Morning light is getting a bit more scarce these days. We usually take Farley for his morning constitutional somewhere around 6:42. I know, that 6:42 doesn’t sound like a time that comes after the words “somewhere around,” but I’ve lived in Connecticut, the land of steady habits, for over 35 years, so, yeah, 6:42, give or take a few seconds.
The problem is that although a 6;42 walk is very pleasant for much of the year, in late October, before the clock changes, it becomes a walk in the dark.
With our old dogs, that meant me wearing a headlamp and one of those fashionable reflective vests. I was willing to take the fashion hit so that stampeding deer knew I wasn’t a shrub…and, I suppose, so that frantic commuters didn’t drive over me as they raced to the train station. I worried a bit about the dogs, though, as both wore permanent black coats that rendered them invisible. Unfortunately neither would tolerate any sort of reflective gear.
Sadly neither one is with us anymore. Oh, no, they never had a walking accident. Sorry if I gave that impression. I was just leading to the fact that they are no longer with us, and we now have our pandemic puppy, who, because the pandemic has such staying power, is now a Pandemic Full-Grown Dog (which is a lot less catchy). He’s coming up on his second birthday, and might be in need of a new identity.
One of the many great qualities of our furry friend Farley is that he is also a fearless fashionista. He gladly wore the bow tie that my student gave him for Moving Up Day two springs ago. He had no problems with the saddle and stuffed bronco rider he bore last Halloween. He enjoys his Washington Capitals jersey (even though, he actually doesn’t find hockey compelling. He much prefers Triple D and the Great British Bake Off…but I’m digressing). So, it should not have surprised me that Farley was perfectly agreeable when Nancy presented him with his very own reflective vest.
Not only did he not object to the vest, he actually let Nancy know that he enjoys it. He prefers to think of it as a cape…as in something a superhero might sport. Yesterday was our first officially dark morning, so, we got ready a little earlier and thus, at 6:42, we stepped onto our front doorstep, Nancy with her reflective vest, me with both vest and headlamp, and mild-mannered Farley, sporting his bright orange “cape.” He had instantly transformed into Safety Dog, that dapper superhero, able to protect us from talking skeletons (as long as they don’t move), vicious bunnies, (as long as they run the other way), angry, white lapdogs (as long as they’re on a leash), and oncoming commuters (as long as they see us first).
Cue “Safety Dance.” Adventure season has begun.