Walkin’ With The Dudes +1
For the Dudes, walking is a serious business. There are smells to snuffle out, critters to chase and bark furiously at, p-mail to read and comment on. Like Alaskan Huskies five times their size, they pull me down the street as if I were a sled and we were competing in the Iditarod Sled Race.
The newest addition to the family, Typhoid – as in Typhoid Mary or, in this case, Typhoid Marty – has been joining us of late. When I found him, near death, he had, amongst other things, a bad case of Mange which, despite my precautions, he passed on to me. Thankfully, it’s under control for both of us. Anyway, as I was saying, Typhoid doesn’t quite see walking as the serious business Tennessee and Horton see it. For him, it’s play time and it’s driving the Dudes crazy and giving me a good case of the laughs.
Unlike the Dudes who, were it not for the leash, would be off and running at the first movement in the bushes, I have yet to find the need to leash Typhoid. He seems to think I’m his mother and rarely is he to be found more than a few feet away from me.
As the Dudes tug headlong toward whatever adventure lies ahead, Typhoid will sideswipe them, circle them, nip at their ears, their tails, their collars, tug on their leash, all of which upsets their pace and concentration and annoys the hell out of them. Very occasionally they’ll discipline him with a nip to the ear and, though he yelps, it in no way discourages him. He just circles around and comes at them again. Quite often, in an attempt to avoid him and get back to the serious business of walking, one or both of the Dudes will circle around to the point where I become trapped in their leashes. By that time, I am usually laughing so hard there are tears streaming down my cheeks while I try to untangle myself without falling on my face or step on one of them.
Sometimes my cat, Wilson, comes along for a walk. She started doing this a couple of months ago. At first I found it kind of weird. I mean, how many times have you ever walked a cat? But it has been the source of some amusement and she seems to enjoy it, though, and the dogs have no problem with it. She, like some of my other cats, get along quite well with the Dudes and they have taken to Typhoid in much the same way. Not sure what’s going to happen when Typhoid reaches his full height, but for the moment all is peace and harmony.
I can’t say I know exactly how the Dudes feel about this disruption to the serious business of walking but I’m glad they’ve accepted Typhoid into their clan. When I first brought him home, they pretty much ignored him, moving away from him on the Group W bench or, worse yet, growling at him whenever he came near. I kept trying to tell the Dudes that one day, this little pint-sized pup would grow to be three times their size so they had better make friends now while they had the chance. Seems they’ve taken me up on it since lately they’ve been wrestling and running and yapping at each other like long lost buddies reunited at last.
They do get at least one break a day, to walk their walk in their way. As Typhoid is dark brown in color and leashless, it is quite difficult to see him at night. So, when the time comes for the last walk of the day, I put Typhoid in the back yard to do his thing, leash up the Dudes and off we go. Considering how hard they try to pull me to my knees, they’re either enjoying themselves a lot or else engaging in a bit of payback. Either way, it’s a joy to be walkin’ with the Dudes and a laugh a minute walkin’ with the Dudes +1.