Monday, Sep 01, 2014
Dorothy Harris

Evening exercise adventures


Published:

School is officially over and we are able to come home from work each evening and stay there. This is quite a novelty after a season of sports, concerts and church activities. Of course it didn't last long because now that we had some time, we've decided to start exercising.

When we were home just one night out of the entire week, restaurant dining became a necessity. Summer now stretches out before us and a beach vacation looms. That equals swimwear, which means the jig is up and the jiggling needs to be remedied.

We've been heading out to the state park each evening so the teen can tick off her summer mileage and maybe, just maybe, Mr. Harris and I can slim down a bit. Our dingo has already adapted to the new routine, becoming ecstatic as I pull up after work. Trying to download my day and hear what's going on with a dancing, howling dog adds a nice touch to our new hurry-it-up routine.

We've managed to walk several nights a week, even with the soggy conditions, and have been quite surprised by the amount of wildlife we've seen. Just last week, the dog had the incredulous experience of seeing her first turkey, alive, not on the smoker, and seemed to enjoy it nearly as much.

With the window down, Sadie Girl had a really good view of the hen walking through the picnic area. Thankfully she didn't catapult herself out the window, but it was dicey for a few moments. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she began dragging Mr. Harris in the direction of what I'm sure she thought of as the catch of the day.

It didn't last long because she picked up the scent of something else and began dragging him in that direction. Apparently feral hogs were about, turning our leisurely walk into an actual fitness activity. As my dear husband and dog blazed through the forest, I struggled to keep up.

Another night, as the kid tore off into the distance, we actually got to see three very large hogs walk across the roadway. While the girl ran merrily on her way and the hogs sauntered across the roadway, Sadie Girl went bonkers. Mr. Harris broke his P.R. that day for dog walking, but I came in a very close second.

We've seen deer, a raccoon, more hogs and several birds of prey. It's a lot of fun to watch the dog's reaction to it all and allows Mr. Harris to exercise his pectoral muscles. Last time we went, she got up close to a talking beetle.

As she lunged towards the scurrying insect, Mr. Harris strained against the leash. "Does it sting?" he called back as she stuck her sniffer right up on the creature. Watching her sniff and snuff around it, while listening to the beetle hiss right back at her was hilarious. "Can you hear it?" I asked, delighted the bug was speaking to us.

Mr. Harris is good about this sort of thing and intently listened as I, the nature nerd, explained how this insect communicates. The dog also got a nature lesson as the beetle, becoming annoyed by the attention, emitted a chemical, leaving her sneezing and spitting, adding to the fun of the moment.

Walking at warp speed, mosquitoes can't keep up with us and we feel like we're getting a real workout. Time will tell if one of Mr. Harris' arms becomes longer than the other from all the tugging, but when one exercises, one hopes to see results.

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