Baylee and I walk every morning. Well, most mornings. Rising at 5am, give or take, I snap the leash on her, grab a couple of clean-up bags and off we go into the pre-dawn. She looks forward to it as much as I do.
We've shared some incredible adventures while the neighborhood slumbers. Most winter mornings we hear the Great Horned Owls hoot incessantly in a nearby forest. Walking on the marina's barrier barge we interrupt all manner of water fowl activities. Green Herons perching, gaggles of geese or codgeries of coots or a bunch of ducks swimming hastily away as we approach. Baylee's nose is always in overdrive during these walks. Great Blue Herons fly overhead, and barn swallows dart and swoop when spring approaches. During summer months she loves to sit with her head up and watch the Purple Martins play on the wind. They come in great swarms and stay throughout the hot months eating tons of insects. The autumn months are our favorite, as temperatures cool and humidity goes away and leaves scurry before us granting Baylee play time chasing them. There are places we'll sit together and watch the sun rise, watch boats leave the marina heading to points unknown, watch birds lift in flight before heading home for breakfast and coffee on the deck.
Most often we'll meet other early risers, both two-legged and four-legged varieties. Her friend's names are as cute as hers. Bonnie & Clyde, Fossie, Bama, Daisy, Iris, Dempsey, and Bogie all love to say their hello's with wagging tails and many sniffs. In fact, I've given Baylee a new nickname - "Manyanysniffs." (With nod to Jennyanydots of Cat's fame.)
Sadly, our morning walks together have come to a halt for at least two months. Somehow Baylee has sliced off part of her right hind foot's pad. The large one. Well, SHE didn't do it herself obviously, but apparently stepped on something incredibly sharp that did the slicing. About a quarter of it is simply missing. What's left is a clean slice of raw meat. Our veterinarian literally winced when he looked at it and complimented Baylee on being such a good girl. I'd only noticed her licking it one day and it appeared to be red so I took her in. She has never yelped or cried or favored it. She's even taken walks with me before I noticed it. Amazing. So, she's on antibiotics and has to wear a Thera-Paw for her necessary walks, which must remain short. The pad will grow back, we've been assured, but it will take diligent doctoring on our parts. Amazingly, she will even lift her paw up to have her bootie strapped on. What a good dog.
Therefore, the past two mornings I've taken my walk without my companion. While I've noticed an increase in beneficial aerobics, I confess it's just not as much fun without Baylee. It's going to be a long two months.