Monday, February 9, 2009

The Walking Stick


It's me again.


You remember me. I am short, brown, fury.

I have a snout and a wagging tail.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about the importance of the walking stick.

I take regular walks in the mountains.

The first thing I try to do on a walk is find a good walking stick.

A walking stick can help one maintain their balance and stay a fall.

I find that the best walking sticks are found in the middle of streams.

If there is a stick in a stream; I go absolutely gaga.

Most of the time, however, I find a stick by the side of the trail.

When I can't find a stick, I like to rip up a small tree by its roots.

My human tries to stop me when I do this. But I say a dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do.

I find that the best sticks are about a foot longer than the dog is from tip of snout to tip of tail. A good stick will weigh about half the weight of the dog.

When I am totally stretched out, I am about five feet from the tippy tip of my snout to the tippy tip of my tail. I weigh about 40 lbs. So a perfect stick will be about 6 foot long and weigh twenty pounds.

Now, sticks are strange things. Some sticks have two ends and a middle. The sticks with a middle are really easy to carry. You just grab them in the middle, near the center of gravity, and you can run down the trail with the tail wagging.

Unfortunately, there are many sticks that don't have middles and these are really hard to carry. When a stick doesn't have a middle you have to pick it up by the end and contort yourself to offset the weight of the stick. This is really hard when the dog and stick weigh about the same amount.

Yes. It would be great if all sticks had middles. Then one could simply drop the stick and pick it up in the middle.

But they don't and dogs have to suffer.

Of course, sticks with centers don't solve all of the problems. On my favorite trail, there is a place where you have to go between two trees that are only three feet apart.

These are greedy trees that don't like doggies.

I will be running along happily with a 5 foot long stick in snout. I will run between the greedy trees … and, whammo, I've entered a dark space with twirling stars.

It is a real challenge. I've tried walking forward through the trees. I've tried walking with the stick backwards between the trees. There is just no way to get a five foot long stick between two trees that are three feet apart.

As in all of the difficult challenges in life, don't look to your human for help. Humans roll on the ground making that strange laughing noise that is unique to their species (and hyenas).

Speaking of humans, Humans don't want their dogs to have walking sticks. When I find a really good stick, my human will try tugging it from my snout, then will throw it in a random direction.

Here. Let me demonstrate.

I will put the stick at his feet.

There. He threw it.

I will run and get it and put it at his feet again.

See. Twice.

The human just throws the stick away. This time it went in a really deep snow bank.

What does he think I am?

This is really hard work. Let's try it again.

Come on human. Throw the Stick. Throw the stick.

See. The humans just do this over and over again.

I love a good stick. The stick makes the walk.

a poorly designe stick

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