Its early evening, the forest birds are singing their sweet song, "Drink your tea" (name that bird!). The girl, the boy and I are doing the usual round the block walk through our quaint little woodsey neighborhood. Sparkey is off leash as much as possible these days, mostly taking his time grazing on fresh, green grasses of spring (salad boy, and here we are making all these meats for him. maybe he is trying ot tell us he wants to go vegan, hehehe--not!)
I stop and chat with two neighbor ladies and am aware how Sparkey takes full avantage of this moment and saunters off. He is within my field of vision so i keep chatting. But when i can no longer see him, i abruptly end the visit and run into the direction the old boy has headed.
I catch sight of Sparkey's white-tipped-tail bobbing up and down from his slightly goofy gallop as he makes a bee line for his old trail out of the neighborhood (to another neighborhood where he's enjoyed making his rounds whenever he escapes from walks with humanoids.) I holler out his name, "Sparkey" as Tina and i run after him. I am laughing out loud (whereas i used to get peeved in his stud day) and its obvious he cannot hear my calls. Finally i get close enough and when he hears me, he is startled to a halt. I am delighted that he still has it in him, but i say what I alwway do when he runs away. in a shaming but partly playful tone, i say,"You ran away", to which his ears go back in guilt, but his tongue is haning out and he pants in the glory of his brief independence.
Sparkey spent his early years in a forested hilltown where he was rarely on leash. It was country and we would just open the back door and let him out, shooing him away from the road and sending him off to see his friend, Amos, (literally saying, "Go see Amos"--and he would!) So, moving to the valley below meant leash laws and neighbors who didnt appreciate Sparkey's friendliness (at first anyway) or our lawlessness with our dogs, so we kept tighter reigns on Sparkey (and Tina, the traffic dingbat, always on leash for walks til we get to free space). But when Sparkey's hearing began to wane, his street smarts became greatly impaired and we all adjusted to walking the Bob on leash. Now that he is so slow, we are lettign him be leash free again and are just really careful and close-by. But he just proved that he aint too old for spring fever, and to him i tip my hat!