I get some of my best writing ideas while walking my dogs. My brain is free to think while my body is exercising. I am not listening to music or staring into my phone. I am enjoying the view.
Today I walked Pepper, my almost four-year-old lab, while Daisy stayed home where she feels safe and protected (a three-time rescue dog story that I can only surmise).
As I was in my reveries while plodding down the hill, and after I’d picked up my dog’s poop from two days ago when she did a double–double on the walk and I’d only brought the one bag and had already thrown it in the trash, I noticed an elderly woman on the other side of the street bringing in her landfill can.
The woman’s front yard was bright green with Astro Turf. Low maintenance but not natural. I don’t know how she got it past the HOA.
But I digress.
I wondered if, I too, would resort to artificial turf a decade from now, a permanent way to keep my front yard green. As I was imagining myself ten years older, I heard the elderly woman yelling, “Cooper! Cooper!”
Cooper was a cute cocker spaniel headed straight for Pepper.
Pepper did a lunge (bad habit) which woke me from my reveries since she almost pulled me off the sidewalk. Cooper took one look at the lunging bigger dog and did an about-face in the middle of the street.
“You’d never know he was fourteen years old!” the woman yelled. “Cooper, you’re a bad dog!”
“He still has some vim and vigor!” I yelled back.
Vim and vigor. The words rolled off my tongue as they would’ve rolled off any of my Iowa relatives’ tongues, had they still been alive.
Uncle Frank. Grandma Nellie. Cousin Nina. Well, maybe not Nina. She died too young.
“Yes, he still has vim and vigor!” the elderly woman yelled back as she corralled Cooper in her garage. “Bad Cooper! Bad dog!”
Vim and vigor.
An antiquated thing to say to an antiquated woman. Had my brain been storing that up for today’s doggie incident? Where had my mind pulled that file folder from? Iowa history? Old things to say to old people? Clever movie titles? Names for a Smoothie bar business?
A decade from now, if Pepper and I are still of this Earth, she will be fourteen years old, just as Cooper is now. Will my dog still have her vim and vigor? Will a younger woman say those words to me when I step out of my garage to admire my fake grass and my Pepper runs into the street to greet her dog?
Somehow I don’t think so.
The brain is an amazing warehouse of bizarre information and expressions.
Vim and vigor. I would’ve used it for the blog-post title, but would the young people have read my blog post?
I think not.