When I walk Cheyenne I frequently have her under voice control only. Cheyenne is as pacific and obedient a dog as any I have trained, and I make it easy for her as I give her as much freedom as I reasonably can. She ambles, sniffs and sets the pace and chooses the direction when we come to an intersection. In return I transport her hither and yon each day a different walk within a few miles of home to keep her interested and reduce boredom. It is an amiable partnership between friends. I pick up after her, she comes when I call, she stands by me when a car approaches and I get to read as we stroll in companionable silence. She is a joy to live with, day after day.
I happen to prefer walking the woods and trails but Cheyenne is an urban hunter, preferring streets and parking lots, trailer parks and trash cans to the delights of trails through the woods in the back country wilderness. So, because walks are her time, I indulge her and seek out urban strolls of varying length on different islands. The warmer the temperatures, the less she likes to walk which is good for me as I like to get to bed after her early morning walk.
It happened the other morning I finished an overtime shift at four and when I got home Cheyenne was ready for a pre-dawn walk. I figured that would work for me as well as I would get some nice uninterrupted sleep if we were both tired out so I piled my Labrador into the car and off we went to her favorite walk on Big Pine Key. I parked the car outside a strip mall a convenient spot from which to launch a dog walk but before we could step off a curly blonde head popped out from the darkened dog groomers and barked at me, much like an irritated dog. "Is he pissing on my door step?" my response was pure puzzlement. I had met the woman previously and she was quite pleasant. Right now she sounded drunk or hungover and generally pissed off. I said she's a girl, meaning females don't mark territory but the subtlety was excessive for the stupid woman who started snarling at me about dogs pissing on her doorstep and how custowere were coming at 9am ( in four hours!) and why wasn't my dog on a leash? Because... She doesn't need one I said. "Its the law," she screeched and my shrug apparently wasn't a satisfactory reply. Perhaps I should have pointed out what a dim view Code Enforcement takes of living in a commercial premise, but I just put Cheyenne back in the car and drove off. I used to visit the bike shop in the strip but I think I will do my shopping elsewhere from here on.
I laugh to myself every time I hear some dork or another talk about the laid back lifestyle of the Fabulous Florida Keys. And I haven't even told you the story of the plumber I hired to replace a leaky outdoor faucet and who came, half finished the job, refused payment as the pipe had a small leak after he replaced it and never returned to finish the job. Sigh. Gorilla glue to the rescue I guess. Luckily we live off our rainwater cistern most of the time and the inconvenience was minimal. Hiring anyone in the Keys to do a professional job will test the limits of your tolerance and patience and general belief in the laid back ...blah... Lifestyle...blah...Fabulous...blah ...etc...Perhaps it was just presaging the End of the World, which the Mayans supposedly estimated was going to happen today. Or not.