A sunny day greeted us today, the first day of 2013. I started my month of daily exercise, known as Janathon, by taking the dogs — a 12-year-old pointer/terrier mix and a 9-year-old German shorthair pointer — for a long walk. The dogs are usually better behaved when they’ve exercised. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s we were a bit inconsistent in getting them their needed exercise, and it showed with the way they were getting into things when we were out.
So I resolved to make sure they got a long walk today since we had planned to spend the day at my wife’s brother’s house in Illinois. The dogs got their walk. We did not make it to Illinois. My son came down with something on Sunday and spent much of Monday sleeping. Today when he ate less than half his oatmeal, we decided it was probably best to stay close to home rather than drive (we rented a car) to Illinois.
As for the walk with the dogs, the GSP wants to go, go, go. She’s always moving forward. Our other dog, not so much. He likes to walk a bit slower and stop and sniff and pee on trees, signposts, clumps of mud. You name it, if it’s sitting still, he’ll stop to sniff and then maybe pee on it. Dogs are gross in that way. So walking the two of them is a challenge.
We headed out on the snow-covered greenway. My plan was to walk up to the next bridge, cross the river and then go into the neighborhood, winding our way home, about a 3-mile trip. Instead, I decided to head over to a nearby rain garden. The city bought out a number of houses along this street that runs adjacent to a creek and tends to flood in the spring. The houses were torn down and the street closed. Native wildflowers were planted. The sidewalk, street lights and street trees were all kept in place. Of course the garden is now covered in snow with a few remnants of last year’s wildflowers still in place.
The dogs and I went through the rain garden, circled back and then over to nearby park. We went through the park, crossed the creek and headed home, a walk of about 2.5 miles. I probably would have liked to go a bit farther, but 2.5 miles is a good way for the dogs to get the new year started.