On the Path with an old friend
Myself and my old dog walk along a path in the woods. The aged beagle loves these short journeys we take into the tree lined fields near our back yard. It’s one of the few times he gets to stretch his stubby legs and go outside during the winter.
We follow a trail that’s not that well-worn. It has weeds and broken branches from small trees, all broken in this weather, squeezing our way forward. I take small, cautious steps along the icy path. My dog friend happily scampers across the snowy trail, without a care or a bit of trepidation.
He has caught the scent of a deer that has long since passed. He cannot be stopped from following this intriguing odor. He leaves me far behind, smelling and running, picking up more of the buck’s tracks.
I can only watch, unable to keep up with his pace. He takes off and leaves me in his wake. Every few yards along the path, the dog looks back at my uncoordinated attempts to stay with him. He tries to urge me too keep up with his canine pace.
Even I can follow the hoof prints of the deer in the snow. The ice and narrowness of the path make it impossible for me to maintain the dog’s case of this illusive beast. I try my best, but am left far behind my old friend’s fast pace.
I call to the dog to stop, with little result and no avail. He is determined to catch the long gone deer that is probably twice his size. His grey snout bent to the ground as he stalks this invisible prey. He finally stops and looks up at his incompetent companion far behind him. He turns and cocks his head back at me. He gives me a quizzical look as I yell out his name in vain.
He trots back to me like a champion, proudly bouncing his old body at a slow pace. He rest himself at my feet and waits for me to scratch his head in victory.
I heap praise on my mature friend for deciding to wait for me.
“Good boy, “I cluck at him and pet him on his neck. “ It’s time to head back home.”
I hook his chain back to his collar. We walk back to our house together, the cold winter wind at our backs. The path seems wider on our way. We both begin to trot along this snowy trail home. It will be warm and safe there.
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