It didn't really matter where I ran because everywhere was basically the same, so I ran everywhere to see what the sand looked like when I looked uphill at it, and downhill at it, and while at full speed, and close up at the end of my nose, and upside-down while rolling around on my back.
The trail was still sweating off the month of rain in streams that dug a tiny canyon down the middle of the trail, and sometimes pooled into big patches of mud that I leapt over and Mom had to tip-toe through.
Mom and I have never been so badly matched as dance partners, so there are only so many places where Mom can walk with her elderly meatwad shuffle and I can frolic like a light-footed freight train. But I'm so starved for sprinting that even the old familiar places are exciting. When I smelled the beach coming, I whimpered a happy song and crawled up to the copilot's seat to look out the front window for all the dogs just waiting for me to chase them around in the sand.
Bodie started digging for gold while I supervised her work. Then, when she ran off to check if a puppy was worth bullying, I lay down in her hole, which was cool, and damp, and perfectly Oscar sized. For the next hour or so, we stayed in that spot, sunbathing or digging until a puppy came along that we could gang up on.
Mom mostly stays in one place and isn't very interesting to watch, so I've been patrolling the office and getting to know the rest of my pack better. They don't all have doggie telepathy like Mom and me, so I have to speak real simply and slowly to them so they'll understand.
I'm a brave dog, but Mom's new legs were terrifying. Whenever she used them to clack and swing herself around the house, I shivered and cowered as far away as I could get and still watch her. Mostly Mom spent a lot of time in bed just like I do, napping and getting bored right there with me. Since her monster leg was in bed with us, I sat on Mom's shoulder or lay my head on her chest and watched it so that I could bark at it in case it got up and tried to attack one of us. The good thing about me protecting Mom from her monster leg was that we did lots of snuggling and cuddling when The Leg wasn't watching.
I was having fun chasing bunnies and discovering dead cows, but I was afraid that this wouldn't be enough adventure for Mom's last expedition. We had hiked almost 5 miles and she hadn't had to figure anything out yet, and I hadn't had to be brave and use my gorgeous and brawny muscles to get me out of danger.
I looked skeptically at Mom's knee. It looked like it was already connected together, even if it was a little floppier than usual and hung a bit like a puppet's leg when she walked. "Are you sure that the vet isn't just having you on so that he can sell you a surgery?" I asked. "Those psychos really can't be trusted." All she said was, "I'm so sorry..."
Then we came around the bend and saw that the trail had fallen into another hole. In the spot where it disappeared was a rickety metal ladder that had fallen in and was trying to climb back out. I peeked over the edge, and saw that the drop was almost 2 Moms tall, so I backed up real quick so it couldn't suck me down like it had the ladder. Mom stayed at the edge inspecting the rock. Then, to my horror, she held out her arms and tried to scoop me up! Luckily, I am very fast and she can't run.