I often wonder what other people must think...when they see me and my Samwise walking together.
We live in a rather rural area, and so our particular mode of walking is freestyle; definitely unlike the more controlled walk that we must assume, out of necessity, when out and about in the city or public.
The first wee bit of our walk, along a quiet stretch that passes just a few other homes, is our warm-up, a stretching out. Hooked to the back clip of his double clip harness, on a long line, Sam is, at first, allowed a safe bit of freedom. He roams willy-nilly within the boundaries of my worry, and sniffs at will, here and there, all around, and back again.
This initial frantic choreography may seem, to some, to be chaotic..but it is actually a detailed routine intended to dissipate Sam's morning zoomies and reduce the chance of chaos further down the road. An upbeat square dance - with me as caller:
*Whoa!*...When Sam nears the end of the line.
*Pull!*...When he reaches it.
*With me!*...To bring him back in.
*Go sniff!*...to send him back out again.
When we get to the more populated stretch of road along the way, I switch our connection from back to front clip - our cue to move into a slower time and rhythm. Quieter...not so entertaining now for those who may spectating, I'm sad to say. No longer bellowing out orders, I now simply ask for a quiet *Heel*, and we move into a slow, parallel two-step. Every so often, we throw in a loop or a figure-eight, a stop or start, a change in tempo, to reinforce the importance of staying side-by-side when moving together in this way.
This is always my favourite part of the program...but then, I'm the quiet half of the duo. Sam is so much more exuberant than me...about all things.
And so, as we return to our quiet laneway; to the place where civilization gives way to the abandoned openness of fields - he stops, and waits. His head comes up, and he looks at me, his eyes blazing, saying...OK, watch this!
I yell *Zoom* as I set him free - and he launches himself into a Golden solo performance; explodes into drama...whirling about the land in his own wild ballet of leaps and jumps and turns. I can do nothing more than watch from the sidelines, at this point.
Oh, at random moments, I may jump up and down, and wave and scream like I know a younger version of myself was once known to do in dance bars and clubs (now, I just do it to make myself more interesting than a squirrel).
But, it's doubtful that anybody would even notice my contribution...because Samwise is the obvious star of each, and every, daily walk's grand finale. He is dazzling, and brilliant...simply because, with a total lack of restraint that only a dog can truly pull off, he simply, and always, dances like absolutely nobody is watching.