I was out riding my mountain bike with Buddy this morning. Well, I was on the bike. Buddy was running beside me. He’s our almost 3 year Golden Retriever.
It’s our usual morning routine, as long as the weather isn’t too bad. He gets breakfast, and then I take him out on the bike for his morning business, if you know what I mean. We’ll go down the lane and he’ll stop for #1.
You’ve got to be ready for that moment. It often comes with little warning. If you’re not paying attention, someone’s getting pulled off the bike, and it’s not him.
I used to run with Buddy, but once he got full size, I realized that my running was really just a slow trot for him. One day I had an epiphany: “What if I took him out on the bike?” So I tested it on our lane.
The first time, he was pretty excited, because all of a sudden, he could really open it up. The trick was getting him to stay off to the side and not get too far ahead; or worse, cross over in front of me!
I use a fairly short leash that’s long enough to give us some wiggle room, but short enough to keep him close. For the most part, we’re good to go, but like I said, you’ve got to be ready for anything.
One time, we flushed out some birds that were eating the left-over corn pickin’s that didn’t make it into the storage bins next door. Obviously, he’s much better at this than I am. I didn’t even see them, but he not only saw em, he’d already formulated a plan of attack.
We made such an unexpected left turn that I just barely got my foot down, like those motorcycle racers leaning into and skidding through the curves. Sadly (for Buddy), the birds just flew off, and we continued on our way.
He likes snarfing up last season’s corn cobs too. It’s kind of like a vacuum cleaner on hyperdrive. I’ll be rolling along down the lane, with him about six feet off to the side on the edge of the corn field. He puts his head down, and grabs a cob while still running full tilt boggy. I think he thinks he’s retrieving.
Sooner or later, though, he starts slowing down. He’s got a couple different modes of sniffing. When we’re on an exercise ride/run, I don’t let him really put his nose down. He’ll smell last years possum, and follow its meandering trail wherever it goes. This isn’t serious exercise, nor is it very helpful for the guy on the bike.
The smell mode I’m waiting for is his partial smell approach, which I guess is half seeing and half smelling. At that point, I have to be ready, for once he finds that perfect spot for #2, we’re stopping. Like now. I should say he’s stopping. That means I’m stopping too, if I don’t want to be jerked off the bike.
It’s funny. He always looks away from me when he does his business. I guess he doesn’t want to be embarrassed. At least I can see how it’s going. Seriously, because once done, he’s off like a rocket. I guess he feels better, being lighter and all.
I like our morning rides. It gives me a chance to wake up, and it gives Buddy some pretty good exercise too. It also keeps his business from getting piled up and clustered in our yard like land mines off our country’s coast during WWII.
We’ve had a few of those during those winter storms when it was too cold to get out on the bike. Thank God for Spring, a long lane, and country livin’!