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I'm Walking My Dog...and His Name is HubPages

Updated on May 31, 2013
Headed Towards the Blue Mountains of Walla Walla
Headed Towards the Blue Mountains of Walla Walla | Source

A Scene Worth Mentioning

The other day, as I was strolling along in the final quarter mile of my hour-long walk, I saw the strangest thing. Not wanting to stop and stare, my head swiveled on my left shoulder as I walked past the unusual scene.

A dog stood perfectly still, as rigid as a statue, while an elderly woman used a wad of tissue to wipe its--how shall I put this?--southern hemisphere...

Okay, maybe what I'm describing here is old hat with some of you, but, honestly, I had never seen anything like that in all my life.

My town's no different than yours. We have municipal ordinances that require dog owners to clean up sidewalks, streets, and other people's yards of their pet pooches' bank deposits.

But this lovely woman was definitely going the extra mile and ensuring that Fido was not going to ever be called on the city hall carpet for leaving as much as a smear.

So why am I telling you all of this?

One of the Subdivisions Along Cottonwood Road in Walla Walla
One of the Subdivisions Along Cottonwood Road in Walla Walla | Source

My Dog's Low Maintenance

I have a dog, too. You can't see him, but he's there just the same.

And one of the cool things about him is that I don't ever have to pick up or wipe up any messes.

Faithfully, without fail, he shows up at my side the moment I take my first meandering step outside of my front yard.

Like you, I don't see him, too. I just sense his presence.

Every now and then, like any other canine, he'll circle around a bush, chase after a squirrel, or bark and race after a passing cyclist, especially the ones who rudely neglect to ring a bell or call out a courtesy warning that they're approaching from behind me and passing on my right. (Incidentally,dude or dudette, why are you riding on the pedestrian sidewalk, and on the left side of the road, anyway?)

There's been no formal instruction handed down to me, nor have I read any signs or literature about the matter, but with conventional common sense and by personal choice, I walk on the left side of the road. That way, when the first cop in heaven shows up, I'll be able to give him a description and at least the first three letters and/or digits of the last license plate I saw on earth. Not that it'll matter much by then, but I lean a bit towards OCD behavior.

Apparently, so does my dog.

An Equine Friend We Greeted Along Powerline Road
An Equine Friend We Greeted Along Powerline Road | Source

One of My Walking Routes (I Can Actually Walk From One State to Another)

HP

Yep, my dog's a creature of habit...and then some.

Where did I find him? Well, actually, he found me. On January 1, 2013, when I began my walking regimen, I noticed--or, more accurately, as I mentioned a few seconds ago, sensed--a presence at my side.

In the beginning, I simply ignored him, thinking he'd soon return to the comfort of whatever yard he'd come from.

My behavior wasn't so much antisocial as it was a matter of survival. In the early going, you see, I was too busy gasping for air. My former profession as a sedentary tuber, aka couch potato, had not challenged my ability to take in oxygen in an efficient manner. The air I breathed in my living room was comfortably saturated with the aroma of popcorn, potato chips, and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. January found me virginal, therefore, in my labored attempts to adjust to the strange and menthol outdoorsy air.

But companion pooch never once complained. He just sauntered along beside me, taking in everything I was experiencing and observing. If I struggled, he struggled, too. If I found a resurgence of strength, he found it, too. If I then was capable of watching the hawk soaring overhead, a mouse limply dangling in the bird of prey's mighty talons, my dog watched it, too.

My dog?

How very interesting. Without intending to, and as naturally as my lungs were gradually acclimating to the fresh air sweeping down from the Blue Mountains into the vacuum of the Walla Walla Valley, I had begun using the first person possessive pronoun for my walking companion.

A month and half into meeting my goals for 2013--especially a commitment to this walking program--I have the perfect nickname for my faithful friend.

It's HP, short for HubPages.

Walla Walla Means Many Waters

One of Many Streams in the Walla Walla Valley
One of Many Streams in the Walla Walla Valley | Source
Looking East As We Walked South Towards Oregon
Looking East As We Walked South Towards Oregon | Source
HP and I Wished We Had Some Fly Fishing Gear
HP and I Wished We Had Some Fly Fishing Gear | Source
Grow Tubes Utilized at a Walla Walla Vineyard
Grow Tubes Utilized at a Walla Walla Vineyard | Source

Everything I See On My Walks is a Potential Hub

A pretty cool phenomenon, alright, is this business of literally as well as figuratively seeing a dozen different hubs (and that's truly a conservative estimate, my friends) with every walk I take with HP.

