It used to elicit a deafening bark and an energetic jump at the letter box. But now, as she’s older and rather calmer, the tail proceeds with a slow sway at the tip moving from right to left. The excitement fires through the rest of the shaft and it develops into a full force wag until the tail becomes a blur of black and white. It bounces excitedly from side to side, until eventually her rear end is moving in time with the wag and it takes over the whole of her body.
Sometimes she refuses to go a particular route, knowing that one way takes her down the cycle path while the other way is a swift and perfunctory ticking of that all-important box. And as she walks down the street or the track, every object that crosses her path is new and highly important. Everything on the floor gives off a scent that it is imperative that she sniffs it. Every person needs to be touched with her nose as they walk past. Every dog needs to be greeted. The walls and the bins need to be inspected.
As she’s walking down the paths she knows so well, her mouth is parted showing gum and a slight display of teeth into a smile. Her eyes dart from left to right showing everyone she walks past, “Look, I’m happy. I’m out for a walk. I’m an important dog.” Tail in the air, she has to show off because she is relishing it so much.
To her, they aren’t taking her out. She’s taking them out. And she’s so pleased they like going with her.
It’s just a shame that within ten minutes of coming back in, she’s sniffing the lead again.