We had an early start to our morning, with Hermione waking up at 5 and thinking it was a good time to go out. In her defense, Mr. K came to bed at that time and she woke up. To say I was unimpressed is an under statement. I had been up until 20 to 1 in the morning talking to my parents via Facebook's video chat and suddenly snapping awake to instant puppy yammering was not my idea of fun. Normally, I'm a morning person, but when I stumbled out from under my covers this morning, I most definitely was not feeling like a morning person.
As per usual, I got Hermione from her crate and the big boys followed me out into the living room. I threw some sweats over my PJ's and struggled into my sneakers. Then, it was outside for Hermione and I.
I'm not sure what got into the sea gulls this morning, but they were everywhere, squawking their irritating squawk. Most times in the morning I actually like listening to them as these are actual "sea" gulls. We live about a 2 minute's walk from an inlet from the North Sea. But this morning, I wanted to dig my ears out with forks due to the noise. Hermione was also much more interested in watching the shrieking birds instead of doing her business.
After limited success-she only peed-an idea began to form in my morning fogged brain.
Why not let the boys have an off leash run while I was out with Hermione?
There is a little strip of cobble stone street that I walk along with her in the mornings and there is never anyone out at 5 AM. The street stretches on much further, but we walk a particular strip as I go out without guide dog or White Cane since the area is always empty. Our neighbor, sir Pukey Pants, is a mail delivery person and so he often comes out of our building around 5:45, but other than him, I've rarely seen a soul on that street in the early morning; and there are certainly no cars that early. It's mainly a pedestrian street even during peak hours.
So, upstairs I went and fetched Glacier and Roscoe. I remembered that we had a hotdog in our fridge and stuffed it into my pocket as an enticing treat for recall. I've never used hotdogs with our dogs before for a few reasons, but the main one being that guide dogs do not eat human food. Well, that rule in our house has slightly gone out the window as our boys eat bananas, apples, blueberries and carrots. They also had a hamburger for Roscoe's birthday and I needed leverage just in case they really really needed to come back. So, the hotdog made the trip and I'm glad it did. The boys loved it.
Getting them to come back was a dream. Even when they were chasing each other, someone carrying a stick or perhaps it was a pole, I have no idea, they always came back.
We only spent ten minutes out there as I didn't want to tempt fate, but both boys ran hard and had a good time. Because it was so quiet out, I could hear their claws on the cobble stones and always knew where they were. I think Hermione was slightly confused, but she trotted along beside me, watching her big brothers being fools. Neither boy had a problem going back into our flat, both staring expectantly at the pocket holding the hotdog. I think I have just found my secret weapon. A weapon I shall use sparingly so that it stays my secret weapon, but aside from freeze dried liver, which is incredibly expensive, I haven't seen them react so strongly to a recall treat before. That said, I haven't tried making dehydrated liver yet. That is on my to do list and may win over the hotdog, but we'll see.
So, despite the early hour and my initial cranky reaction, I, and I think my dogs, had a good start to the day. After I managed to calm down a bit and really take in the morning, I could hear robins singing and squirrels chittering. The sea gulls had mostly moved on and the smaller song birds sounded really nice. It was so nice to see Glacier and Roscoe having some unbridled fun; just being dogs. I don't think it is something I will do every morning, but it's something I will try to do a couple of times a week. Mr. K and I have an application in for a new flat because this one is falling apart, and because we need more room,, and there is a cycling/walking path just steps from the flat's front door. Perhaps I can scope out the path at various times if we get the flat, and it can be the boys' new place to frolic at 5 AM.