My New Trail starts in the neighborhood where the ocean lives. I paid extra attention to signs of what kind of neighborhood it was as I patrolled my new turf and surf. The ocean must not be a good neighbor, because it had worn the paint off of any house that wasn't paying attention, and wherever there was metal it had tagged it up with bubbles of rust.
Our stuck house is very small, only about the size of a hotel room, but Mom insisted on keeping her big dreadmill inside it. That’s called “priorities.”
Every year the mom-soon season overstays its welcome, and when we complain about all the rain and ruined hikes, dimwits who never play outside and get all their weather information from the internet say, "But we need the rain! It's a drought."
Yesterday I had a meeting with a bunch of collies, but Saturday meetings are different from the meetings that we have during the work week. First of all, you don't have to meet at the office and you can go somewhere more interesting than a conference room. When Mom let me out of the car yesterday, I saw a man and a dog waiting for me at the spot where the road ended and the woods began. When I got closer I could see that it was one of my collies, but I didn't know the dog.
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.
It wasn’t just the big cactupi that had spines. The bushes did too. There were round Oscar-high poofs that looked like something you could sit on… if you wanted to get poked in the butt. And there were bushes that looked like they were made of spiny ping pong paddles. And other bushes had tiny little delicate spikes that looked almost like floofs of cotton unless you tried to touch them.