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Location: Central Michigan, United States

Spent a long career making lots of money for other people. Now it's my turn. _____________________________ Email:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Bug Tails - "Bug Walk"

Bug and I began our morning walk by leaving the house and hurrying over to our favorite tree; the old maple tree which stands near the corner of the garage. Bug cocked his leg at the tree. I didn't cock mine. Whew, it was a long and welcomed first of the morning pee for the both of us. I think Bug finished first, by a squirt or two.

Daylight hadn't quite arrived. It was the grey time of morning when the moon plants itself on one end of mother earth and the sun hasn't yet peeked up from the opposite end of the world.

Making our way down the driveway, Bug's buddy, a big fat squirrel, waited at its usual spot until Bug eyeballed it. Bug saw his friend, barked two or three times then catapulted off in Squirrel's direction. Squirrel waited the appropriate amount of time, and then scurried over to the big oak tree on the other side of the driveway with Bug in hot pursuit. Squirrel ran up the tree about ten feet, turned around to face down the tree's trunk, and began his chattering mockery of Bug's again futile efforts. Bug can't climb trees, but by god it looked like he was determined to learn.

I called the dog over to me and we continued on our way.

The sky was becoming brighter as we walked north on the gravel road. I could see just a hint of orange color on the horizon off to the east.

It was a quiet morning and I noticed the sound of my footsteps as they crunch-crunched on the dirt and gravel stones of the road. Bug's footsteps were more of a skittle-skittle sound.

I heard the flock of wild geese that rested on the waters of the lake as they began their morning wake-up calls of assembly to each other.

We poked along on our morning walk and Bug continued to cock his leg against any object that struck his fancy for his territorial marking duties. I wondered how it is he can continue to generate enough new urine for marking purposes; especially after such a lengthy piss at the maple tree only half an hour before.

The birds flew from their roosts ahead of us and the sun now played peek-a-boo at the horizon.

A maple leaf of last year flittered across the road, pushed by a gentle morning breeze. Bug pounced and trapped it with his front paws.

A little further along we flushed a pair of partridge and they exploded from the edge of the woods that hug the side of the road on which we walk. I'm not sure which jumped the highest, me or Bug. The dog, of course, chased after the pair of partridge for a bit while I continued walking north on the road between the two stands of woods.

During our return trip to the house, Bug found laying in the weeds a discarded and empty plastic water bottle. He fetched the bottle then had great fun scooting it along the road with his nose and paws. I had great fun watching him play.

After about a hundred yards of fiddling with the bottle, Bug abandoned his new toy to scuttle down into the shallow ditch along the side of the road. He circled three or four times, humped his back, and finished his morning toilet. The smell of it reminded me to ask my wife not to give refrigerator leftovers to Bug in the late evening.

Arriving back at the house, a good morning walk behind us and the sun's belt buckle now at the horizon, we went inside. I headed for the bathroom to shave then take my morning shower. Bug went to his food and water bowls for a drink and a bite to eat. He had worked hard this morning.


Blogger Bernita said...

"The sun's belt buckle" is a great image.
Dogs are 70 % water, I'm certain.Bug had to refill his water bottle.

10:53 AM EDT  
Blogger jason evans said...

I really enjoyed the feel of the morning as you portrayed it! I have to yawn now.... I'm not a morning person.

11:16 AM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

Well dog-gone!
An attractive, readable piece.

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you, Bernita. Yes, Bug's "water bottle" was most certainly empty.

I'm pleased you could feel the morning, Jason. It's definitely my favorite part of the day.

Thanks for stopping by, Ivan. You have an interesting thread going over on yours.

1:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

You know, there's nothing like a lazy walk with the dog on a sunny spring day.

Of course, lazy never happens for someone who owns two huskies. If I wore rollerblades, they could take me to the city and back as quick as some cars.

Sounds like Bug's become an integral part of the family.

3:54 PM EDT  
Blogger For The Trees said...

Now I really liked this piece. You got pre-dawn and dawn itself perfect; I liked the geese waking up. Bug is gonna do what he's gonna do, which is cool, his routine makes the walk. And your descriptions are great.

Thanks for sharing.

10:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Jaye Wells said...

Wonderful piece. Although for some reason I was picturing this scene in the fall. Guess it was the mention of maples which I associate with the season. Nevertheless, wonderful story no matter the time of year.

10:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Hey, I go on vacation and you go get a dog? When was this?

11:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Yes, a long walk with a dog is not only good exercise, it's good therapy for the mind. Our husky is old now so she just kinda "plods" along...bless her heart. Bug hasn't just become a part of the family; he has taken over.

I consider yours as very high compliments. Thank you.

Thank you very much. And you are correct, I didn't indicate the season. I've made a note for future reference.

Welcome back. I trust you had a great time. The dog came to us as a stray almost two months ago.

7:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Dogs are so awesome: they keep our humor antennas hopping and teach us the importance of the simple things in life. Maybe I should get a dog after the Teenager moves out.

6:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm honored.
Yes, dogs are special in many ways.
I've always had at least one.

8:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Mark Pettus said...

What a great way to start your day, and what a great way to convey that sense of morning's peace.

5:14 PM EDT  
Blogger September said...

I felt like I was a few feet behind you, watching everything. Now I want to take my dogs for a walk (I have four)...if only it were woodsy here. I really enjoyed your story.

2:18 PM EDT  

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