Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

Empty-headed walks enjoyed by man and dog

September 21, 2006

I walk my dog Pablo late in the evening from 10 to midnight.

His walks are an important part of his day, and he does get impatient. But he knows me to be dependable, and he's used to the schedule.

Pablo also doesn't like the heat, so he was OK with the cooler late night walks during the summer. He can also morph into his tough-guy persona Pablo Escobark with other males, so the late walks remove any potential problems on that score.

Although it is fast disappearing, the found another treat from our late walks. He's just crazy about cicada and pounces on the floundering bugs lying under streetlights, seeming to get a special treat as they buzz in his mouth. He can eat up to 10 on a 1.5-mile walk.

At the risk of revealing a confidence, I learned this week I'm something of a sloth when walking my dog. De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle told me he recites poetry and Shakespeare when walking his dog. To make his point, he launched into Mark Anthony's rabble-rousing homage to Julius Caesar.

It helps pass the time of the nightly chore, Guilfoyle said.

I'm impressed. Things like that have to be good for clearing out those cobwebs slowly creeping from the corners of consciousness before they tangle us in full-fledged dementia. If I were a resident of De Soto, I would find it comforting the city's top employee feels compelled to fill every waking moment with brain-stretching mind work.

Fortunately for Pablo, I'm more at home with an empty head.

One recent evening, I pulled into Baldwin at the end of a day's work realizing the last 10 or so miles were a complete blank to me. Granted, the drive isn't complicated. It requires only one turn and a couple of slight adjustments to keep the care on the roadway. But still, you would think something of the scenery or traffic would have left an impression.

It's much the same as Pablo and I take the same walk every night. My mind wanders as I walk by the same homes with architecture I never get tired of admiring, the walnut tree that when backlit by a streetlight presents the profile of Abe Lincoln and the Baker University campus with its fake babbling brook. I ogle the stars above, spotting the more pronounced constellations and Milky Way, overcome with my triviality.

All the while, Pablo tugs on the chain, leaving his calling card and sniffing out those of others, flushing out cats and walking two miles for every mile I cover.

An empty mind can be a happy mind.

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