One thing we’ve begun to notice over the past several months is that Penny isn’t quite as worn out by our morning walk to the top of Mt Miramar as she used to be, and that she is almost always ready to go-go-go when we get home from work in the afternoon. At 2 ½ years old, it’s not a big surprise that she is coming into the peak of her energy level.
Recently, rather than a leash-walk (which is boring) I’ve been taking her to the end of our cul-de-sac which opens out onto the flanks of the hill that The Aerie sits on. There, she gets to run around, but my attempts to turn these times into tennis ball retrieving sessions have resulted in a few too many Penn1s being left behind to create nesting material.
Of course, Penny isn’t the only one that needs exercise so over the past month or so I’ve been taking late afternoon excursions out onto the chaparral with her after she gets her initial runs in. Yesterday was a gorgeous, misty late afternoon so I thought to take along my camera.
We walk down away from our house into the brush. There aren’t really any trails, but the native plants are mostly grasses (completely dead this time of year) and bushes (don’t trip into the sticker-ones) that are sparse enough so that it’s not too hard to make your way around them and the exposed boulders that dot the slopes. With a call of “Dog in front!” Penny seems very happy to take the lead and chase bunnies and flush doves and quail while I come along behind.
After a while, we angle our way up, miaking our way to one of the trails in the open space park above our neighborhood, which we call The Red Trail – for pretty obvious reasons. There are a couple of big dips and climbs and one of us always seems to be waiting for the other at the top.
The Red Trail winds back to the other side of our neighborhood and we complete the circuit on-leash. Penny is worn out after all that running (for a little while at least) and I’ve come to like these trips too – I like the crunch of the grass under my shoes, seeing if I can spot any critters, and the peace of just walking in quiet and getting a chance to reflect on the day.