Today is a scorcher. The mercury has climbed north of 90; the sun blazes down with not a cloud in sight to temper its fury. These are the dog days of summer and all the world is lying still.
And yet my good old dog, Ranger - so skinny now that I have taken to stirring chunks of butter into his evening meals - stamped his foot and threw his pre-walk fit right on schedule today.
At 4:30, he lifted his head, fluffy fur dancing the stream of air from a nearby fan, saw me in the kitchen, and gave me the look. It's time.
At 4:45, he got up and came looking for me, laser eyes on me as I watered in the backyard. Put down the hose and take me.
I was trying to put him off an hour or two so the sun would be a bit lower and the air a bit cooler. But my spirited it was not having it.
By 5:00, he resorted to full-blown whining and the antsy back-and-forth footwork that tells me he is desperate to get moving. Now now now now now!!!
So we went.
And while we did opt for our slightly shorter alternate route - which we use when one of us is recuperating or we are in a total pinch for time - my increasingly frail but always determined dog strolled along in fine style. Oh, he was pantting to be sure, his tongue dripping and hisskinnybribs heaving. But make no mistake; he loved every hot minute of our dog day afternoon walk.
And therefore, so did I.