Bruiser and I are now taking daily morning walks. He has come to expect it, so that when I've finished my breakfast and I make any move toward my shoes, he's singing the "we're taking a walk right now, right?" song, con gusto, vivace.
So I get on my walking shoes, grab a plastic bag, clip on my stylish green iPod shuffle. Sunglasses, leash, and we're off. We have a little routine, which is helpful for us, since Bruiser now has expectations--turn left, then cross the street, then right, etc.
When Bruiser first came into our lives, he was hell bent for leather on the leash--always straining, prepared to dash off after any cat or dog, running circles around us, basically, chasing stray smells. The dog park became our salvation. But now, it turns out it's kind of nice to go for this morning walk. He's not such a madcap crazy anymore. We have a good time.
This morning, after I woke up a little bleary-eyed, and after I succumbed to a teeny post-breakfast nap, Bruiser sat on the bed by me. He looked off to the side, and then, placing his paw, rather gently, on my arm, he looked deep into my eyes, just briefly. He repeated this little routine four times. I'm pretty sure he was trying to get me going for the day. He was right--the walk was just the thing to short-circuit my weariness.
While we walk, I have the music going, an odd mix due to the fact that there aren't, at any given time, so many music files on my computer (there were too many, and my computer kept groaning at me). But the beauty of the shuffle is the chance to listen to new music, music I mean to listen to but might not bump into for awhile. I'm not sure if older generations of the shuffle had the capacity for a random shuffle as well as playing straight through the music just as it's loaded. I've been playing straight through which means I've run into a substantial hit of the following recently: Air, an early Regina Spektor disk, Apples in Stereo (awesome for working out, anyone who actually works out), Emmylou Harris, Tres Chicas, early Rufus Wainwright, gorgeous Richard Thompson from Grizzly Man, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Band with various guests from The Last Waltz, Dr. John, Brad Mehldau, M.I.A., the new Magnetic Fields . . . Between the music and the little dog-walk-chat I always keep going ("let's cross here, Bruiser. What a good boy! this way, Bruiser. What a good boy!"), it must be a total joy to run into me in the neighborhood.