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Evening Walk

Monday, February 6, 2006

I ran around like a hamster today, trying to do a million things at once. I paid bills and sent artwork off and made calls and answered emails and just ran on my wheel. It was 5:30 by the time I got dinner in the oven and took time to breathe. Chet and I took off on the Loop in the gathering darkness. The lights were coming on in the valley, something that always gives me a lonely feeling. I kept Chet on the leash at this overlook--nocturnal cattle herding is not my sport.
As we came down into the Chute, the dog pack was barking, and I leashed Chet again. He surged forward, almost pulling me off my feet, despite my hisses of "No pull, Chet!" So I backed the command up with a light slap on the shoulder. Funny thing--he didn't pull on the leash after that. I have corrected Chet with a smack maybe four or five times in his year of life. Once, when he was a puppy, he stood right next to me in the basement and peed, looking up at me. I surprised him with a smack on the rump. Funny thing--he never peed in the basement again. Chet is a quick study. I'm not about to start hitting him regularly, but the occasional surprise wakeup seems to be a good reminder for this headstrong but sensitive little man-dog.
The barking dogs' house had a single, feeble light shining in a window. As we passed, I heard voices, and then the rattle and crash of more garbage being thrown out the back door. Ahh, Appalachia. The romance, the atmosphere.

We came up through our old orchard by moonlight, listening for the woodcock our neighbors say has arrived. No calls, but the patches of snow took the moonlight beautifully, and the kitchen light beckoned home.


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