Walking the Goose, Part 47


Saw this guy today. Crawling across a rather wide sidewalk. Not really making good time, but slow and steady wins the race, right?

Odds are, he makes it.

But who knows.

A crow could come by and snatch him up. Some random human and step on him, on purpose or inadvertently.

I guess I could have picked him up and put him up on a tree leaf somewhere. But I didn’t. Maybe it’s a Star Trek Prime Directive thing or something. Who knows. But at least the little guy had his moment in the sun.

October 29th

3.32 miles

Walking the Goose, Part 46

There are two older women at the park. Each of them have three dogs.


One of them is crazy. I mean that, I believe, with a high degree of compassion. But I also mean it literally. In the clinical sense. Like she can’t test reality accurately. Paranoid Schizophrenia might be an appropriate diagnosis. But I was never really good at diagnosis.

I’ve never met this woman before, but as me and goose come up she’s yelling at us, “What are you doing! Are you crazy! Bringing your dog over here!”

Her dogs are going nuts. They’re little. Which means they’re loud and high pitched. I keep walking.

I tell Goose, “Don’t worry. Just leave it.”

As we pass she’s still yelling at us. And then not yelling any more. Just loudly complaining, “Oh my God, I can’t believe they did that!”

It’s okay. I want to confront her. But what would be the point of that.

Then there’s the other lady. She’s what you might call normal. She stops as we get close and smiles.

She asks me, “Is your dog friendly?”

I say, “Yes, too friendly.”

We let our dogs sniff each other a little bit.

She says, “Your dog is beautiful.”

She says it a couple times. I say, “Thanks.” Then we go on our way.

I wonder what makes someone one way and someone another way. Why one is crazy and one is sane? Genetics? Life experience? Bad choices. Bad personalities. Who knows.

There but by the grace of God go I, tho, right?

October 27th

3.32 miles

Walking the Goose, Part 27

My brain thinks radically different thoughts when walking versus when I’m running. When I’m running, pretty much all my thoughts are about running. About my feet, my legs, my lungs, my pace, my distance. Where I’ve ran, where I’m running to, what I’m gonna eat when I’m done. That’s about 90% of it.

But when I’m walking, almost every thought is set free to wonder about every random thing that crosses my consciousness. Things I’m worried about. Things I’m planning on. Things I’d like do, see, work on. Stories I want to write. Conversations with imaginary friends.

It’s actually a little overwhelming. I’d rather just have quiet up in there.

October 6th?

Unknown Distance

Walking the Dog, Part 10

September 19th

2.0 miles

According to The Science of Dogs, dogs have 20 times more smell receptors than people. But they have worse eye sight, and actually just moderately better hearing. So really, the dog understands her world through how it smells.


Makes *sense* (see what I did there?) when I’m out with Goose. She can smell the mean dogs at least half a house away. But she doesn’t really seem to recognize the visual cues, e.g. what the mean dogs’s houses look like.

Today, we walk by the house of the crankiest of cranky dogs. A husky and a chihuahua (or something like a chihuahua) that just go off on us every time we pass by their gate. Every time, that is, except for today. Today, for some reason, the chihuahua is locked up in a pen. So only the husky is at the gate. And the husky is actually pretty cool when its by itself.

Goose is not buying it though. She’s keeping her distance, only sneaking up for a couple seconds at a time to get a quick sniff.

Walking the Goose, Part 40

There’s this Husky and Chihuahua that live up the street. They love to bark at me and Goose when we walk by their fence. Except the couple times that the Chihuahua wasn’t there, then the Husky was actually kinda friendly. He even howled at us once when we walked by on the other side of the street.

For the past week or so, I’ve decided I could do without the harassment. So I changed our route to avoid their house. No big deal.

On our new route today, I see a lady in her luxury car make a determined U-turn to come up the street towards us. She pulls up and rolls down her window.

Husker Du, Where Are You?

Husker Du, Where Are You?


“Have you seen a Husky?” she says.

