Mornings are great, especially in the life of Stanley. The morning walk is the first walk of the day and usually we have the whole neighborhood to ourselves because we get out early. I like to get out at the break of light (usually close to 6am) but anytime before 7am is good too. There is nothing like walking out of my garage into the morning air and being greeted by the fresh morning scent of nature and the friendly, cool breeze of the early morning. I just love it.
Before Stanley and I leave the house, I put his collar and leash on and boy does his tail wag. Stanley has a wonderful life: lots of petting, kisses, sweet talking, attention and being carried around. Not that any of that has anything to do with walking, but I just thought I would throw that information in as a fyi. ha.
ok...back to the walk: Stanley goes about his business as we leisurely stroll the neighborhood. He especially likes trash day because there are so many more scents to smell. The poor trash men....they probably are wondering why many trash bags are "damp" in the lower corners. Uh oh, ...that's Stanley going potty on them!
In the summer, neighbors take early morning walks, so at the end of our walk we see neighbors either coming back inside the gates or leaving for their own exercise. There is one neighbor that I've never seen before until last week. She walks outside of the community and we normally run into her at the end of her walk when she enters the gates. Now, Stanley is a CUTE doggie and adorable too...most people stop to greet him and he wags his tail in delight. However, she is either deaf (because she doesn't reply when I say "good morning") or she is out right rude and unfriendly (because she walks passed us without even a nod of her head or smile). Very odd for my neighborhood because we are a friendly community and for those who are not friendly they are at least courteous.
My preference is to walk with Stanley by ourselves, without any other dogs or people. lol. I do have a favorite dog/master pair, though, and we normally catch up on the evening walk.
One morning not too long ago, I was under a large tree and felt something hit my shoulder. I thought it was a branch that a squirrel knocked loose; however, much to my surprise, it was a dead small bird. Oh man!...poor thing but also NOT what I was expecting. It's hard enough walking in this oppressive summer heat, much less having to deal with dead birds falling on me!
In the evenings when we walk, we have to deal with large grasshoppers and locusts. Did you know that locusts are really large and that they sit in the middle of the street at night? No?....well, I didn't either until I almost stepped on one and it started buzzing. I had an immediate reaction of "run!" ha. In fact, if you even start to approach a locust it will start to buzz. As if!
Nighttime walks are adventurous because it is dark (our community is "warmly and intimately" lighted which means there are no harsh lights...which means you walk up on large locusts without warning!) and the little bump in the street may be a leaf, a rock or a grasshopper or locust! These things do not bother Stanley but they surely do me. I HATE flying bugs. Oh....I absolutely hate them!
ok...Back to our morning routine. After our walk, I give Stanley his favorite treat, clean and refill his water bowl and then make my own breakfast. He and I used to get in the car and drive to Starbucks, but I now enjoy eating at home. I take my latte and toast to the living room sofa and Stanley has his treat, sitting next to me. He looks out onto the patio and barks at the birds and squirrels. Not too peaceful of a breakfast if you asked me, but it is a very pleasant routine that we both like.
You know, as I grow older I see life and its experiences differently. I have changed my habits and routines to become more simple. No longer is it about the go-go-go of the city life (including mornings at Starbucks), but instead it is about focusing on the essence of peace, security and joy of life. I make a point to take care of myself. I do things for myself to promote peace and balance inside and outside. The benefit I have is that I live alone and am self-sustaining...something I've worked hard at my entire life. I'm all about quiet days and nights, pleasant thoughts and calm environments. It's not the noise or busy activity I'm after. Instead, it's the balance of work and happiness, solitude and fellowship, independence and love.
Life has changed since I got Stanley. It makes me wonder how much more life would change if I got married. Wow, now that's a deep thought!
Stanley after his morning walk and treat. :)