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MEEKER | The lethargy brought on every afternoon by these increasingly hot days used to hit us all later in the summer, but this year’s Dog Days of Summer hit so much earlier. While the shift from spring to summer is usually short, this year’s dry conditions all over our state have already ignited the wildfire season and promises to make things increasingly difficult.
Our daily warm, morning meanders have morphed into forced marches under the blazing sun. So many of us who walk our dogs on leashes find ourselves having to leave two hours ahead of schedule. It has been working pretty well so far. It won’t be until the smoke in the air, from any number of fires exploding, makes it impossible to stay outside long.
Walking along a popular path the other morning, I noticed a number of dogs dressed up ( in a manner of speaking) for the upcoming Independence Day celebrations. Whether it be collars festooned with holiday red, white, and blue ribbons or headgear sporting miniature American flags, it seems that many of us are ramping up full bore for a bang-up holiday celebration. However walking and talking on cell phones was the commonality between all of the walkers. They didn’t notice others coming up on the path at all.
The last doggy duo (man and dog combo) that made quite an impression on me was not because of a costume, but rather their behavior. Their display of exemplary kindness and consideration to others was amazing. They could have earned an award for Top Trail Dog.
The lab mix, a black and white mongrel, slowly led his owner along the path, as he stopped to take exceptionally long moments to sniff every tree, rock, and plant in sight. The dog stretched out on a long lead, but as they approached others, the man pulled up every so slightly to make sure they allowed others to pass. When I came close by, the dog looked up, wagged his tail, and started to move by me until I asked if I could pet him. The dog and man came slowly toward me, with no barking, yanking, or yelling causing problems for any of us. I realized this was a rare sight to be treasured, especially since there was no cell phone distraction adding to the mix. As they continued by with no problems with an out-of- control canine companion, I wished I had included a compliment in our brief conversation.
While most everyone is all ready to celebrate the holiday together, it seems that our government officials loosening the restrictions are already being ignored by a large segment of our population. Simple acts of consideration to respect other’s adherence to the rules need to be well in view by the time we welcome visitors into our community. Meeker’s annual Range Call is ramping up this week and as usual, the events and activities promise to provide a traditional rip-roarin’ good time for all. Have a happy Fourth of July celebration everyone!
By DOLLY VISCARDI – Special to the Herald Times