For two weeks I’ve had a regular walking partner, something I haven’t had since moving to Williams Lake in 2011.
Normally I walk to work, picking up our truck en route from my husband, but now that he is biking to work I have to drive.
So when I learned that Tiggs, a female Border Collie/Jack Russell Terrier, was coming to stay with a friend for a while, I volunteered to walk her every day.
I am certain Tiggs has lost weight during these first two weeks because last evening her collar came off twice when I pulled on her leash and that was a first. The collar slipping off.
I love walking dogs.
When I was growing up, our family never had dogs except for one brief period when I brought a stray dog home.
Shag must have been previously beaten because he freaked at the sound of chains, and bolted from any attempts to collar him or tie him up in the yard.
He was a great escape artist. In the end the dog catcher in Nelson put him in touch with an adoptive owner in Yahk.
We heard later Shag was hit by a car on the highway.
While we were still in Nelson, my husband and I decided to get a dog after we heard that a Golden Retriever down the street had a litter.
Jasper came to us as a puppy and bonded with my husband and I immediately.
He slept in a portable baby bed on the floor beside our bed, trained easily, and slept soundly.
After a few months, we decided his dad must have been something fiercer than his mother because he was prone to biting children.
With small children in the house and often additional little visitors, I found it nerve-wracking to have to worry our dog might bite somebody.
Eventually we advertised to give him away and he went to a man and his three sons.
My next foray into dog care was when our eldest daughter and her boyfriend got a dog.
I walked Butze (named after reversing rapids outside of Prince Rupert) once in a while and during Christmas two years ago we looked after him for two weeks.
One of the neat things about walking Tiggs is the amount of exploring I’ve done since we got together.
Because she is staying across town from us, I’ve walked many new-to-me areas of the city.
I’ve discovered Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues North and Fifth Avenue Lane.
Tiggs and I have met many dogs, dog owners, and are becoming closer with each walk.
Last night she jumped up on my lap, gave me some kisses, and covered my pants in dog hair.
I don’t know how long this gig will last, but it’s got me thinking how much joy a dog can bring, even if it means our cats — Java and Mooch — are a bit miffed for the time being.
Monica Lamb-Yorski is a staff writer with the Williams Lake Tribune/Weekend Advisor.