Jukebox Jazzmin and the Snake Saver!

View of the moon during one of our walks

View of the moon during one of our walks

Even with a pup as energetic as my Jazzmin, it can be difficult to find the motivation to go out and walk when it’s 80+ degrees out. When it was a bit cooler last week I had no trouble at all taking Jazz for two walks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. In the heat and humidity, my enthusiasm wains. Jazz is really good at giving me the puppy dog eyes to guilt me into walking but considering she does that even after I’ve taken her on two nice, long walks, the power of those pathetic brown eyes diminishes.

It’s then up to me to find some other good motivation to get my rear in gear. That’s where music comes in. Before I adopted Jazz, I’d always listen to music on my walks with one earbud in. I stopped doing that though because even one earbud made it hard to hear traffic over hills. Last week I discovered the perfect solution: turn Jazzmin into a jukebox! No I didn’t equip her with tweeters and subwoofers (haha, doggy humor there) or use duct tape to strap a boombox on her back. Instead, I tucked my phone into the top section of her backpack and played my music through its little speaker. It works amazingly well and gives Jazz and I a great, upbeat tempo to walk to!

Jazzmin with my phone tucked into her backpack

Jazzmin with my phone tucked into her backpack

My favorite genres of music lately are Reggaeton and Latin pop. I imagine my country neighbors find it peculiar hearing Spanish singers blasting from the back of my dog, but oh well. On our walk last night, we turned a corner just as a car pulled up to the intersection. I had my back to the intersection but I heard the car pull away strangely slowly so I turned around to find the young male teenage driver staring at us out his open window as he drove down the road. He really wasn’t looking where he was going so he was obviously highly curious. I rolled my eyes in amusement and turned back around to continue our walk. My country neighborhood just isn’t equipped to deal with unique ladies like Jazz and I.

Jazz and I also did a bit of animal rescue last night on our walk. Apparently it’s the time of year for snakes to cross the road as I’d found the remains of one on our previous walk. I like snakes, especially the one living near my shed that I’ve named Jammy. The dead snake I’d seen in the road was a smaller version of Jammy so seeing that had made me sad. Thankfully last night I was given a chance to save another snake from the same fate. This little guy was almost to the middle of the road so I stepped up slowly to him and coached him across the road. I’m sure he was scared of me but I’d much rather scare him across the road than have him end up under the tires of a car. I even manged to catch our rescue on video! Don’t watch it if you’re not fond of snakes because it’ll probably make you twitch.

As you can see, our walk adventures are never-ending! We walk the same roads but there’s always something new to see. I truly enjoy having the time to savor it all now and despite her attempts to convince others how neglected she is, I know Jazzmin is loving the extra walks!

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Listening Walks

There are no sidewalks where I live and the roads I walk on have a lot of blind hills. I have to be listening constantly for oncoming cars. On windy nights like tonight it’s an extra challenge because the wind coming over the hills sounds just like a car. Jazz and I stop and step into the shoulder, wait a few moments and if the wind dies down and there’s no further sound, we’re safe to continue.

Jazz and I cast long shadows!

Jazz and I cast long shadows!

My listening ability comes in very handy on my walks with Jazzmin and not just for avoiding cars. I’m always listening for the sounds of deer crashing through the woods or squirrels scampering among the leaves. This gives me warning before they run out in front of us and I can make sure I have Jazz in control. There are quite often times when she walks blissfully by unaware that 10 feet off the road there’s deer staring at her or a squirrel sitting up in a tree. I’m not about to call her attention to them.

Mostly what I listen for and to are the songs of the birds. Take a walk with me and I’ll tell you what song belongs to what bird. There are still a few songs I don’t recognize but tonight I heard an Eastern towhee, tons of robins, cardinals, grosbeaks, chickadees and blackbirds. I learned three new bird songs today. This morning I heard and saw a mockingbird and this evening I heard and saw a Baltimore oriole and some other mysterious bird I still haven’t identified.

Baltimore oriole

Baltimore oriole

mysterious songbird

Mysterious songbird upper left of tree

I apologize for the low quality pictures of the oriole and the mystery bird but the camera on my phone only zooms in so far and the birds wouldn’t obediently come closer. It was the perfect night for a walk and the breeze helped keep us cool and keep the bugs away. Jazz is always happy to be out walking and having so many beautiful things to see and hear makes it my favorite kind of exercise.

I’m a listener by nature; a listener and observer. I was a shy kid and still am somewhat shy in person until you get to know me. So rather than participate, I listened and watched. You can learn a lot by keeping your lips zipped and your ears open. I know I did. The side effect of this is that when I’m with my friends and family, I’ve observed so much, am so eager to share it and have been quiet for so long that I talk really fast. I suppose in that respect I resemble the song birds because I have a lot to say, though I do so in a far less musical way.