Maxie’s best days are behind him now. He’s getting old (pushing 12) and has kidney disease so he’s slowed down quite a bit over the past year. He can’t do walks anymore, and he doesn’t stay out in the back yard much these days either, so one way to get him out and about is to take him to the pet supply store.
When I first got Maxie from the shelter I started looking for dog friendly places to walk him. We branched out from our neighborhood streets to quiet roads in the farm areas in town, to the woodlands and on to the beaches. Maxie has been to
Maxie was hard on the neighbors, too. He would patrol the back fence that separates my yard from the condos behind us and many of those people walk their own dogs in the back lot. Maxie would hang out back watching and as soon as there was a hint of movement he was on them yapping and racing along the fence until they finally disappeared beyond the buildings. Maxie was no more forgiving of my other neighbors and they would be victimized in their own yards. Maxie owned everything and everywhere we went became his territory. Sadly, he doesn’t bark anymore either now that he’s in his sunset years. We still go to the park where he meanders quietly sniffing trees until he gets tired, but everyone gets by him with just a look and a slight perking of the ears. The neighbors don’t get stalked anymore and the days of hiking together in the woods are done. Anyone who's had a dog knows how sad it is to have to start leaving them behind and going off on your own. It’s like, well, losing your best friend.