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Hiking lesson

I’m not a dog that’s easily surprised. When the Covered Wagon pulls off the Wagon Trail somewhere in nature, I know I’m in for an adventure. When the Wagon stops in a town, that means that a Friend is coming to see me. I haven’t seen nearly enough Friends lately, so when I dismounted the Wagon in a neighborhood, I could hardly wait for Mom to grab the leash behind me before I launched down the sidewalk looking for the nearest Oscar fan.


The last time I saw Willy, we had done a race together. (Remember races?!) Nobody was wearing a mask back then, and everybody was touching things that were going into other people’s mouths, and no one was scared of strangers. That was four months ago. “But guess what!” I told her. “Nature is still out there, just the same as always. They’re even letting you visit it again without sneaking in. Wanna see?”

But before I could show Willy about nature again, I had to feed her. “Did you know that some restaurants always let people eat outside,” I told her as we waited for my eggs and bacon in the dog-dining room. “Yeah, us dogs have been eating outside restaurants for years. The humans only just figured out about outdoor dining, though. Now that it’s mainstream, I suppose us dogs will have to move on to the next cool thing.” “True that,” interrupted a German shepherd, who stopped by our table on the way to the bathroom. “They even have public bathrooms,” he added, jumping into the nature box that made the walls of the outside restaurant to pee on the flowers.


Wonder if your skills are up to hiking? If the dog booty is the most exciting thing you see in this photo, you’re ready!

When we dismounted the wagon, I ran ahead up the trail. “See? You go this way,” I grinned. Then I remembered that I was being a guide, so I turned around and sprinted back to make sure that Willy hadn’t messed up hiking yet. “You’re a natural!” I encouraged her, doing a pirouette and running back up the trail so she wouldn’t get lost like Mom does all the time. When I came back a moment later to check again, I banged Willy out of my way to get to Mom behind her. “Isn’t she doing great, Mom?!”



Oscar the Smooch



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