It was a nice day for a walk. The sky was blue, with dots of white clouds here and there. The ground was snow white, with dots of yellow here and there. I always look for the blue sky. Charlie always looks for the yellow snow. He found some right away at the base of the hydro pole that stands at the mouth of our driveway. After he had finished exploring it, he looked up at me. “Was I a rescue dog?” he asked. “No,” I said. “We got you from a breeder. Why do you ask?” Charlie set his back leg on the groundRead More →

The other day, when I told Charlie we were going for a walk he ran into the bedroom, jumped onto the bed and sat there looking at the television. The screen was dark, the way all screens are when they’re still turned off. When I got his leash and approached him, Charlie stood up on the bed, tail wagging. He looked at the screen and barked. Then he looked at me and barked again. I attached the leash and led him out the door. “Come on,” I said. “There’s nothing for us to watch on TV.” When we got to the hydro pole by theRead More →

We were half way down the street when Charlie stopped at one of his favorite hydro poles. It is used by a lot of his pals to leave messages for each other. Charlie sniffed around quite excitedly, then lifted his leg for a short spurt. “What’s all this about the Day of Mourning?” he asked as we started walking again. “It’s today,” I said. “A day set aside to remember the workers who have been killed or injured at work. Why? Where did you hear about it?” I needn’t have asked. I’m no longer even surprised when he hears about things like this. He always knows.Read More →

It was a lovely morning, all things considered. The breeze was a bit cool, and there was dampness in the air. If that’s the worst of it, I thought as Charlie and I set out for our walk around the block, we’re doing alright. It’s the middle of March, the school down the road is closed for the week, and we’re out and about in sweaters and running shoes. As Charlie stood beside the hydro pole, he looked up at me and asked about the bright green and white scarf around my neck. “It’s my Glasgow Celtic scarf,” I said. “Glasgow?” he said. “I’ve neverRead More →

A couple of weeks ago, we went for a short five day visit to Knoxville Tennessee. My sister-in-law lives there with her family and she was coming up to her 60th birthday. Lynne and I jumped in a car with a family friend and Lynne’s father and off we went. There wasn’t enough room in the car, so we left Charlie behind with his good friend Mickey. He is a small cockapoo, a bit smaller than Charlie but just as full of energy. They have been pals forever. Mickey and his man Grant would house sit with Charlie while we were away. When we gotRead More →

It has been almost like the winter that wasn’t, although we had a milder one four years ago. Still, we take them as we find them. At least, Charlie does. He was quite pleased with winter a couple of days ago.  Sometimes when we are out walking, he will choose the route. He does this with a set of very simple signals. So simple, in fact, that even I can understand them. If he doesn’t want to go where I want him to, he stops and puts his front right paw up on the leash and points his face in the direction he thinks weRead More →

This morning was a bit milder than it’s been lately, which makes for a slightly more pleasant wander around the block. Bouncing from one edge of the sidewalk to another doesn’t fit the description of a proper walk. Charlie sticking his nose into the snow banks every couple of feet makes a walk a lot longer. A proper walk is supposed to be purposeful. A walk is all about the destination and getting there as quickly and directly as you can. A wander, on the other hand, is all about the journey and the smells that can be found along the way. It doesn’t evenRead More →

When Charlie wants to go for a walk he sits close by and does a whiny sort of a noise. It’s not a bark, but he knows what he wants and he wants it twice a day. Just after breakfast, and just before supper. It also happens to be when all his friends are out for a walk as well. It happened again this afternoon. I was sitting at the computer, tapping away when he sat down beside me. “Okay,” I said. “In a minute. I just have to finish this thought.” About three thoughts later, he became more persistent. He started scratching my leg,Read More →

The mind of a dog is a mystery, and that’s not a bad thing. Mysteries contain nuggets of knowledge, and all you need is a key to unlock them. Puzzle over one for a while, and you’ll find the truth that lies below. That’s what makes a walk with Charlie such an adventure. You never know where you’ll go while you go around the block. We hadn’t gone very far last Sunday when I mentioned that it was the 26th anniversary of the day on which a man went into an engineering school in Montreal and killed 14 women. “Why did he do that?” CharlieRead More →