Real Texas Walkers

by david on July 19, 2014

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Walking is really living

In the little rural neighborhood I live in now in the San Antonio area, it is easy to enjoy walking as a regular personal fitness program.  The paved roads in the gated sub-division go uphill and downhill meandering through the area among the hills of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Our property - 3 Acres

Our property – 3 Acres

It’s not an up-scale or downscale neighborhood, very average homes here including ours.

As I start my walk, I travel alongside my own little 3 acres until the road turns and heads uphill.  It is a fairly steep incline for at least a quarter mile, then levels out

The uphill part of my walk

The uphill part of my walk

for a ways.  That steep incline at the start of the walk gets my heart rate up and is a nice wake-up time when you have to lean into the steps to keep making progress.

I suppose my progress is not all that fast as I was engrossed in my private thoughts this morning and concentrating on breathing deeply and making it up the hill.  As I looked down to my left, a cottontail rabbit hopped leisurely but steadily past me.  If I had been so inclined, I could have reached down and scooped him up with my left hand and carried him along for a while.  As it was, he hopped on down the trail and then veered off the road to the left and looked at me until I passed on by.  He was totally unafraid.

Bowie has a lot of stitches on his leg.

Bowie has a lot of stitches on his leg.

He certainly would not have done that had my regular walking companion been with me.  My dog Bowie is on the injured reserve list until about September.  A little more than a month ago, he was attacked by a Chow-Great Pyranhees mix who broke free from his owner’s tether in the back of his pickup.  It was not really a match as Bowie thought they were going to sniff each other’s butts and be friends.  The other dog went straight for his throat and I piled right into the mix and we all three rolled around on the ground for a while until I convinced the other dog to let go of Bowie.

Bowie's neck wound

Bowie’s neck wound

He did suffer some major bites to his neck area, but it could have been worse.  The real damage came to his back left leg as he tried to escape.  A ligament was torn loose.  He has been a three legged dog for a couple of months now.  He had ligament and meniscus surgery Wednesday of this week and is still a three legged dog.  We have a new Vet in Pipe Creek.  My old Vet, Scott Blanton in San Angelo, was also a golfing buddy….its hard to leave your tried and trusted professionals as well as your friends.

Yes, Bowie was on a leash and yes, the owner of the other dog has taken responsibility.  That owner is a respected member of the community as it turns out, a long time music educator in San Antonio.  He is retired now.

I always look for that dog as I pass by that particular house, but I am alone in my walks as I would not force Bowie to walk that far on three legs.  He will be back walking with me hopefully in the Fall.

I do not know many of the people here in this neighborhood, only my immediate neighbors. I do however, know most of the dogs along my path and until that incident, have never had a problem. They come out to either bark at Bowie and me, or come to sniff Bowie and on we would go.

Our front yard with lots of Live Oak Trees

Our front yard with lots of Live Oak Trees

It is a learning process moving from one geographic part of the Great State to the other.  I have to respect the summer weather here.  It’s not the heat….that is something West Texans are used to. It is the heat combined with the humidity here. It’s a huge sweatbox and I drink lots more water.  I am also learning the types of trees along my walking path.  In West Texas, it’s fairly easy to know what a mesquite tree is and that is the primary tree of my upbringing.  At my paradise in Sherwood, I had huge pecan trees. Here, I have at least 150 live oaks in my yard alone.   And yes, they do shed their leaves.

Spring Creek along my walk

Spring Creek along my walk

About a mile into my daily walk, I cross a shaded area that is a wet weather creek.  There I stop and stretch some and head out for another half mile or so.  One house that backs up to that creek has apple trees, peach trees, and a large fig tree.  I had to ask what a loquat tree was since I had never heard of that one.

I pass by several other dogs including a family of four great Danes

The Great Danes

The Great Danes

who fight among themselves to see who is going to bark through the fence at me.  Yes, four…in one yard!

There are others; a little apricot poodle comes out to bark at me and the larger lab looking dog just barks.  Two other houses have their dogs secure in their backyards and one pair is also entertaining as they fight each other to bark at me.  As I get closer to home, my closest neighbor has two dogs who sometimes race along the fence back and forth and sometimes it’s just too hot.

They are all doing their jobs keeping folks out of their yards.

Starbucks on Patrol! lol

Starbucks on Patrol! lol

Our dogs are also good at doing their jobs.  Bowie and his brother Starbucks keep the ‘walkers’ as I call them (reference the TV show Walking Dead) out of our yard.  Our pair also makes sure the trash truck does not drive through the fence into our yard as well as numerous four-wheelers driven down the road by neighborhood kids, the school bus, and the lady who tries to ride her horse through the area.

They are extremely obnoxious and rude to those poor people who are just out for a leisurely walk.  When approached by a ‘walker’ Bowie is so anxious to be petted through the fence he has no idea his rear-end is attached to his front-end he wiggles so much.  He would have no problem inviting any would be burglars inside to help themselves as long as they petted him.

And so it goes here in the Hill Country

I’m David, still in Real Texas



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