Newton’s First Law of Motion as Applied to Walking the Dog

Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, also known as the law of inertia, states that an object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion with the same speed and direction unless acted upon by unbalanced force.

Even though I once taught science to students in fifth and sixth grades I’d never paused to ponder just how Newton’s Laws of Motion applied to dog walking until this morning.

Last night I’d told my son, Jason, and my daughter-in-law that I’d rise early and take Toby, their elderly, furry, coffee table-sized dog, for a walk so they didn’t have to before leaving for their respective jobs. I figured it was the least I could do since they’ve put up with me for nearly a week now.

Toby and I got off to a great start. Jason had already helped him down the steps to the backyard. When I went out Toby was joyfully rolling in the wet grass, so all I had to do was hook the leash onto his collar and coax him through the gate. There was a brief hiccup when Toby saw Jason’s pickup truck pulling out of the driveway. He really wanted to go with his favorite human.

After Jason was safely gone, I allowed Toby to find his path, and he set a slow pace along the sidewalk. When one walks Toby, it’s more of a shuffle than a stride. The goal, of course, was to get him to poop, so when he slowed down even further and began avidly sniffing around a bush I got the poop bag out and was ready to clean up after him. I didn’t realize it wasn’t pooping he had on his mind.

Toby might be old, half deaf, and arthritic, but when a cat shot out from under that apparently delicious smelling bush he quickly went from being an object at rest to being an object in motion. As for me, I became an unbalanced force. By some miracle I kept a firm hold on the leash and applied some energy to keep him from escaping into the yard where I now realized multiple cats were lounging about.

With more nimbleness and agility than I believed I possessed, I managed to insert myself between Toby and the cats, applying an equal and opposite amount of force until he realized resistance was futile. Whew! For a brief moment I knew the whole situation could’ve gone sideways. Lucky for me, Newton’s Laws held true.

We continued our walk, and Toby found a suitable pooping spot. Now we’re safely back in the house where he’s chasing cats in his sleep. I’m pretty sure Newton’s Laws don’t mean a thing in his dreams.

Peace, people.

Poop Duty

Toby, my adorable coffee table sized grand dog, is an elderly Golden Retriever/Something Else mix. He is sweet and handsome, stubborn and manipulative. Taking him for a walk is an adventure played out in slow motion.

I have almost no experience in getting a dog to go poop. I have two cats, neither of whom needs to be taken for a walk in order to do her business. Set up a nice litter pan and the cats are good to go. Number one or number two. Sometimes both.

Dogs are not cats. They have to give one a signal indicating that going potty is on their agenda. People who live with dogs get in sync with their respective canines’ signals, but someone who has only cats (like me, for instance) often err, either on the side of being hyper vigilant about watching for signals or on the side of being too lax. I’m on the hyper vigilant end of the spectrum.

Left alone with Toby for the better part of two days I worried almost constantly that I wasn’t catching his signals, He’d whine, I’d grab his leash. He’d stand up, I’d coax him to the door. He’d lift his leg, I’d panic. Thanks to my vigilance, we didn’t have a single accident; although, I might’ve worn poor Toby out.

I’ll bet he’s careful what signals he sends out tomorrow.

Peace, people!

Hanging with Toby

I forgot to write a post for today.

But just look who I get to hang out with on this beautiful Thursday!

That’s Toby, my grand dog. He’s the size of a coffee table, hard of hearing, a tad forgetful, and a factory for dog hair. He’s also a real sweetheart who loves his Nana.

We’re supposed to go for a walk this morning, just the two of us. The last time I came for a visit and took him for a walk I found myself being hoodwinked by Toby into walking into what I later learned was “cat territory.” Toby hates cats. So, if you don’t hear from me again you might conclude that I didn’t survive the walk. Wish me luck.

Peace, people.

Haircut Today!

My last haircut was April 3rd. The last time I had my hair color enhanced (aka dyed) was three weeks before that. Today is May 31. To say that I’ve begun looking a little unkempt would be an massive understatement.

I wear my hair really short, so my normal routine consists of a haircut every three weeks and color every six weeks. I’ve been sick since the beginning of May, though, and had to cancel my regular appointments. This is a reasonable approximation of my current look:

Add more gray to the fur, and that’s me.

My appointment isn’t until 11:30, but I set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. and was awake well before that. I’m jumping for joy, but only mentally, because at my age, physically jumping for joy could be hazardous to my health. I could do it, but I might not be able to walk for a week. And nothing is going to keep me from this appointment.

In my stead, here are inspiring photos of others expressing their joy. Enjoy their joy!

Peace (and joy) people!

Toby or not Toby

I am visiting my son and his family in Dallas this week, so my posts are going to be brief glimpses into their lives. Jason and his lovely wife Liz adopted this amazing Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix dog about a year ago.

His name is Toby and he's approximately the size of a coffee table. I fell in love with Toby at first sight.

In the picture below Toby is telling my son that it's well past time to go for a ride in the car.

Studly Doright won't let me have a dog, but if he did, I'd want one just like Toby.

Above, Toby is charming a fellow canine. The little boy in the photo was enamored of both dogs, while they were so into each other that they didn't even notice there was a human in their midst.

Peace, people!

Whew

I’d been dreading a doctor’s appointment for the past couple of months. Apparently my blood work from a recent physical indicated that I might be hosting a debilitating illness in my aging body, and my physician referred me to a specialist.

Of course I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so my mind went to all the dark places: Rabies, Parvo virus, Heartworm. And then I remembered that I’m neither a dog nor a cat. But still, the mind kept straying to thoughts better left unexamined.

I also worried that the specialist would be eager to prescribe all sorts of medications that would just make me feel like an old broad. An injection here, a pill there, and soon I’d be wrestling a list of side effects longer than Kareem Abdul Jabar’s right arm. It happens.

Today I met with the specialist. He was a lovely man who visited first with me about the book I was reading before leaping into the medical stuff. The man knew how to woo me. 

After a thorough exam he asked, “How old are you again?”

“Nearly 60,” I said.

“Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. You’re just fine.”

“Well, I drink a lot of wine,” I said.

“Increase the dose,” he replied.

I might’ve made up that last line.

Peace, and good health people!

Art in the Park

A couple of weeks ago I shrugged off my nagging back pain to attend the LeMoyne Chain of Parks Arts Festival in downtown Tallahassee.
  

The day was gorgeous, seemingly made for enjoying the arts and soaking in the sun. Here are just a few of the photos I snapped that afternoon.   
    
   
Art was everywhere, and much of it was for sale. It’s not often that I wish to be wealthy, but that day I did. 

I love functional art and these handcrafted sinks by Indikoi Sinks fit that category beautifully.   
   
Check them out online at www.indikoisinks.com

Then look at these gorgeous designs from Aquatic Impressions! 

   

Here’s how they’re made:
 

I purchased a cutting board.

  
   
Hanging around with famous folks.

 
I really want this bicycle to decorate my courtyard area. Of course I also want a dinosaur and a Buddha and maybe a 30 foot tall bacon sculpture.

  
This was created from an actual leaf. 


    
    
    
  
 

Caption This

One of my favorite bloggers, Ellen Hawley (Notes from the U.K.), recently posted a quirky photo and solicited captions for it. Here’s the link to Ellen’s post: http://wp.me/p4FooO-kN

I submitted a caption, but a winner had already been declared. Story of my freaking life. But two, or two hundred, can play this game, and I vowed to find a photo worthy of captioning. 

I give you:

  
So submit your caption, and we’ll decide on a best one and maybe honorable mentions. There could be medals or trophies or something.