Saturday, April 2, 2011

30 Minutes a Day

So the last few weeks have been crazy and stressful for me at work.  My usually consistent workout routine has all but gone out the window, but my daily walks with “The Iz” (as Scott affectionately refers to her) have been lifesavers.  Here’s a list of the top 5 reasons why:

5)     Her Nose.  I’ve mentioned this before, but Izzy, like all dogs, would love to sniff every inanimate and animate object in the world.  By now, though, she knows I won’t let her do this.  So her compromise is to bend her long neck down so that her snout is just centimeters from the ground, and she sniffs as much of the world as she can get away with while she trots along, her eyes always searching the ground ahead.  I know this doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, but the way she does it with that long snout of hers makes me think of a hand-held Dust Buster people used to have.  She’s a really bouncy Dust Buster, but a Dust Buster nonetheless.  It looks like she’s sucking up all the delicious smells from the earth through her nose, and I love watching it.

4)     The Trot.  I know I’m a little biased, but I have to argue that my dog is one of the most beautiful dogs to watch walk in the world.  When she really gets going, her whole body shifts into trot mode, a speed halfway between walking and jogging (not to be confused with full-speed running—that’s in another universe of speed for greyhounds).  I think with horses, they call this cantering, and that’s exactly what she resembles.  Her neck and head straighten up, and her front legs start prancing over the sidewalk as if it’s a bed of hot coals.  It’s so dainty and beautiful that I can’t help but stare at my own dog.   

3)     The Ears.  When she really hunkers down into that beautiful trot of hers, her ears get all floppy and relaxed.  Before you know it, they’re flapping like boneless, black bat wings through the afternoon sunshine.  It’s freakin’ adorable.

2)     Grass.  Lately, Izzy has a newfound obsession with the green stuff.  Maybe the onslaught of Spring has presented her with a whole new plethora of scents to explore.  Maybe it was a fixation just waiting to bubble up to the surface.  Whatever the reason, our dog can’t get enough of it.  For one thing, she eats it.  She doesn’t even stop to do this—just opens her mouth and grabs a bushel of it, chewing as she trots along.  At first, I tried to stop this habit, but now I figure, Hey, at least she’s eating her greens.  Also, she loves rolling in it.  Pretty frequently, she’ll lay down at the end of our walk, then roll over and start cockroaching in the cool, green grass.  It really is a sight to see with her legs kicking and her body spasming like an epileptic dog, all to scratch some big itch on her back.  I enjoy it, anyway.

1)      The Smile.  Anyone who’s ever owned a dog before knows about The Smile.  For Izzy, it usually crops up about mid-way through the walk, as if the tension of waiting for my return all day has finally melted away.  Then she’ll glance up at me with the corners of her mouth crinkled back, her eyes intensely searching for mine—an expression that usually says one of three things:

“I love you sooooooooooooo much.”

Or, “I missed you soooooooooooo much today.”

Or, “Aren’t I the cutest thing on the planet?  So cute that you want to let me chase just that one squirrel over there?”

Whatever it is she’s really thinking, The Smile is contagious.  I fall for it every time and can’t help but return the favor.

Overall, I’m just so thankful to have a dog I have to walk every day—correction—I get to walk every day.  Sure, it’s a slight inconvenience to give up 30 minutes of your day to exercise your pet, but looking back on these three weeks, I wouldn’t have survived them without my spunky girl Izzy taking my mind off of all the things in this world that don’t really matter.  All with just 30 minutes of pure doggy entertainment a day.