Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Walkin' the dog

I asked my mama for fifteen cents,
see the elephant jump the fence.
He jumped so high, he touched the sky.
Never got back till the Fourth of July.
Walkin' the dog ~Rufus Thomas

Over the last year Stella and I have logged enough walking miles to have gone from Nashville to Detroit. Before she came along, I walked with my neighbor but it never amounted to much because we were undisciplined and only went a couple of times a week. Back then I wasn't carrying a camera or a bag of "accessories" and it was less like being tied to the bumper of a car but I digress. Walking twice a day means looking for new and interesting places to go which in the beginning, I thought would be an impossible task. In this (rookie) year I've learned a lot about dog walking, not the least of which is that Nashville is rich with parks and greenways. They are scattered throughout the city along natural waterways, they're convenient and well-maintained. Before the economy became the primary excuse for mindless cut-backs, they even came stocked with dog poop bags.

Beyond that, we've managed to do about a third of our walking in a variety of urban settings. I find those walks to be some of the most fun we've had. I could see where some dogs might not do so well on busy or otherwise crowded streets but practice and (prior) exercise seems to make all the difference. Someone remarked the other day about how well behaved Stella was to only be sixteen months old and I told them it all hinged on her level of exhaustion.

What I have realized in moments of creative brainstorming on the topic of where to go is that there doesn't have to be an actual place to walk your dog. If there's a sidewalk or some path to avoid traffic, you can basically walk anywhere. Sometimes that's the beauty of it.

That's a lot of hot air just to say that I am planning to post (in upcoming weeks) some of the better places around town to walk a dog, not only for the locals but for those who may be passing through. There's also a good chance Nashville's veteran dog walkers have their own lists of great places to walk so I'm secretly hoping they'll weigh in and give us some new ideas. As for the rest of you - where is your favorite place to walk your dog? Is it the same as your dog's favorite place?

While you're thinking about it, have a listen to Rufus Thomas and the Blues Brothers Band aka Booker T. & the M.G.'s

p.s. I cannot wait - to see Steve Cropper so I can ask him about those boots.

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