Thursday, September 29, 2011

Keeping Appointments: Tux - Older Dog Wisdom

Tux and I have a daily appointment to go for a walk. He loves his routines. He expects to have his morning walk in by nine. He’s okay with walking earlier, but insists that the walk must start by mid-morning. If we’re not out the door on his timetable, he starts pacing. He goes from wherever I’m at to the front door and back again. When I don’t get that hint, he’ll sit where he can make eye contact with me, and stares at me. He’s willing me to get up from the computer and leave for our walk. 
Having a Cocker Spaniel stare at you is hard to resist. When Tux and his sister, Grace, were puppies, I couldn’t resist. Over the years, though, I’ve grown tougher. I can resist for a while. In any event, we get out of the door mostly on schedule. Tux’s schedule, I might add.
On a recent walk after a tremendous storm the afternoon before, we saw the paths strewn with puddles like polka dots dropped every few feet. There were hundreds of twigs and small branches strewn down the paths as well. There were even branches three inches thick obstructing our way. There were no trees torn up by the roots. Even the young saplings planted last fall weathered the storm, more or less in tact.
Tux kept thinking that the larger branches might be dangerous snakes or eels or something. He stalked a lot of them. None turned out to be either dangerous or dangers reptiles.
We were the only ones in the park. There were only a few squirrels out and about. Even the birds were quiet. The morning was cool and we enjoyed the walk although we had to cut it short when Grace started limping badly. 
Lesson Learned
Even Tux understands the importance of being on time. People who keep me waiting for an appointment drive me crazy. I’ve been known to walk out of doctors’ offices when they’ve kept me waiting way beyond my appointment time. At some level, I can understand being kept waiting by doctors, although why they haven’t figured out that if they’re consistently behind schedule, they need to space their appointments further apart. 
Tux obviously has a schedule: breakfast as soon as I get up, morning nap, walk by nine, nap until lunch, outside for a stroll around his yard, back in for his afternoon nap, dinner, nap, outside, and to bed by ten. He likes to keep his schedule. 

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