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May 4, 2013 by pippalou
Posted in category: Dogs

My Red Heeler, Pippa, has two very set ideas about going out to play or walk.

The first is that weather just doesn't come into the equation. Whatever the weather, Pippa is going out. She follows the US Postal Service motto... “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Fits Pippa to a T.

PippaPippa on her appointed rounds
Pippa's second idea is that a walk doesn't count unless it lasts at least an hour.

As for the second point, I don't really mind an hour's walk. However, I do have some ideas of my own about appropriate walking weather.

Hot and humid or drenching rain make for inappropriate weather for me. Pippa doesn't agree, but one has to learn to live with the differences of others. Or rather, I do.

For example, let's take our walk this past Friday. Most of the early afternoon, the rain pelted down, so by six o'clock in the evening, when the drops had stopped, I figured they had called it a day and decided to hold off until another time.

TheThe place beneath, for these drops
Guess again. We weren't ten minutes into our last walk of the day when the clouds looked down, saw me and laughed. A mere pattering began that “droppeth[ed] like the gentle rain from Heaven upon the place beneath.”

Next, the wind made it's grand entrance, and the gentle rain picked up the pace a bit.

The trees with their new leaves thrashed helplessly, and the rain no longer dropped upon the place beneath. Before it could reach the place beneath, the wind sent it at an angle and head on into me.

I had at least been smart enough to wear my raincoat, for all the good it did, but my shoes, though labelled “waterproof,” weren't. Not much anyway. I had an inkling that the waterproof part was overstated when my socks started feeling cold and damp.

The rain fell even harder, the temperature dropped, and the wind blew on.

Don'tDon't leave home without it!
The hood on my raincoat has one of those bills to keep the rain out of your face and, hopefully, off your glasses. As the rain fell harder, and my raincoat got more saturated, an army of raindrops built up on that bill and began to drip steadily onto my lenses.

I trudged on, practically blind, squishing with every step of my soaked shoes and socks, and trying desperately to keep my camera dry. Yes, I brought my camera. I follow the camera hobbyists motto (once used by American Express): Don't leave home without it!

All this time, Pippa trotted along ahead of me on the woodland path, her mere 35 pounds tripping lightly over mud and puddles, oblivious to the blowing rain.

At the 45 minute mark, I'd had enough. “Pippa, I'm going home,” I yelled, and stomped off down the shortest route to the house, splashing all the way.

\You've got 15 minutes to go!
She came along. Not willingly, but she came. Along the way she wanted treats. Then she wanted her ball. Needless to say, she got neither.

When we reached home, I dashed for the door. As I went in, I glanced back. Pippa stood at the bottom of the steps, glaring at me. I could read her mind. “You're going IN??? We only walked 45 minutes! You've got at least 15 minutes to go!

I glared back, stepped inside and let the screen door slam, leaving her grumbling in the rain.

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