One way I keep my blood sugars in check is by dog walking – or, to put it more precisely, praying that my dog will stop researching any and all incoming data long enough to actually take a walk.
Dog walking, or at least walking my mini-schnauzer, Noodle, often involves as many stops as starts, as she investigates odd and familiar smells, new insects and bits of flora that may have shifted across the backyards of our neighborhood since our last outdoor trek.
For the past two years, our partner on many of these languorous yet intense walks has been Noodle’s best friend Gizmo, a mixed breed who had the energy that Noodle lacks, and with a perky, jerky step, kept Noodle moving more or less forward for most of the time.
So let’s get to the sad part first: today I learned that the Giz was hit by a car and killed while walking with his mistress on a road near our house. Part of the blame was a retractable leash that didn’t retract fast enough, but part was possibly Gizmo’s irrepressibly crazy nature that sent him spiraling out into road and field, always ready for a good game and a 100-yard dash.
Without him, our lives are going to be a little bit less energetic and less colorful. As for Noodle – who has no way of knowing where Gizmo has vanished – it’s going to be a little confusing and sad as she habitually stops by Gizmo’s flower bedecked driveway to call him to come out to play.
Noodle and I will be outside, bright and early tomorrow for our regular walks. And though I know I’m walking in part to improve my sugars, we’re going to take our time tomorrow in memory of Gizmo. We won’t rush. We’ll sniff a little grass, dig a little mud and maybe run in circles across the lawn like a whirling dervish, all the while remembering that life is fleeting and summer doesn’t last.