Walking The Dog

Ah, summertime, and the livin’ is easy… Walking with Charlie the puggle is no problem. We stride along at a fairly fast clip. But we’re both getting older. And nowadays we take “short cuts” — turning back toward home before reaching the park. And the last couple of days, Charlie has chosen to stay snuggled on the couch after our walk instead of waiting by his dish for breakfast.

I’d been worried about Charlie walking when it was really hot out — he can’t take off his fur jacket. I was glad he had the option of walking on the grass, rather than the sidewalk, which was likely pretty toasty, too.

And now we’re getting into the cooler weather. I’ve graduated from short sleeves to long sleeves to sweatshirts. And now I’m wearing a stocking cap, too. Those breezes can be chilly! Charlie, on the other hand, has been invigorated by the weather. I keep thinking he should have a jacket, too, but he’s already told me he doesn’t want anything to do with doggy duds.

My big predicament these days is what shoes to wear. I discovered my tennis shoes are NOT going to work this winter. They’re made of mesh, made to breathe, made to keep my feet cool. That’s not cool when it’s 20 below.  I bought another pair of shoes at the same time I bought the tennies — they’re more like slippers with really great soles — nice and cushy. But they aren’t going to keep my feet warm either.

My other annoyance is how the walking affects my hips and knees. Walking is good for me — with osteoarthritis you’re told “use it or lose it.” Charlie is so faithful about getting me up in the morning, I can’t bear to tell him to go back to bed. So I’m looking for something else to wear on my feet on our walks.

I brought out my heavy-duty black oxfords, shoes that I’d bought a couple of years ago and paid a hefty price for. It’s my second pair of Thorogoods. When I put them on and went walking, I couldn’t believe how they’d shrunk in the closet over the summer. Granted, I wore heavy socks with them, but I’d done that last year, too. Do feet keep growing?

So I went looking again, and found a pair of ankle boots with short heels. I can wear heavy socks with them, because they’re wides, and my toes actually have room to wiggle. But they’re not very cushy, and I came home feeling it in my feet.

Over the weekend, I tried my tennis shoes again. Nope, even with heavy socks, they’re not going to keep my feet warm or dry. I tried my ShapeUps, a type of tennis shoe that has a generous sole with lots of cushion. They’re designed so that you walk different and use different muscles. Eh, I walked like a giraffe. I just couldn’t get used to them.

This morning I dug out a pair of Doc Marten wannabes. I don’t recall when or where I bought them — maybe during my college days… I don’t know. They cover my ankles, too, and have thick crepe soles with lots of cushion. They were a little stuff to put on, but I laced them up and took them for a spin. Eh, I walked like Frankenstein’s monster!

Hmmm, just in time for Halloween. I wonder where I put the jacket with the big shoulders…