Thoughts to Paws over…

“Sticks and stones, may break my bones…”

There are lot’s of idioms with the word stick in them!  Many of my canine friends enjoy carrying or chasing a stick.   When I am out walking I am often scanning the ground for one that is just right.  Finding a good carrying stick is like finding a piece of treasure, not all discarded branches are created equal.  If you get one that is too thin, my four legged friends gnaw and chomp on it like it was a raw hide, and we all know what goes in, has to come out and passing those  not so digestible little pieces isn’t pretty for me or for them (any good dog walker worth their salt has had to perform extraction assistance to our buddies in need).  When looking for a stick I try and find one that is no longer than about a foot and a half in length and about two inches in diameter.  Big enough to carry around but not unwieldy.   Diesel is one of my clients who just loves to troll around for a good tree limb, but he often gets a little over zealous with his finds. The day after a good storm there is often a lot of fodder on the paths in the park, and he usually will go for the biggest one.  Size matters to him, he likes to prove he is no slouch!  He’s be known to try and drag a mammoth piece the size of a sapling, not something I like to encourage.   This morning we started our adventure with Diesel carrying a raw hide, but alas, we lost it early into the walk, so the hunt was on for a replacement item to appease his oral fixation . A few nights ago we had a good thunder and lightening storm and a Locust tree along one our our routes lost a few good sized limbs, every time we walk by the branches Diesel eyes them up.  There is one particular one that he has tried to wrangle along with us and I always thwart his efforts.  This morning I decided to cut my buddy some slack, what the heck, I was wearing runners.  I figured I would snap a nice piece off and we’d be off to the races.  What started out with good intentions quickly went sideways.  The dang branch wasn’t brittle enough to snap , much to my dismay it kept springing back at me, which Diesel thought was some new sort of game.  What fun!  As the branch gave me a good thwack in the calf Diesel sprung on it and this is where the term “Stick it to you…” seems appropriate, the branch did not break like I had planned, the whole thing shot like an elastic band into my leg.  “Ouch!”  Diesel was ecstatic, and began looking around for an audience, he likes to show off his acquisitions, so there I was get thrashed with every turn of his head.   I spent five minutes wrestling with my friend to get the offending object out of his rather vice like jaw so that we could resume our trek without a locust branch jamming into my legs every few minutes.  The life of a dog walker, never dull!  The moral of the story…I did “stick with it” and disarmed Diesel of the Locust branch, launching it into a marshy area.  Some times you have to be a “stick-in-the-mud” all in the name of self preservation!

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