When we lived in New Hampshire I would walk a two mile loop with my friend Judy every morning.
This was good exercise for us and a chance to get some fresh air.
When the pups were on their morning out I would call her, which was the prompt to put on her shoes and come down to meet me.
We were very consistent. Since the pups always had to go out every morning, which meant I had to be out in all kinds of weather, there were few excuses not to. I mean, once you're dressed and standing in the rain why not walk?
It hasn't been that simple here in New York.
First off, we have a yard again so I can stand on the porch in my pajamas watching the pups romp.
Second off, walking by myself isn't as fun.
So I decided to take Samson with me as company and in a vain attempt to wear him out.
Or should I say eye opening?
Now, Samson has run off a few times. When we first moved here he mainly ran off to the landlord's house across the property to harass their dog.
Luckily he is beautiful and charming and they like dogs so they don't seem to mind much. The landlord also realized he could just order Samson to "go home!" and he would.
But then he started expanding his territory.
I realized just how much on our first walk.
I let him be off the leash because he pulls too much (still) and he walked with purpose and determination. He stuck to the right hand side of the street, but then occasionally crossed to the left hand side to sniff and pee on a particular tree or fence.
Then he'd cross back.
Of course, he didn't look either direction when he crossed, which was heart stopping. We're on a dead end road, so it's relatively quiet but people tend to fly down it.
There is a field and a barn up the road and he detoured into the field and around the barn when we got there.
He continued to lead the way until we reached the big end in the road half a mile away.
There is a large apron on the bend because there is an access road going into the fields.
He trotted into the apron to pee on the fence posts. I continued to the far end of the apron and stopped to wait for him. Shortly after we moved here I mapped out both a two mile and a three mile loop and I was ready to keep going.
Samson had other ideas.
After he left his calling card he trotted over to me. However, instead of blazing the trail as he'd been doing he stopped, looked at me, and then headed for home.
We'd reached the end of his territory.
He'd checked the perimiter and it was time to head back.
Holy smokes, is that where he'd been running off to?
I followed him home and he repeated the behavior of crossing at set points to make his mark.
A routine was definitely in place.
The thing is, however, I'd never noticed that he disappeared long enough to do the entire mile loop and I never noticed him coming home as tired as he did from our walk.
My suspicions were supported a few days later when I let Baru come along. It was immediately apparent that Baru knew the patrol route as well!
Those dogs are a caution.