“No, sorry I haven’t,” I respond, and then, “You guys live up the street, on the corner?”

“Yes,” she says, getting a little frantic.

“Yeah, I know your dogs,” I say, “I’ll keep an eye out. If I see them, I’ll bring them up to you.”

“Thank you,” she says, “They’re both lost. I’ve lost my babies.”

She drives off. I walk around a little extra looking for her dogs. I don’t find them. But I really hope she does. Her dogs are kinda annoying. But they should be home with their family. Being annoying isn’t a good enough reason for someone to be homeless.

October 19th

2.69 miles

Walking the Goose, Part 39

Me, Helen and the Goose are out for a short morning walk. We see, up ahead of us, something in the middle of the street.

“Road kill,” says Helen.

“I don’t think so,” I say.

Goose has no comment.

As we get closer, it looks like it’s probably something like a big plastic bag. Several cars run it over. This street is fairly busy.


Then I realize it’s an American flag. Some unexpected jolt of patriotism comes over me and I rush into the street to grab Old Glory before it gets run over again.

As soon as I pick it up, I can tell it’s not just some crappy plastic car flag. It’s heavy and cloth and stitched. It says, “Los Angeles City Election Division” on the hoist. It seems like it belongs to the election people, although the nearest polling place is a couple miles away and the next election isn’t until November 4th.

I fold it up carefully. I’ll hold on to it for a couple weeks. We usually mail in our votes, but it’d be kinda cool to bring the flag over to the polling place and give it to them. Maybe they’ve been missing it.

October 18th

1 mile

Walking the Goose, Part 38

There’s a house that almost always has people sitting outside on the stoop, usually a man and a woman. They talk pretty loud. Sometimes they seem angry.

Today I realize what they’re talking about. They guy is reading from the Bible and preaching about the resurrection of Christ.

I wonder if I should stop and join in the conversation. From decades of on-again/off-again faith, I’ve come to know a thing or two about the Bible. Sometimes it’s fun to see what other people believe, and see if they’re interested in what I believe.

But I make a quick judgement call and assume that this dude is probably (like 80% likely) a fundamentalist. Which would probably mean he’s not at all interested in anything anyone else says if it differs from his beliefs, and that, even if he was interested, he’d have zero inclination to be open to the possibility of adjusting his beliefs.

I could be wrong, of course. He might be really open-minded. And maybe I’m the close-minded and bigoted one because I wouldn’t even give him a chance.

Such is the world of prejudice.

I make eye-contact as we walk by and wave at him. He stares at me for a second and then waves back.

October 17th

2.21 miles

Walking the Goose, Part 37

There’s this middle-aged guy. Maybe my age. Or a little bit older. He’s at the park every day with an old man in a wheelchair.

The old man is pretty much comatose and probably lives in the old folks home across the street. The middle-aged guy is dressed like he’s going to the office: button-up shirt, tucked in to his slacks, loafers on his feet. But he’s not in the office. He’s at the park pushing the old guy’s wheelchair, hanging out at the tennis courts.

They sometimes stop at the end of the courts and park so that the old guy is facing the players, watching them play. The middle-aged guy then takes the old guys arms and moves them around, exercising them, I guess. It’s kinda amazing. It looks as if he is moving the old guy’s arms to mimic the movements of the tennis players. So he raises the old guy’s left arm up, then, as he drops it, he raises the old guy’s right arm up, then down. As if to serve.

I’m probably making this part up. It’s probably just my imagination. It must be. But it’d be a cool story if it were true.

October 16th

2.45 miles

Walking the Dog, Part 6

September 15th

2.1 miles

Goose has been less and less anxious during our walks. But she still freaks out when other dogs bark at her.

We’ve decided to take a new approach to these other dogs. Instead of avoiding them, we walk right up to them and hang out for a while.

Some of them are really cool and will make friends once you give them a chance. Others seem cool, but then will go off on you once you make one false move. Then others are just gonna be bitches no matter what you do.