Those of you who follow us on Instagram know that Barley, Soth, and I were down in Alabama last week. I spent a few days in Georgia visiting college friends while Barley and Soth spent time with their grandparents and then I joined them. I grew up in the Deep South, so I'm no stranger to the oppressive mugginess, but Barley is still new to southern life, which can lead to some challenges.
The attitude towards dogs in my parents' area is so very different than anything I'm used to. Even though I grew up in the South, we always lived in neighborhoods where dogs were kept in their yards--either with a fence, an electric fence, or some sort of tie out. In my parents' neighborhood, though, most of the dogs run free. Some of the dogs trot along with us on our walks and are very good about giving Barley her space. The "neighborhood greeter," a sweet little basset hound, gets along with Barley so well that I can put them both in a sit and give her a treat without Barley caring a bit.
|My nephew tries to play hard to get to keep this pretty basset lady interested.|
Then there are the other dogs. These are the obnoxious ones to deal with--and the reason I don't leave my parents' house with my sprayshield. There's a Westie that I call Mr. Peabody because one day I saw him hanging out in a yard that wasn't his and he lifted his leg and peed on the head of the dachshund that did live there. One day, my sister saw someone take Mr. Peabody back to his house and instead of thanking the woman for bringing the dog home, the owner acted like it was no big deal that the dog was roaming the neighborhood. They also have a hound mix who has been sprayed with sprayshield so many time that I'm pretty sure you could sit next to him and not have to worry about mosquitos coming anywhere near you. I often wonder what their owners think when their dogs come home smelling like citronella.
Houses in the South have porches like nowhere else in the world. My parents' house has a nice little front porch and a magical back deck with a covered area that has a ceiling fan and outdoor tv, so there's a lot of time spent outside.
One afternoon, there was a lovely rain storm--no thunder and lightning, just a nice soothing rain. I tried to show Barley the joy of sitting on the porch watching the rain--she was not impressed.
She was also not impressed with the evenings we spent out on the back deck watching the Pirates (and the Cavs).
|Soth was a big fan of porch sittin'.|
As any of our regular readers know, one of our favorite things about our area is the variety of different places we have to walk. There are over 50 parks within one hour of our front door--we can be at Lake Erie in less than 10 minutes--and we've got a great neighborhood for piecing together walks of many different lengths. If you walk my parents' entire neighborhood, you've walked 2.01 miles and the road outside of their neighborhood is kind of narrow and winding, so it's not the safest place to walk. It's a very pretty neighborhood, but when you need three miles a day to meet your goal, it gets old fast.
|Barley with a teeny tiny sliver of a mountain in the background.|
There's a nice lake with a walking trail around it near by, but you have to walk 3 laps to get 2 miles, so it's a nice change of scenery from the neighborhood, but not a place to get a lot of good mileage.
|There were too many geese for Pup to look at the camera.|
|Awkward teenage geese.|
There are a couple other parks and trails that are dog friendly, but they're all over a 30-minute drive and we were already having to walk around 7 a.m. just to beat the heat (and I am not a morning person), so they weren't as appealing to visit at this time of year.
One plus of walking in the South at this time of year, though, is that everything was in bloom. My favorites were these Dr. Seussian mimosa trees that were blooming all along the interstate (and in my parents' neighborhood) and made for nice scenery on the road trip.
The Dog Run
My parents' yard has a nice fenced in dog run, which is something Barley rarely gets to experience. She has no interest in it, though, unless there's a squirrel on the porch--then she'll tear down the stairs after it, but once it's up a tree, she's ready to come back inside. If I took a ball down into the run, she'd chase it and then run back upstairs with it so I had to go back up the stairs to get it. If I threw it from the top of the stairs, she'd get to the bottom but by that point she'd lost track of where it went and didn't care enough to search for it.
Soth, on the other hand, thinks the dog run is the best thing ever. I normally don't let him down there because he just wants to eat grass, which he comes in and immediately barfs up, but he wore me down with his insistence this time. Barley wasn't really sure if Soth was supposed to be down there, so she tried herding him back up the stairs a couple times.
We had a lovely visit with my family, but we were all happy to be back home this week (except maybe Soth who is missing all of the bird feeders and the dog run). Barley and I were ecstatic on Wednesday when we woke up and it was only 60 degrees, so we got to eat a leisurely breakfast before taking a late morning walk at the lake.
We logged 30.92 miles this week and didn't fall behind where we're supposed to be at this point even though I was separated from my Barley girl for several days. Even though I didn't comment much while we were traveling, I did read as many of your posts as possible and we're very happy to be back linking up for FitDog Friday today!