Spooked: A Halloween Story
Part 1: Give or Take a Squirrel or Five
About six weeks ago I took my dog Mia for her first long walk in a very long time.
It went passably well, so the next day I took her for another walk, and on the third day she decided that we would be taking walks every single day.
Most days I take her on the same route, but sometimes we veer off this and that way in order to avoid golf carts and roaming Pekinese and other such hazards.
Most of the time Mia is confident and trots just a tiny bit faster than I am walking.
I appreciate this and sometimes break into a job myself and for a few minutes we are like a commercial for why dogs helps people lead a healthy life and then BAM Mia stops on a dime and goes 5 feet backwards, jerking me out of my Spotify daze and forcing me to stand still (APPLEWATCH JUDGING ME ASKING WHY I AM CLOCKING THESE SIXTEEN MINUTE MILES) while she smells this and considers that.
Each time this happens (10 times in 2 miles, give or take a squirrel or five), I make myself take a deep breath and look at the trees and the sky and the lake.
I almost look forward to these pauses, but not on Halloween.
On Halloween I decided It would be a great idea to take the dog for a long walk at dusk, far away from trick or treaters and all that. Mia agreed and we headed out as usual – her in her harness that goes across her neck, under her chest and behind her shoulders; me and my wireless headphones and judgy watch.
The paths behind the residential roads are empty. From our path we can see trick-or-treaters, and pause to watch a devil and Wonder Woman get sprayed by the auto-sprinkler anti-deer system that always goes off when Mia and I walk too close to the lush green lawn. The trick-or-treaters giggle and push forward, undeterred. I wait for a minute to see if anyone comes out to turn the sprinkler off before more people get wet, but there’s nothing to see and get back to walking, savoring every turn and hill.
A few minutes later (or is the right word herd? Or gaggle? Venison? Doe?) of about fifteen deer, and my dog either doesn’t see the deer or doesn’t care. I call out, “LOOK LOOK LOOK.” Sbut she won’t and I am beyond impressed at her badass Zen-ness because each time I see deer I want stop and take a gazillion pictures, even while I’m driving. (Of course I don’t; you would know if did).
I vow to practice being less of a deer fangirl, and am open to wanting to take some pictures of the flock of bossy geese that live in the acres behind us and are genuinely pissed off every time they see me and Mia coming their way.
We don’t bother them, we stay on the path and keep going each and every time; a 100% peaceful record.
It doesn’t matter what we do -- they don’t trust us and they’re also annoyed at having to draw up the energy to be annoyed when they were just happily eating their pre-dark snack of bugs and/or doing other goose things that I do not know about and will not be studying.
Everytime the geese see us coming on our walk, they honk and back off and then flap at us and flyaway. Mia could not have cared less.
Sometimes Mia does weird things. (continued)