Saturday, March 5, 2011

yesterday


In the time it took me to grab a cup of coffee this morning — at "A" Market (as opposed to "B" Market?) on Bellevue — it turned into a nice day. Which reminded me that yesterday was a nice day ....

I'd been feeling a little lonely, especially as Mr. Betty was out-of-town on business all week, thus felt the need to get out and do something. Something that meant something. Something (other than grabbing a cup of coffee) that might inject energy into my existence. Something like taking a walk.

So I headed to the Norman Bird Sanctuary, just 'cause I hadn't been there in a while. Wait, come to think of it, I was there a week or two ago, but my walking partner & I were so engrossed in conversation that I barely noticed my surroundings, which when we're talking Hanging Rock are decidedly worth noticing. Anyway, back to yesterday, just as I was heading out behind the NBS barn toward the trails — seeking a do-over, I suppose, of my less-than-conscious visit a few weeks prior — I ran into a friend whose son went to school way back when with Darling Daughter. This friend, who works at the sanctuary, was with a dog — unleashed! This surprised me, as dogs are not allowed at the sanctuary. They'd scare off the birds, right? But this dog lives at the sanctuary, my friend explained. Furthermore, this was a sweet dog (to the extent that excuses bending the rules) who came right over and gave me a few licks. Which makes everything OK as far as I'm concerned. He/she was mid-to-big in size, yellow-orange in color, orange collar to match, nice white stripe down its forehead and nose, the only issue being mismatched eyes. One of them was entirely white or too-light blue or something slightly disarming to look at, though — judging from this dog's alacrity and acuity (with licks, among other things) — it seemed to function just fine.

I finally set off down the trail. Thing is: the sweet dog/doggie followed me. My friend called out in confirmation of what was apparent, "He may follow you!" Must say, the company was welcome ...

So we walked to the pond (still frozen but with plenty of soft spots), hooked a left for The Ridges, hiked along planked boardwalks and muddy pathways generally leftward and upward onto the puddingstone, worked our way over increasingly tricky footing to the end. Doggie didn't follow me so much as accompany me. Escort me, maybe? He'd run way ahead, lag way behind, stray significantly into the woods in either direction then come racing/chasing back at breakneck (seriously!) speed threatening to take my knees/legs out from under me. At one point, he totally wiped out in the crags — was it his eyesight? At another point, he leaped off the rocks after spying some sort of animal who had let out a surprised screech (this was not a small animal) before crashing off through the woods with Doggie in hot pursuit. On repeated occasions, he stood with paws at the utmost edge of the rocks looking out over the road, the beach, the empty parking lots, the sea, the reservoir with its retreating ice, the yellow-orange fields of waving grass/reeds/whatever and seemed to consider his prospects ...

For my part, I just watched. Walked. Yelled "No, Doggie!" and "Be careful, Doggie!" a few times — to which, of course, he paid no attention. I'll admit to feeling some measure of relief upon delivering him (or did he deliver me?) safely back to Sanctuary headquarters, where I ventured inside to ask my new friend's name, which I guess I really should have asked in the first place: Mango.
















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