Anyone who reads my posts on Cobirders or Cobirds knows they quite often begin with...this morning, while walking my dog, I saw...and it goes on from there. When I acquired Scooter from a neighbor two years ago, I made a vow that he would have a better, fuller life than my previous dogs. Promised him I would walk him every day. I must confess that I had been watching a great deal of "The Dog Whisperer" and "It's Me or the Dog"...and figured the whole walking him 3 to 5 miles a day would quickly be forgotten...but it wasn't. I quickly realized that walking him made a huge difference to him and me. Our favorite place is Lathrop State Park, near Walsenburg, CO. It's walking path is just about 3 miles and we don't have to worry about "loose dogs" and being drowned in dust like we would walking around town or out by our house.
I have always considered myself an independent sort of woman...but for years I would vow to start walking again...and then I would come up with excuses...it's too cold, too windy...too hot...it was always "too" something... I knew the real reason...I was not comfortable walking alone. I felt vulnerable and ill at ease...there are bears out there, lions...and of course there are two-legged predators as well. Now that I have Scooter, a 70 pound male boxer...things have greatly changed. I walk with him everywhere...he is my constant companion...he makes me feel safe. I quickly noticed that (even though he does not have an aggressive bone in his body) most men are more than a little apprehensive of him. Once he introduces himself...he generally gets a pet on the head and off we go. On the other hand, women are more apt to take to him right away. He seems to subtly present himself differently to men than to women...perhaps just a little bit more alert. Whatever it is...I feel much safer with him along...as a result I am out and about much more...and am in better shape because of it.
Because I am out more...I see more...notice more...have become a better birder...and have become much more aware of just how diverse Huerfano County is. In the beginning it was just Scooter and me...now that he is trained, I take my binoculars and camera...when I stop...he stops...best of all he will sit, on command, and allow me to watch birds...we sit on the side porch and watch birds...on the weekends Paul and I take him on expeditions...over to the San Luis Valley, out Highway 10, over to Forbes Park...where we go he goes.He has made our lives richer and better...