over) again….
Harry knows instinctively that not everything is curved or straight…there are some diagonals in the mix. There’s doing and then there’s being. And it’s okay to take advantage of shortcuts when a nap is expedient.
©March 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver