I am on a wellness and fitness kick. BORING-I know. Being on a fitness kick in south Texas in August is good because it is so freaking hot that you burn more calories just trying to keep your body cooled. It is also horrible because it is so freaking hot. The heat index yesterday was 106!
In the morning I did work around the barn. There was a lot to catch up on. I have a pedometer to keep track of my steps and had walked a couple of miles just doing chores. I decided to get back to the walking habit I used to enjoy in Florida-trying to walk three miles a day (most days).
Lauren and Blake were off to World of Hunting or some equally exciting trade show. I was off to the state park with Kona. The closest one was Bravos Bend State Park-known for its swamps and alligators. I was guessing that the dry spell we were in would have minimized the swamp and driven the alligators off the beaten path (I hoped).
I was smart enough to bring water but not smart to bring with us when we started walking. We headed down a path in the woods. Kona thought I was nuts. First, why were we walking when it was so hot? Second, where were we? I might live in the country, but Kona might as well have been dropped in the jungles of Southeast Asia for all that was familiar to him. In our rural little corner of the world, there are unlimited views, corn, grass and some more grass.
From the moment we stepped onto the trail, Kona acted like a high-strung Arabian at his first parade. He jumped at every little sound. The squirrels in the tree sent him spinning (I have no idea why we do not have any squirrels but we do not). The breeze rattling the palms sent him scampering away. As we continued down the path (headed toward the 40 Acre Lake-according to the map) Kona walked along with me but was ever vigilant, shying away from imagined foes.
I was really surprised. Kona has successfully negotiated many horse show venues, been inside Reliant Arena with no issues, hung out with the residents at the nursing home, but Bravos Bend park was undoing my poodle. I think his senses were overloaded with all the intense smells, the sounds of insects, animals and who knows what and the glimpses of unknown animals through the wooded knolls. As we walked along, we both got hotter but Kona never really settled in. Kona kept pulling me into the shade on the side of the trail as if to say, let’s stop here-we can hang out where it is cooler.
As we made the loop around, deer jumped out about 200 yards ahead of us. Kona halted. His nose to the wind. Pointing. He gave a little bark and would have given chase. He had no idea what those strange animals were but they looked a little like small ponies so at least Kona had something to relate to.
I think the only time Kona was comfortable was when we finally stopped at the turn-around point on a wooden bench. He immediately jumped up beside me as if to say ‘this is more like it!’.
We took a picture together (there may be something a little sad about taking a selfie with your poodle) and headed home.