Even though it was very easy to follow, Mom tripped and swore almost as often as she took pictures because the big rocks above our heads kept stealing her eyeballs making the rocks under us steal her feet.
“Fine,” she said, and chased after me with her shovel-arms. I would have gotten away if we weren’t tied together, but soon she caught me and lifted me onto the log herself. I stood there with my butt in her face and refused to move.
That's why I was still tied to Mom when we came around Creature Corner, where I have met a lion, a wolf-dog, and too many bunny rabbits to count. This morning there was a new creature flumping across the path. It was a horseshoe-crab-shaped ball of fur that moved like a land sting ray. "STRIPEY STINK-CAT!" I barked.
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.
"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?”
“There’s no way that bacon boulder can out-sprint me!” I wagged. “Lemme at him! I'll have him teach you about his problem free philosophy when I catch him.”
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.
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.
I followed her and watched where she was going so that I would know where to climb and what rocks she wanted me to jump "up-up" onto. Mom was climbing like she was walking through a dark room; putting her paws carefully on the ground and holding on to rocks like she didn't expect the ground to stay where it was. "Mom, what are you doing?" I asked.