Saturday, July 12, 2008

Who taught my dog to tell time?

My dog Okie can tell time. She's a border collie/American Eskimo mix with an internal timing precision that would make the Swiss envious. Her mother was a pure bred American Eskimo. We kept her in a fenced backyard so it was a surprise when she ended up pregnant by a neighborhood rogue.

By Okie's markings and intelligence, it appears the father contributed traits of the border collie. And if you're wondering, yes, Okie was born in Oklahoma. She's black and white and as intolerant of me as a teen-ager. Have you ever seen a dog roll up its eye and sigh? She only puts up with me because I walk her.

We walk early in the morning and then again at 7 in the evening. When she senses it's time, she'll start with subtle moves, like putting her head on my lap. Once I stand up, stand back. She gets excited, barks and whines, and heads for the door, only to turn back to bark, hurry up.

Though sometimes I'm convinced she's part Timex, she's not so smart. Sometimes she comes to me 2 minutes early.

Besides giving Okie a treat to see new sights and get some exercise, the walks help me out as well. It helps me clear my head and stretch my legs. Dog walking has been touted as a great way to get exercise and save money in the bargain. You don't have to pay for a gym membership if you stay faithful to a walking routine. And if you have a living, breathing clock, like I do, nudging you when it's 7 p.m., it's not likely that you'll forget.

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