And it's not always about what I see. It's also about what I'm ruminating on at any given moment.

I walk about five days each week, never for less than an hour and sometimes up to two hours, ranging anywhere from 3-1/2 to 8 miles. During those walks, I'm chewing the fat in a couple of ways.

  • Physiologically, my body's abundant fat reserves are gradually being masticulated by virtue of these LSD (long, slow, distance) walks.
  • Intellectually, my brain is grinding away at a cerebral keyboard with every step I take, planting seeds--as diligently as the Walla Walla wheat farmers--of future articles in my prefrontal lobe and hippocampus regions. It's simultaneously processing a single hub idea from a week ago or a near collision of multiple hubs converging at a million times the speed of light at a congested intersection.

The more I walk, the less distress I experience about all the cerebral activity going on. Like the aftermath of a good sneeze or a super hot jalapeno, my head clears up about a mile into each walk, and the creative juices are free to surf the banzai pipelines in my medulla oblongata.

And HP, bless his little heart, is with me every step of the way.

Sights HP and I Enjoyed on Our February Walk

There are Giants in the Walla Walla Valley
There are Giants in the Walla Walla Valley | Source
Favorite Pond of Visiting Canadian Geese
Favorite Pond of Visiting Canadian Geese | Source
Pond Adjacent to Taumarson Road in Walla Walla
Pond Adjacent to Taumarson Road in Walla Walla | Source
Nice Walkway Along Taumarson Road
Nice Walkway Along Taumarson Road | Source
Dormant Trees About to Spring to Life at Fort Walla Walla
Dormant Trees About to Spring to Life at Fort Walla Walla | Source
BMX Trail at Fort Walla Walla Park
BMX Trail at Fort Walla Walla Park | Source
A Popular Walkway Along Dalles Military Road in College Place
A Popular Walkway Along Dalles Military Road in College Place | Source

Epitaph and Tribute

A Fallen Comrade (...and He's NOT Just Playing Possum)
A Fallen Comrade (...and He's NOT Just Playing Possum) | Source

The Final Word

My loyal walking companion, HP, and I would like to salute the gallant men, women, children, and pets who brave the elements on a regular basis to walk the roads, paths, and trails of America.

Some of us--as evidenced by our unfortunate friend in the immediate photo above--lose more than a few pounds as we stroll along life's byways and highways.

Which brings us to this cautionary note...or two--

Children, don't go walking until you've first secured permission to do so from your parents. Even then, be sure to walk in groups of four or more of your friends. Better yet, walk with your parents or with adults your parents have pre-approved. And, above all, remember the three basic tenets of being a responsible pedestrian--STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN!

Adults, certainly it's your choice as to when you walk. Health experts, however, recommend walking in the early morning so that your body can efficiently burn calories all day long. Come bedtime, you'll be pleasantly fatigued and ready for a good night's rest.

Pets, depending on your territorial flexibility, you'll find it fun to go walking with your human companions. You need to assert up front, however, what you expect from them. Use your powers of negotiation and innate charm to establish when and where you need to go, and--as aptly illustrated in the first section of text above--whether or not you need to be wiped.

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Jo! I know I trip a lot in my writing, but I have always sought to share my sincere and personal voice with others. And if by doing that, it helps my readers to imagine that they are walking with me, both literally and metaphorically, then I am that much closer to being a good writer. Blessings, shalom, and aloha to you this memorable Thanksgiving week!

    ~Joe

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

    I loved the photos you have taken along your travels. They are breath taking. You have explained so well on why it is important to experience life and nature. And with the little guy who was called to possum heaven. It gives one a reality of how very precious life is. Awesome, shared and Up ++++.

    Shalom & Aloha!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Karen Hellier

    Ha-ha! I laugh because my OCD did kick in, and I gingerly walked back a couple of times to make sure he really was eternally sleeping. Saw another dead opossum just yesterday, this one on the side of the road. They're nocturnal critters, and they go foraging for food at night. The roads aren't well lit in the country, and even if they were, the opossum's speed is no match for the oncoming cars. True story, by the way, about the old woman wiping her dog. It left indelible images on my already feeble brain.

