My dog hasn't been getting enough exercise.
He once had the body of a sleek Rhodesian Ridgeback, or maybe some sort of mixed breed pointer/gun dog. Very sporty.
And then I stopped taking him out for his long runs. (A lot of this has to do with increased patrolling by animal control on a piece of property whihch is not incorporated within City Limits and has traditionally been used by locals as an off-leash dog park. But hey, when the guy shows up with his little white truck, I'd rather not argue the point. Instead, I bundle my dog back into the car and go home.)
OK, so anyway, my dog's getting thicker through the middle than he used to be. His legs aren't as muscular, and he's a lot more groany around the house. (As in, "I have to lie d-o-w-n here on the g-r-o-u-n-d.")
This morning (Saturday, mind you) I woke up and it was still dark out. OK, says I, get your butt out of bed and walk the dog. But it was dark, so I decided to take a shower. Got out--still dark. Got dressed--still dark. Made coffee--still dark.
But, hey! It's ten of six! The sun's coming up soon! I'm caffeinated. Ready to roll.
Bundle the dog in the car and drive down to the Official City Dog Park (a fenced area at the back of the community park). Park the car--still dark. Pitch black. Not the greying light of pre-dawn. No. Ink Black. Walk the dog to the dog park past a soccer field and a baseball diamond--still dark.
Once inside the park, I let him off the leash. And he didn't flex a muscle. Just stood there staring at my knees. Because it was--yep, that's right--still dark.
If I could have seen his face, I'm sure I would have seen that expression so many patient dogs display from time to time. The one that seems to say, "Eh, Mom? What were you thinking? Cause, you know, I can't see you. You can't see me. I can't see any tennis balls. Got a plan here?"
At some point the sun did come up, but, um, well, I'm glad not too may people saw me standing out there in the fenced-in park with my confused friend.