Today I got a surprise phone call to walk a neighbor's dog. They were coming back from vacation, made an unexpected stop, and needed one more night of dog relief duty from someone, and I was the third house they called.
I've gone with my daughter (who has been taking care of their cats) this week to give Sake some attention and meet the cats (Mango, in particular, is a slender funny ginger male, and I can get any of them purring with the right use of my hands). Today he was glad to see me, as usual. He comes up, leans against me, and wags his tail happily.
But when I pulled the leash off the nearby doorknob he jumped up and down like a puppy. His excitement made me so glad I was taking him out. It's such a strong simple pleasure to make a creature that happy.
It has been probably over 10 years since the last time I had a dog on a leash, and Sake is sweet but probably weighs around 100 pounds. The feel of him gently pulling one way or another was very familiar. He's part German Shepherd and part something else, Great Dane, maybe; we had shepherds when I was a kid, so I remember their size and pull. He got to check out and mark his own back yard, up the street and back, and then our back yard, which is pretty dog free and totally new to Saki.
The entire walk was overshadowed by the boom of approaching thunder, which seemed to make Sake just a bit nervous. After one round of the street and the back yards, he went right back to his house and up the steps. I'm not sure if he's just used to that much walk being the routine, or if he wanted to get inside before the rain.