Striding out.

Because the heat has dissipated, the dog and I took an extra-long walk this morning.  He piloted us along; I let him choose our paths.  We went looking for the cows I can sometimes hear shouting even when I'm inside the house, but they weren't on their hillside.  We walked along the broad verge beside the highway.  The dog ate some broad-bladed grasses.  I made sure we didn't get run over.

Once we'd returned home, I asked him, "Do you want to be a working dog?  Shall we go for a ride in the car?"

Before they left, you see, my excellent friend taught me to drive his car, which has a manual transmission.  I am still no genius at it; accelerating from stop signs in first is hard, especially if there's any incline involved.  But the dog doesn't seem to care: part of his being a working dog now is not just waiting patiently while I go into the post office to pick up two PO boxes' worth of mail but also being my companion and silent cheerleader while I stutter and start around corners.

When I walked back from town after meeting a returning student for lunch, I paused to catch these buds and blooms.