I’ve been enjoying an enforced hour-plus of outdoor time every day, courtesy of my dog. Believe me, if I didn’t have a smelly animal licking my arm every 15 minutes as an invitation to get some fresh air (and a break from having my arm licked), I think I would simply slump in front of this accursed computer for all eternity. So: thank you, Pants, for your persistent and rather sticky requests for walkies. These October afternoons are beautiful! It’s so good to get out.

If we go to the park behind my house, I will read, draw or just lay in the grass and contemplate the Meaning Of It All while Pants gets all beagle-y (she’s a beagle/boxer/terrier/mutt): head down, tail up, frantic snuff-snuff-snort-snuff, solving a thousand pungent mysteries.

Absolutely NO idea what It Means yet. Sorry. I will continue to lay in the grass, as long as the weather allows, doing my mental homework.

I also get to work on my blistering Raffa-esque serve as I thwack a tennis ball around for her. The ball makes a satisfying pock as I send it spinning into the blue sky. Peaceful, somehow.

Pants likes to take a break from chasing the ball to rolling on it. What a dope.

Then she’s ready to run again. And again and again. So this is my typical view. She’s pretty cute. She helps by getting me out. Being in a different place is good, even just for an hour. She helps get me out – and into my ever-evolving thoughts.

But she is smelly.

Anyway, just thought I’d share.