Sunday, October 29, 2006


As it is our first Halloween with Diesel I thought I would partake in some classic, harmless dog torture. Well, maybe not harmless to the beagle's ego. He played along like a trooper though.

A vulture dressed up as a witch.

"May I please go trick or treating?"

"Please? For a good sit-up?"

On a mission.

Actually, the basket is more fun as a dog toy.

Imitating the infamous comic strip beagle.
(Great Pumpkin in the background.)

Okay, I've had my fun. Happy Halloween from Mark, Diesel, and I. Boo to you.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The fall of autumn

What happened to fall? It was apparent on our walk this morning that we skipped a season, going from a summery 70-plus degree weekend followed by this cold, below-freezing Thursday morning.

Early dog walks make the changes in season apparent. That's an obvious statement, I suppose, because, rather than being in bed, I'm outside in whatever elements the day has to offer. I often think I've gotten off easy so far … I could still count on probably less than ten fingers the number of times we've had to take a morning walk in the pouring rain. It did happen early this week though. Not a problem. I have excellent rain gear and Diesel is water-resilient. A quick, playful once-over with a towel and the boy is good as new. The only thing that will delay us is lightning, which also happened earlier this month.

Mid-September, seemingly out of no where, we were forced to grow accustomed to 6 a.m. walks in the pitch dark. It was time to pull out the reflective vest and flashing red bicycle light to protect ourselves from the bleary-eyed drivers making their way to work at 6:15 a.m. How early do *they* need to get up to walk their dogs? I can't imagine. Now we're settling in to the cold. Next comes the fluffy white stuff and we're reminiscent of last January when early morning dog walks with a brand new dog were a novelty indeed. How novel will they be this coming up January when we awake to 10°F and there's a layer of gray snow on the ground?

No matter. As I was walking this morning, experiencing the season's first truly cold morning with an ever-optimistic beagle at the other end of the leash, I couldn't imagine going back to waking up, making coffee, and immediately hopping in the shower. I haven't hit the snooze button once in over ten months and I don't miss it a bit. Breathing in fresh morning air has become the best part of my routine. Well, that, and the coffee.

But even coffee and fresh air don't top that first full-body wag of the day from my little dog fellow.