It must be tough running with the weight of hundreds of miles on their backs when they didn't even know what the next mile held yet. But then I remembered how Mom finds her way around places we'd never been before. Maybe humans can see the future better than dogs can, and that's why they like planning so much.
The trail that Mom and I ran on our last day in the desert was like a story told by a people puppy that had just broken into the Halloween candy stash. It was a collection of details that didn't have anything to do with each other, and didn't make a whole lot of sense when you put them together.
She was running faster that I knew she would normally, but if she slowed down then we would be overrun by people puppies making observations about how fat Mom’s thighs were, or asking her why she didn’t have a husband. Then we reached a steep slope and sped up it as fast as we could.
Concentrating is like an adventure where nothing happens, and the more you do of it the more you want to tell someone about it and the less there is to tell. I guess that’s the difference between an adventure and what Mom calls a "pain in the ass.”
"YOU don't even fetch frisbees." "Right! That's the point. Whenever you throw a frisbee, I chase it and then wait for you to catch up so that you'll pick it up and throw it again. That makes running together fun."
"It’s not a race.” “Are you sure it’s not a race? They’re giving out medals and stuff…” “No, it’s a challenge. There’s a difference. A race is something that you do against someone else, a challenge is when you commit to doing something difficult and compete with yourself. It’s like a competitive resolution. Challenges are different for everybody because they depend on context.” “Wait, so a challenge is a contest?”
When Mom finally stomped over the edge, she put her hands on her hips like an intrepid explorer and took a triumphant sigh. Then she tapped her pockets. Then she tapped her pockets in fast forward.
"Take that, white dirt! You can't stop us, this gate is stopping us. Suckah!" I barked. Mom stared at the gate for a long minute, and then turned back to find a place to sleep in the empty desert. We'd figure it out in the morning.
I was sniffing for critters in the white bushes when I heard Mom whisper-scream, “OH MY GOD!” and then burst out laughing. When I found her, she was laughing at a man who was dressed like a bush and standing still as a statue. He was carrying a lot of luggage with him, including one of the long sticks called a "gun."