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City dog, mountain dog

Trail hiking is different from city walking. When we walk, the whole City is squished down to the width of a sidewalk and the length of a leash. You can’t look around much while walking in The City because you need to be vigilant of what’s going on in your private bubble so that you don’t step on human doo or anything sharp, or walk in front of a car. You need to watch for delicious snacks on the ground that someone has dropped or barfed for you, but still make sure that the guy watering the sidewalk doesn’t spray you with his hose. There are also a lot of people and dogs in The City that have to enter your strip of private space, and you need to watch them for signs of danger. You also have to make sure not to be accidentally dangerous too by coming into their personal space in a way that’s rude, and you can’t stay there too long or else they may snarl at you. Even if you had time to look around you on a walk, there would be buildings in the way of the views and you might trip on a curb or walk into a parking meter.


Icy Era to the solitude on  the far side of the mountains. On the far side of the Icy Era, the mountains to one side of the road are grey and pointy like a crown, and across the street the desert climbs up the mountains. Not many trees make over the highest mountains to the eastern side, so you can see the cap of each mountain that the Covered Wagon passes like a menu of adventures. But cars can’t talk, so you’ll have to use your imagination and start the story where the Covered Wagon’s story ends, and Your Handsome Hero (that’s me) and his bumbling sidekick climbed out.


obstaple, you have time stop to think about how to solve it before you walk over, or through, or around it without someone near you getting impatient and growling at you. Communication is slower on the trail too, since you don’t need the leash to do synchronized walking with your hiking partner. Since the trail expands into the trees and rocks beside it, and extends for miles and miles ahead of you and behind you, there is space for everybody. So when you see a stranger, you can move away without being rude if you don’t want to talk. Because you can always get away, that means that if someone hikes near you, then it is a sign that they are friendly and can talk to them if you are lonely and looking for a Friend.



to walk on two legs again. We were also in the desert, and even though I could see the white dirt on the mountain caps not far above my head, it was hot and sunny on the trail and my legs sometimes melted. When they did, I tipped over and rolled around in the shady sand, kicking my jelly legs in the air until they turned solid again.





After introducing myself and making Melissa’s dreams come true by letting her scratch her sparkly nails in my dusty butt, we sat outside the Starbucks and I demonstrated to Melissa and Kurt how to be brave outside a Starbucks. When Mom went in to get coffee, I let Melissa hold my leash so she wouldn’t feel alone. “Now I know it’s scary,” I told her as we watched Mom disappear inside. “You can’t see her, but you have to be brave and have faith she’ll come back out.”


Oscar the Bicultural Pooch

*Human letters can’t spell his real name, so I’ve changed it.



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