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

    This is truly amazing. You are honestly one of the most creative writers I have ever met. Your thought process is quite unusual, and I mean that in a very positive way. When you become rich and famous because you have combined your many entertaining hubs into volumes 1 - 10 of the world according to Hawaiian Odysseus, please don't forget your dog HP, and all his friends, canine and otherwise, here at Hub Pages where you got your start. Bravo my friend. Very well and creatively done. ( So sorry about your comrade above. Did you hang around a bit just to make sure he wasn't "playin' possum?'

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @tillsontitan

    Thanks, Mary, for the birthday wishes for Mom! Yes, I certainly will take good pictures while I'm in Kona and Hilo and will most definitely feature them in a few hubs either while I'm still there or upon my return to the mainland.

    I can't believe the wonderful weather we're having over here in Walla Walla. I just hope this isn't going to be one of those meteorologically backward years. Either that, or we're off to a sizzling start like the Seattle Mariners do each baseball season...only to fizzle into the dreary, overcast, and rainy despair of being in last place in the American League West. Ah, hope springs eternal!

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    You really are amazing HawaiiO, I hope you jog better than I :) Congratulations to your Mom on her 80th! What a wonderful milestone. Yes sir, whether you write hubs while you're home or not you had better take LOTS of pictures and share them with us! Enjoy my friend.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @tillsontitan

    Oh, Mary, thank you so much for your visit. I'm in the midst of cramming for final exams--haha!--actually, they're much overdue hubs for Karen Hellier's Ten Hubs in Ten Days Challenge. Writing requires such discipline, which I severely lack...but I do my best. I wish I could write as prolifically as I've been walking lately...a wide spectrum of ideas come rushing at me each menthol morning, and that's a good thing...but then I get so tied up in my eBay work and the cares of life. I'm really looking forward to the week on the Big Island when some of my siblings, their families, and I celebrate Mom's 80th birthday. My goal is to write a hub a day while I'm there, utilizing a lot of beautiful photos of the island and some guest appearances of ohana. We've definitely had an early spring over here, but as can be customary in the Walla Walla Valley, meteorological surprises lurk behind every corner. I'm about ready to go for my Saturday morning walk. Yes, to get to the 1000 miles in one year goal, I knew I would have to walk at least 3 miles each day, thus giving me an ample amount of days off to rest or in consideration of inclement weather. The most enjoyable walks have been in the 5 to 8 mile range, and I've definitely learned a lot of street names. Sometimes, I challenge myself to a bit of 50 yard dashes (I must look a sight!), and each month, I'll add a tenth of a mile more of jogging...the goal being the ability to jog a mile by the tenth month. Very modest goals, but it took years to put on the weight, so I'm pacing the loss of same. That way, I won't discourage myself. Glad you stopped by for a visit. Looking forward to reading your next hub!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Thank you for your nice visit. I came upon your kind comments this morning, just prior to my walk, and was happy to hear from you. As prolific a writer as you are, I believe you have a system of gathering and organizing your various topics. I admire that, Rajan. For the niches I gravitate towards, I rely on the faithful canine (aka spontaneity, maybe even impulsivity). It's a haphazard way to go, I know, but sometimes I get lucky. It's wonderful to learn from intelligent, articulate, and talented writers like you and so many others who have been wonderful sources of inspiration for me. Here's wishing all of us a banner year of writing and celebrating the joy of living!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    I can see why you are so addicted to your daily walk now and I'm NOT referring to the beautiful lush outdoors , which I would give anything for!

    Glad you have your not so canine friend as company all the way.

    As always, I really enjoyed reading this too.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    I thought it was colder in Washington than here, but your walk and photos are telling me differently. I love my dog HawaiiO but there's no way on God's green earth I'm wiping his butt!

    I have another issue here, you just started walking and you walk OVER three miles a day? You're making me look bad and please don't tell my dog!

    As is everything you write, this was original and enjoyable.

    Voted up, useful, funny and awesome. Loved the photos.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @quildon

    I had a nice chuckle over your reference to the woman and the dog in the first paragraph. These things are funnier when I consider that they really happened. My wife told me later that maybe the woman didn't want the dog sitting on her nice furniture knowing full well what she might have seen him (or her) do earlier. I don't know where I've been, but I'd never seen anything like it before. My adult son puts clothing on his little dog, and I crack up over the pictures of that. Oh, well...the longer I live, the more I'm surprised, and I like it like that.

