A Day In The Life Of

We're winding up Snake Road in Oakland with the windows down and the music cranked up.  It's Friday morning, which means "funk" - Friday Funk Day.  I look in the rear view mirror and see six wide-eyed dogs with tongues out in anticipation of the road ahead.  They know this smell - the eucalyptus & pine trees and the crisp fall air.  They must have a sense for each curve and bend in the road, as some stand to balance, as if surfing the car floor.  We're headed to Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve and the energy in the car is like a shaken up soda can about ready to pop!  As soon as we pull up to our shaded parking spot, I kill the engine.  

The dogs laying down jump up as like a firefighter called to duty.  I check my backpack...water bottle, check.  Poop bags, check.  Tennis ball, check.  I fill my treat bag full of Zuke's salmon flavored treats.  I walk around the car and open the back hatch of my black Element.  When I do, the dogs are all at attention, ready for leash-ups.  I repeat each dogs name aloud as I attach the leash, knowing they'll need a primer.  When we're on the trail and I holler their name, it has to be available in their recent memory.  "On the menu today doggies...salmon!", as I dole out a treat to each dog.  After all, that's my currency and I want each dog to know what we're paying.  They all happily receive their treat & I gather their leashes before letting the back gate down.  As the dogs bound to the pavement I drop my weight to anchor as they all split in every direction.  Once I have a handle of them all and untangle the leashes, we're off, marching in unison towards our trail head.

We pass the sign that reads "Off-Leash Area Ahead", and the dogs pull harder.  We've arrived and, as each day, I ask for 'sits' all around.  The dogs know the routine and each sit is rewarded with the freedom of off-leash privilege.  The dogs turn and sprint, some running in circles - whatever they can do to release the excitement of the adventure we are about to embark on.  "Here we go!", I announce and the dogs understand, all running straight ahead.  One of the dogs turns to look, asking for a confirmation of the right direction.  I nod and repeat, "Yup, here we go!".  I glance down at my watch to mark our start time...11:00.  Right on schedule.  I pull my phone out of my pocket and engage Airplane mode.   We take flight and are off on our adventure, reaching our cruising altitude in no time.  Touchdown in one hour...