I'm Walking My Dog...and His Name is HubPages
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?
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.
One of My Walking Routes (I Can Actually Walk From One State to Another)
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.
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
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
Epitaph and Tribute
The Hub You're Reading is the Second of Ten Hubs That I'm Writing for a Special HubPages Challenge
- Join Me in Four Hub Challenges in 2013
Who's ready to join me in some Hub Page Challenges? Read on for dates of my 4 Hub Page Challenges in 2013.
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.