    Thank you for reading and commenting. So nice to hear from you again. Have a great weekend!

  • quildon profile image

    Angela Joseph 4 years ago from Florida

    Is the color of the ponds for real? I mean, they are amazing! I passed through Washington in 2010 on my way to Alaska, but never got a chance to experience all that beauty. I agree with you about walking. Sometimes I go on the treadmill, but it can never compare to a walk in the great outdoors. Voted up and funny because of the woman and the dog in the first paragraph. LOL

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @twoseven

    Spring seems to have arrived here in southeast Washington a month early, and I am delighted to take full advantage of the nice weather. With meteorological patterns going askew in recent years, however, I wonder if perhaps our region still has some surprises in store. Thank you very much for taking time to visit by way of this hub and for your nice comments. May you and your loved ones be safe and warm during the snow season.

  • twoseven profile image

    twoseven 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    Beautiful pictures! It made me feel like I was on a walk in the great northwest, instead of stuck inside in the middle of a midwest winter! I also agree walking is so wonderful for the body and mind. Great hub!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    Thank you very much for your kind words, my friend! The pictures above were taken on February 1st. I had wanted to start the new month with a long walk. After my wife dropped me off at the entrance to the hospital she works at, I decided to walk in a southeasterly direction, thinking I could turn west at any time and head back home. Unfortunately, I ended up getting closer to the mountains. When I did find a road that turned to the right--and what I thought was the way home--it was actually headed due south for the Oregon border. Good thing I decided to retrace my steps about a mile because I then found a road that led me home. Anyway, what was supposed to have been a 5 mile walk ended up being 8 miles. I was so dehydrated, and I soon discovered that I'd lost 3 pounds of water. But at least I got to take a few pictures that day, and now they're part of this hub. Thank you for stopping by. See you at your next hub!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Up all the way on this one HO! You have outdone your own talented and fine-writing self here. This is a great Hub in every sense of the word. You have "wiped" out the rest of us this day on your Odyssesus-like journey. Great!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @denimorro

    I'm with you a hundred percent! When I was living in Seattle for a season, I encountered a lot of Pacific Islanders who either attended school in the Pacific Northwest or retired from their police, fire fighting, and other professions in the 50th state to settle down here in Washington state. My wife, infant son, and I actually spent the night in Cheney back in '87 so that I could make it to the starting line of the 7.5 mile Bloomsday Race in Spokane the next morning. Beautiful area with so many similarities to the WW Valley. Anyway, I was fortunate enough to finish in the top 4 percent of the 50,000+ runners...but I can tell you my humility was definitely intact when I labored up the quarter mile or so of Doomsday Hill. Man alive! It seemed like it was a perpetual 45-degree incline. Anyway, as I was wheezing my way up the hill, a woman who must've been in her seventies came dashing past me. Talk about eating humble pie for the duration of the race. LOL! Good times! Thanks for your wonderful comments and for triggering the equally wonderful memories.

  • denimorro profile image

    Deni Morro 4 years ago from United States

    Aloha,

    Beautiful place. Dad almost bought a place in Walla Walla, decided on Cheney near Spokane instead. Washington State is absolutely beautiful.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    One of the things this Hawaiian Peter Pan will do his best not to do is to ever grow up. LOL! So with that in mind, my childlike imagination is still going full throttle, HP and all!

    Yes, there are so many beautiful places that I see on my walks. It's funny how being on foot rather than depending on a car to get me from point A to point B can actually leave me feeling more liberated. At five years old, I was walking a mile to and from school every day...perhaps, I'm reverting to fifty-five year old memories of feeling good about being a "big boy" and walking to kindergarten every day. (It helped that I had a crush on my teacher as well as one of my female classmates.) Thank you for being the very first to comment on this hub, wnd! Roscoe and company should like this one about a fellow canine.

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Hawaii,

    Such lovely pictures. It must be a joy walking seeing such scenery.

    I kept thinking that this dog befriended you and happened to find you on the days you walk. But I realize this is an imaginary dog. Right? Anyway that is a great write up, to have me wondering now, is this dog real or not?

    And imaginary or not, i love the name HP.

    Great going on your challenge and on your healthy walks. Looking forward for more.

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