3 things Minnie & I saw walking at the park

A woman carrying a parasol to protect herself from the sun.

Minnie’s reaction: Very excited. She wanted to plaaaaaaaaaay. Which was strange — we’ve seen women at the park many times carrying umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. Is a parasol that different? Guess so if you’re a dog.

Related: Minnie has different reactions to wheeled human-powered transportation machines: She’s afraid of conventional bicycles, loves skateboards and scooters and wants to plaaaaaaay, and is indifferent to recumbent bikes.

Three Buddhist monks wearing saffron robes, jogging.

That was a first. Lake Murray parkgoers are a very diverse bunch, which is one of the reasons I like it. We see people of all races and ethnic groups. We see Orthodox Jews, Hasids, and Muslims in traditional garb. But we’ve never seen robed Buddhist monks at the park before.

They didn’t seem to be doing too well with the jogging.

Minnie’s reaction: Indifferent.

A woman walking 11 dogs. 

More or less 11. About ten of them were similar size and color, more-or-less golden-retriever-like. The 11th was half that size, with long wiry fur, and trailing far behind them on a long lead.

Minnie’s reaction: Indifferent, thank goodness. If Minnie had gotten excited and the dogs had gotten excited, that would have been some kind of Disney live-action comedy movie starring Dean Jones, with dogs barking excitedly and leashes getting tangled and me ending up in the lake.

When I got home, Julie asked, “Was it Sonya?” “Who?” I said. “You know, the woman who petsits for us when we’re both out of town,” Julie said. “She does dog-walking too.” “I have no idea,” I said.

We’ve been using Sonia Shoemaker and her husband Dennis at Pet Pals for nearly 20 years but Julie is the one who interviewed them and the only time I’ve met either of them was almost that long ago, when we got our dates confused and Sonya came to the house early, while I was in the living room, finishing packing. I admit when I heard the key in the door and realized what was going on I kept quiet just to see what would happen when she opened the door and saw me there. She was gratifyingly startled. (Pet Pals does a great job, by the way. If you’re in San Diego and need a pet sitter, they’re the guys to call.)

Encounter on my daily walk

Walking home from my daily walk just before we left for vacation, I met a woman coming downhill when I was going up. She said something and I took my earbuds out of my ears to hear her. She asked me where my dog was. I said she’s taking a day off. Then I told her why, that we were going on vacation so we put Minnie in doggie day care for a few days. (I hate saying “doggie day care.” It is not a thing grownups should say.)

I noticed the woman was wearing a backpack. I realized that I have often seen her walking around the neighborhood, wearing a backpack. I asked her why. She said she’s in training for hiking Spain this summer, getting used to carrying the weight. I asked her what was in the backpack, thinking it might be books or rocks or something else the same weight as her gear. She said it’s her gear, the same gear she’ll be carrying in Spain. Which makes more sense than my theory.

I wished her a good time and headed back up the hill.

Totes adorbs

C-963AE5BB-9E90-417A-A433-06238FA73D7D

Totes adorbs car camper trailer has plenty of space to sleep one, or two if you’re cozy.

I saw this in the parking lot at Lake Murray.

Jangly Saturday

I was feeling jangly Saturday. Restless and fidgety and nothing I could think to do seemed satisfactory.

So I decided to go for a very long walk with Minnie. We usually go three miles, to the park, partway around Lake Murray, and back. Saturday I decided we should go as far around the lake as you can go, to the chain-link fence that bars the way to the dam. That was eight miles. It tired me out nicely. I thought it would tire Minnie out, but nope. As soon as I let her off the leash in the backyard, she ran around in circles as fast as she could for 10 minutes.

I took this photo at the halfway point, at the fence that blocks the way to the dam, before turning around and retracing our steps home.

I did not touch the bulls-eye so I guess it doesn’t count.

Not posed. I found it this way

Gratuitous arty photo of a girl’s pink Croc on a post at Lake Murray, with a fire pit in the background and a red post to one side.

Not posed. I found it this way.

Gratuitous animated GIF of geese blocking the path at Lake Murray

If I were alone I would just walk right through them, but I had Minnie on the leash and each goose is as big as she is, and Minnie doesn’t have the sense to not antagonize them. So I just went around.

I only see the geese on the path when they have goslings with them. I think the goslings go there to feed and the geese stay with them to keep them out of trouble.