Rain and I took a walk last week under cover of darkness. The streets are nearly empty in our neighborhood once it starts getting dark early and the rainy season starts. People who may leave their dogs outside to hang out in the yard in August generally have them inside in October. It’s chilly and wet. Inside their houses people are eating dinner or settling in to watch television.
In other words, it’s an awesome time to walk! We’re less likely to encounter anything that will set Rain barking, or will bark at Rain. She can sniff the damp ground to her heart’s content. We both get exercise and time to be simultaneously alone and together.
There are three walking routes I’ve tested and approved in our neighborhood: short, medium, and long. On this night we took the medium route, which had us rounding the corner at Grocery Outlet. Business seemed slow that evening. As we strolled along the sidewalk I saw a shopping cart ahead. It gave me an idea.
It had been a while since we had a shopping cart show up in the park, and thus a while since Rain had a good ride inside of one. When I lifted the back panel she hopped right in and we were soon freewheeling around the parking lot.
After several minutes I navigated the cart to put it away in the proper place at the front of the store, where a woman wanted to say hi. Rain felt content enough in her shopping cart that she didn’t make any fuss. A true Velcro dog, Rain usually wants little to do with strangers. In this case, she tolerated someone touching her head without ducking out from under their hand.
We finished up our walk once the cart was put away and Rain was back on solid ground, but not without a brief trip to the Grocery Outlet loading dock, a smorgasbord of scents for any dog. Rain and I both settled in to sleep quite well that night after our therapeutic walk.