Summer camp schedules and the unusual heat lately have made me rethink my regular noon-time dog walk.
We’re going mornings these days. Early. Before anyone else in the house is awake. When the air is still cool and there’s some dew left in the hay fields, and a bit of mist hangs over everything.
I’ve never been a morning person by nature. I’ve been forced to it by circumstances and now, as I grow older, I find it impossible to sleep in late even when given the chance. When the summer sun comes streaming in our uncovered, eastern-exposure windows, I’m up (and the cats demanding their breakfast is more effective than an alarm clock).
The dog’s learning this new routine. He was a sleeper-inner, too, until lately. Now, when he hears me remove the leash from the hook, he comes out from under the covers on H’s bed and trots down the stairs to wait by the front door.
The other day when we went out, the air was so cool I could see my breath. But the sun was just gearing up for the day and I was sweating and the dog was panting by the time we made it back up the darn final hill to the house.
Mostly, at that time of day, we’re walking alone. Sometimes we see a lone jogger. We see a lot of birds.
Sometimes, we meet other early morning walkers. Shy, nibbling leaves and grasses in the trees along the river.