The Walk

An Experiment

Jernee, The Little Monster: Becoming familiar with nature. Photo Credit/Tremaine L. Loadholt

nicknames aren’t what most aspire to.
we’re often saddled with descriptions
that lessen our personality,
but “the little Monster” suits Jernee.
on walks, she sets her eyes
curiously on nature’s green gifts,
sniffing out the elite versus the subpar.
she has a system.
I am watchful, yet patient.
I admire her investigative process, her
obsession with marking her territory.

I give her space to explore
crumbled earth between her toes,
the dust settling on her paws
becomes a lickable treat after two miles.
we break for hydration and deep breaths,
neither of us — as young as we feel.
during Winter, the dew-drenched grass
is slick and tricky but doesn’t trip
the quick pace of a four-legged athlete.
she glides through the sea of green
without stopping.

life is less difficult with her around.
the walks we take, they are glue
for pieces of me prone to breaking and
in need of constant repair.
she senses my love for them, for her.
in every step, I witness a pet
who is confident in her role as
caregiver, as companion.

I don’t have to be anyone else.
she gives me space to adapt
whenever adaptation is necessary.
I favor the weekend morning walk.
we stroll and strut and spend
our time wisely.
just us, the wind, God, and the clouds…

and the knowledge of a connection
between a woman and her dog.

My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. ©Edith Wharton

This is my eleventh year with Jernee by my side. You may hear people say, “I don’t know who rescued who,” but I do know and I can say without one shadow of doubt, that with her — I am much better. With her, I am alive.

No Little Sister, No Baby Girl…

Monterey and I at the shelter, connecting.
Monterey and I at the shelter, connecting. Again.

We had a home visit last night with this beautiful little one that you see me holding. Needless to say, my senior little one Jernee is NOT having it! The Foster Mom/Shelter Rep and I both agreed that she’d be better off in another home. I am happy to have gotten a chance to cuddle with this baby and connect with her on a small scale. 

It’s my old lady Jernee and I until it’s not. *Just look at her eyes!* But my heart is loyal to Jernee, she calls the shots. I just wish she’d be open to letting me love another little one as much as I love her. She’ll be eleven soon and her overprotective/possessive/jealous ways set the tone for our home. I have learned that Jernee will not make it a welcome space for a puppy and that hurts, but that’s life. 

Jernee, shortly after the home visit. When I look at those eyes, I cannot do anything else but love her.