If I think about it, I can always find something unusual about a dog walk. Usually it isn't much, but most days there is something.
I try to pay attention to my surroundings, when Pickles & I are prancing around in the heat. I'm always wary of unleashed dogs, even though every one I've run into so far has been friendly. But I take it so far as to remember things along the way. I don't commit these to long term memory - I couldn't tell you very much about the dog walk we took last Wednesday, for example. But I can tell you a bunch about the dog walk today.
First - I got a late start, and I blame that on Snowchief the cat who saw fit to wake us up off and on in the early morning hours. So Pickles and I did not start our walk 'till around 9 AM. I remember waving to some neighbors across the way - so I have witnesses. I was in the field in front of our house at 9 AM or so, and I can prove it.
We walked up to the cemetery this morning. It was already hot - and I was sweating by the time I emerged from the last shady spot on South Avenue. We were passed by 2 cars, one after another. I didn't recognize either, but if it became necessary I could put an ad in the Morganton Herald asking if anyone saw a tall guy wearing a baseball cap (Orioles, not so lovable losers these days) walking a ticked up semi-hound looking dog around 9 AM on South Avenue, please contact so and so. It's possible.
Frequently I'll see some of the neighbors out and about on South Avenue, but I didn't this time. It was Sunday, and I started later than usual, that's my only explanation. The neighbors I waved to 2 paragraphs ago are not the neighbors I didn't see this time. Those 'r different.
As we turned onto Praley, we were barked at by a dog across the street (across from Amazing Grace church). It's owner was out so she saw us. Another witness.
We continued on up to the cemetery, being passed by a few cars along the way. It's a steep hill to the top of the cemetery, and by the time we were up there the sweat was rolling freely. I was soaked and Pickles' tongue was hanging around her knees. This is not because we're not used to this walk. It is because this is North Carolina, it is summer, it is HOT and it is HUMID, and that's just the way it is. Life in the Southeast USA.
On the way back is where the unusual event of this walk occurred. I very nearly decided to take a bit of a short cut, in deference to the heat, but in the end took the usual route. We walked down the hill and came out near Praley& Carolina, then headed back. When we rounded the curve, I noticed two police cars in the driveway of a house across from the cemetery. They were leaving as I walked by, and one (in the unmarked cool looking Dodge Charger) was having trouble getting out of the driveway. The car is rear-wheel drive, and the driveway was loose dirt and gravel and slightly uphill, so it was spinning a bit, but he managed. Anyway, both those police officers saw me. So, at sometime around 9:30 give or take, I was seen on Praley by two of Valdese's finest. Pretty good witnesses, I'd say.
Now why would I word it like that? All these people who saw me are potential witnesses to where I was at certain times? 'Cause I watch too many "true crime" dramas on TV. It's not because I'm anywhere close to crazy. Maybe I'm getting close to being close, but I'm not quite there yet.
Besides, paying attention occupies my mind, so that these walks become something more than one step in front of another.