She reached into her dirty running clothes from the day before and pulled out her lemony grey sports bra with the dinosaurs on it. "This will work!" she said. "Eew, it smells," I said as she pulled it over my head and started to force my paws through the holes where her front legs usually go. "And it's wet."
Today there were runners just like always, but the stray humans were awake, and the workers had been replaced with tourists waiting for the boat to Alcatraz and asking each other if the bridge was being painted. The tourists lined up across the sidewalk like bowling pins for me to run through them and cause selfies they would never forget.
When Mom wasn’t hypnotized by the Bahama-colored lake, her eyes were fixed on the mountains, trying to puzzle out how someone as scared of heights as she is could still climb all the way to the top. Meanwhile, I chased critters over rocks and logs with the grace of a hurdler.
“What is the difference between rock climbing, and mountaineering, and hiking? Like, if you wanted to climb that mountain up there, you’d have to get up all that scree.” She pointed at one of the steep fangs, and the thick gums of rocks and sand at the bottom. “Well, you’ve got to do your research. People will post what approaches are loose or dangerous, and what routes are safest and so on.” “Well, what if you were on the right trail and you slip anyway?"
Mom hiked on all fours, grabbing the bigger rocks with her hands until she found one that stayed in place, and then stepping her back paw as high as it would reach, and then half-pushing herself up with her back legs while she pulled herself up with her front. Some of the mountain fell down the hill behind us with each step we took.
Mom said, "DON'T!!!" and Karen froze. Then she stood up and walked right over to the sink and started washing her hands. I didn't know what happened, but it made me feel very lonely to have my friend Karen treat me like she didn't even know me all of a sudden.
Since Mom was already off balance, my jig pulled her off the one leg she was standing on and she kicked the packpack of the lady crouched down to take a picture, and shouted a bad word, and then told the lady it was my fault that she'd ruined their picture.
My fan club stopped so that they could all take the exact same picture of each other smiling in front of the waterfall, and because Mom didn't want them to all ask to borrow my chicken hat, or feel silly for not being as handsome as me, we continued up the mountain leaving the waterfall behind us.