July 19, 2018

Stella Has A Major Change To Her Walk Today

As I was putting on my North Face snow boots this morning I thought for just a few seconds that I would let Stella do whatever she wanted this morning on her walk. I realized I had already started the day wrong so I might not be thinking clearly on this idea. It had been months since I gave her total freedom and when I remembered her eating food that was left outside for the wild field cat next door I knew that total freedom was not going to be a possibility.

During this time I realized for some strange reason I had only one cup of coffee while doing my early morning reading ... it had been a long sleepless night last night. That's what usually happens when I fall off my good diet program and have more chocolate ice cream than I should. Why the snow boots? Yesterday's walk drenched my running shoes and socks ... too much dew in the field.

It wasn't just this morning I was a little confused, obviously by yesterday's blog post title I was absent minded yesterday also. When I first saw that title hours after I had posted, I first wondered "how did that get there, what does it mean" ... then I remembered. When I started the post after our morning walk I did not have a post title and put that in the title box to save it as my draft copy. I just failed to change it later in the afternoon after I updated the post and published it. Sorry for the confusion.

That very first photo today caught Stella just as she was turning my direction when it looked like she was going due north and starting her day off ignoring me again. I don't know what changed her mind, I had not said anything to her but before I knew it she was walking by me on the path making sure she put her size 12 paw on my boot because I was in her way. I've never had a dog walk on my feet as much as she has these past three years. (next month).

Yes, another great day. They just keep coming and it's hard to believe.

The bloodhounds decided to work in tandem this morning. There was a lot of deer scent to cover and one nose was not going to be able to collect all the information. It was nice and cool in a t-shirt and cargo shorts, no wind and of course no plans for the day.

With the three day vacation for all of MLB, we will be watching the Reds game again tonight for their first game back after the All-Star break. 12 days left before the trading deadline so there will be a little added suspense besides just who wins and loses. The Dodgers picked up probably the best shortstop in the MLB yesterday in exchange for 5 minor league players. The Dodgers were my dad's favorite team, starting when he was a teenager in Indiana and the Dodgers were in Brooklyn.

A player by the name of Gil Hodges grew up in a town in Southwest Indiana, not far from here. That was probably a factor in my dad choosing the Dodgers to follow. Growing up he would take our family to St Louis or Cincinnati anytime the Dodgers were playing in those two cities.

I had not said a word to Stella at all this morning and she was doing quite well. She followed the path on her own, followed Sadie and helped gather their information. They always need to know who has been in 'their' field since the last walk.

I had not even made the first turn yet and my boots were basically soaked from the dew. My feet were dry so it was one of my great decisions in the past to make these not only snow boots but rain boots.

I started thinking that once Stella moved around the first turn that is when I would give her the freedom again to do what she wanted. I knew eventually she would get around that first turn because there is one of her favorite spots for deer scat that she always stops at.

I am not sure what got her attention in the brush but my camera barely caught her raising her head from the ground fast. She jerked her head back about the time her nose moved into that new area. I did not see any kind of bite marks on her nose after the walk, no sign of scratches.

Today was the last day in the Alps for the bike race in France. Yesterday's race had some magnificent views from their aerial cameras. They were pretty close to the Italian border during their 67 mile race. It was a short race but was spent all morning in the mountains. Three huge climbs that were 6-8 miles long with grades of 7%-10% ... the professional riders make it look easy on tv.

Today's race was a little longer but I was finished watching by 1:30pm.

I was back to walking this morning with no verbal herding of either bloodhound. It was a nice change.

I thought I was going to get some great photos of Sadie running toward me as I walked further away from both of them. When I turned around to focus my camera ... she was already right  behind me and ran right by me, to where I caught this photo.

Taken with the lens set at 50mm ... it looked like Stella would be there on our way back, so I kept walking.

Not sure why but I always enjoy taking a photo of this tower. Today though it was a combination with the clouds that I liked.

It was good to see that Stella had not moved into the heavy brush nor had wandered toward the neighbor's woods like she has before. As long as she stayed in that area as Sadie and I walked, I was fine with that. You can barely see here dead center in the photo.

Then in disbelief I glance over at Stella and she is walking toward our path ... without being called. What's gotten into her this morning?

As she glances at me, she makes an abrupt left turn right on the path you can barely see and heads home. To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

And she kept following the path home ... not a word is said.

About the time she was stepping into the yard a scent stopped her in her tracks. Deer or cat?

I wasn't able to catch her but right before this picture she was sniffing as high has her head would reach up that pole. Which tells me deer have been walking by there while we are sleeping. I have seen them walk within a foot of that pole before.

Another morning walk is completed and all there is now for her and the other hounds, is a nap until lunch kibble is served. It's a tough life for a basset hound and bloodhounds in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

You may have noticed some changes to the blog. I went back to a three column template but tried to keep the photos the same width. Since I was receiving enough bad feedback about the email system not working and confusing some readers ... I deleted those options on the sidebar this morning. To follow you can click the follow button, bookmark the site or see any of my updates on blogs of other people you might follow ... if they have my blog on their sidebar.

The afternoon was a close duplicate of yesterday. Taking a walk at 2pm yesterday gave us 3 walks for the day because around 6pm Sadie thought it was time to walk again. It was perfect weather during that walk and was something I was going to remember for today. After watching the Tour de France mid-day, instead of taking the 2nd walk I let Sadie outside for her to roam the field on her own. That's all she wanted.

Heidi was outside a short time to confirm it's great weather right now for July. To her nothing beats that couch with the air conditioning keeping her cool as she sleeps.

We were able to fit in a short siesta, some house cleaning and a walk all by 5:30pm.

Another successful day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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