Ever since the day I brought her home Tzuri has loved to travel.
I do too but the downside is finding a comfortable place in a strange town for the two of us to play during her peak activity levels. When you’re tired from driving and hungry without a plan yet for dinner and the traffic is nasty and the only Park on the map is way across town – well, frustration can skyrocket.
Which is why after four years on the road our newly-established daily routine is such a delight.
Tzuri jumps up on my bed and silently gives me “the look” until my feet hit the floor.
We arrive at a nearby dog park overlooking Tampa Bay. It is barely light yet and we almost always have the place to ourselves. She chases and fetches nonstop at full gallop and in 15 minutes is exhausted.
Arriving back home I finally get a cup of coffee and turn on my computer. Tzuri plops down and doesn’t move.
We embark on a 20 minute drive to another Park on the Intracoastal Waterway adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. She retrieves her favorite stick which we carefully hide every day in the bushes and I throw it out into the water for her.
When she is thoroughly wet we hike a short ways to an open field where we play fetch again, with a rubber ball, and tug with a knotted rope. In between bouts of play we run through some obedience routines.
Then we take a long narrow route back to the car alongside an imposing fence outside the Bay Pines VA Hospital. MPs occasionally patrol the perimeter to make sure we’re not terrorists or, worse, escaped mental patients. Tzuri likes to listen to taps and the gun salute when they lower another dead guy into the ground at the adjacent cemetery.
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Long nap for Tzuri. Plenty of time for me to get some work done on the computer again, lug my camera downtown for some street photography, and take my own 2-3 hour nap.
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Back to North Shore Park on Tampa Bay for a stroll along the seawall. The emphasis is not play this time, but leash walking on crowded sidewalks. The rule is she can’t strain at the end of the leash to go off on a tangent or attack people, dogs, cats, or squirrels. She’s usually good for three out of five, depending on her mood.
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Dinner and play. Tzuri is restless and drags me out at least once an hour for a neighborhood walk. Inside, she indicates her displeasure at my being on the computer by sitting many long minutes with a toy in her mouth and shaming me with a hangdog look.
Even when I go to the bathroom I am not spared her accusations of neglect.
10:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Other than occasionally licking out my (Vanilla Caramel flavored) coffee cup Tzuri has never tasted human food and receives only the very best “biologically appropriate” steamed kibble imported from Canada. I slip her plenty of small 2.5 calorie training “rewards” to mark correct behavior but no junk “treats” per se.
Lately, however, I have mellowed a bit and now I give her a spoonful of moist meat chunks from an ordinary can of dog food just before bedtime.
Just a spoonful, and in the morning I make her run it off.
10:30 pm – 1:00 am
My time. Tzuri is down for the night.
And that’s the way it is, day after day.
:) :) :)