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To the Library we go


We walked the dogs to the library the other day. It was a magical moment when the weather was cooperating, and I actually had the energy to walk. We leashed up the dogs and put our overdue books in a bag and off we went. Cricket loves to go on long walks and visit other places. She would prefer to drag me around the neighborhood for an hour or two a day, if it were up to her, whereas Butterfly would prefer to never leave her backyard.

"Let's go!"

“Let’s go!”

When we first moved to this apartment, a year and a half ago, Butterfly blossomed. She smiled more. She ran in the yard and recognized our door right away and ran straight too it, off leash, within days. She was home.

"My backyard!"

“My backyard!”

Butterfly is not a fan of walking along the very noisy street next to our building, though, so I had to carry her for the first part of the trip to the library. I carried her down the hill and across the street, while Mom and Cricket stopped every few seconds to sniff things and race ahead, and sniff things again and race ahead again.

"Must. Sniff. Everything."

“Must. Sniff. Everything.”

"Cricket, are you sure it's safe out there?"

“Cricket, are you sure it’s safe out there?”

I expected Butterfly to be fine walking on her own once we reached the side street, but she still refused. She tried to pull back towards home, and when that didn’t work she just refused to move at all. She was afraid of every noise, especially the birds squawking from the nearby trees.

I carried her like a baby, with her head resting on my shoulder, and that seemed to calm her down. I tried setting her down a few more times, because fifteen pounds gets heavy after a while, but she’d walk for a little bit and then stop and refuse to go any further.

"Mommy, I think my tongue is falling out of my mouth."

“Mommy, I think my tongue is falling out of my mouth.”

We finally made it to the library and dropped off our books in the book slot, and then decided to walk home through the duck pond, hoping the serene atmosphere would help Butterfly stay on her own feet. We walked on the sidewalk, to avoid as much goose poop as possible, and for a little while, Butterfly was fine. She was even running ahead of Cricket, who was hyperventilating. The sound of Cricket’s breath, scratching against her vocal cords, made me picture a tiny musician inside of her throat, playing a tiny violin very badly.

"I'm not choking. I don't know why you think I'm choking."

“I’m not choking. I don’t know why you think I’m choking.”

Before we were halfway through the park, Butterfly balked again. I veered off onto the grass after all, hoping that would make her feel better, but it didn’t. I had to carry her, and dodge goose poop, all the way up the hill, until we were back to the sidewalk and the busy street. I put Butterfly down, just to rest my arms for a second, and as soon as she realized we were on our way home, she started to hop and smile.

We had to wait for the light to change, and then wait for cars to swoop around the corner at high speed, but then Butterfly pulled me across the street and up the hill as determined as a marathoner in her last lap.

"Are we there yet?"

“Are we there yet?”

I’d been listening to Sheryl Crow singing “Home” earlier in the day, maybe on a TV show or a movie, and the song had become an earworm playing over and over in my mind, louder and louder, as Butterfly pulled me into our parking lot, and around to the backyard, and straight to our door. Home at last.

"Wait, the walk is over?"

“Wait, the walk’s over?”


About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

74 responses »

  1. I won’t even try taking our dogs for a walk. There are too many loose dogs and fenced dogs; a walk ends up being a barking contest. And our dogs are content to bark at everything from the safety of their backyard or the living room window. 😀

  2. I know the paw skids on the sidewalk well. When Ginger decides to stop walking, she just stops. Period. You might find that a harness will help with the walks. We got these great “Buddy Belts” that we got in Vancouver, B.C., but are now pretty available in the U.S. We highly recommend (Ginger and Buddy approved). Ginger’s has patina’d nicely as she got hers BB (Before Buddy), but he got one the weekend he showed up, and is breaking in nicely. Turns out you just have to go online now:

  3. Great post! Glad Butterfly got you all home safe and sound, 🙂

  4. Mommy, there’s no place like home! I so love the captions for your photos. The girls are adorable.

  5. I’m happy in our big, fenced back yard. I also love travelling. Whatever comes is no problem. My biggest fear is that the world will run out of dog food.

  6. I carried her down the hill and across the street, while Mom and Cricket stopped every few seconds to sniff things and race ahead…

    Loved the image of Mom sniffing and racing.

    I kid, I kid. Great post, much enjoyed and very relatable!

  7. What an adventure! They let you take their pictures while going about life. And I like that expression ” earworm”. I’ve heard ear candy before but earworm is very descriptive. If Lily ever decides she doesn’t feel like walking I’ll have to get the car. She weighs 70 pounds!

  8. Sounds like fun. Dogs can make anything into an adventure.

  9. What a lovely picture you paint with your words, Rachel! I, too, have a timid balker of a pup; I’ve had to trade in my dreams of long, strenuous strides with the dog for stop and start adevntures!


  10. This brought some laughter my way..Thank you! And please always be careful in the crosswalks..cause people are in a big hurry…

  11. I suggest a harness for Cricket. It would help her not choke so bad, and it is a little easier for you to pull her back. Butterfly sounds like my horse. She drags her feet when we go out on a ride, but as soon as we head even slightly into the direction of home, I get wore out trying to keep her from running. Gotta love them! 🙂

  12. I always used to have dogs. They are wonderful companions

  13. Sweet little Butterfly! My dog was more like Cricket, every day was an adventure for her. She could walk for hours, I had to jog to keep up!

  14. a very familiar scenario with my mother/son small dogs.  lol

    From: rachelmankowitz To: Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2014 1:56 AM Subject: [New post] To the Library we go #yiv7980175209 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7980175209 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7980175209 a.yiv7980175209primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7980175209 a.yiv7980175209primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7980175209 a.yiv7980175209primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7980175209 a.yiv7980175209primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7980175209 | rachelmankowitz posted: ” We walked the dogs to the library the other day. It was a magical moment when the weather was cooperating, and I actually had the energy to walk. We leashed up the dogs and put our overdue books in a bag and off we went. Cricket loves to go on l” | |

  15. Great post. I enjoy every bit of your writing.

  16. One of my dogs used to just stop- he was also fearful of noises, he would put those brakes on and forget it! I love your photos with the leaves all around- glad you were feeling well enough to get out 🙂

  17. I hated when we were in town walking especially when trucks went by.

  18. Mumsy's Little Chancy Man

    We are with you sweet Butterfly, we like the quiet and peace of home. Chancy prefers to run rather than walk so we are glad we have a large yard so we don’t have to go for walks. There is no way I could keep up with him if we were out of our yard. We are glad Butterfly at least enjoyed walking some of the time. Hugs and nose kisses

  19. The girls are adorable! So cute! I can just see how one loves to walk and the other doesn’t. Dogs are full of personality!

  20. Your girls are a delight and so cute. I hope you all have a great day.

  21. Our dogs do indeed know where Home is. It didn’t take Maggie long to realise which pontoon we were on and which boat was ours.

  22. My sissy is like that all the time save when she naps on my left arm on the couch! She is a little bigger clocking in at 35 lbs!

  23. Nice post, Rachel. “Wait, the walk’s over?” Her face says it all too.

  24. Butterfly Rules!
    Cricket reminds me of Davy Crockett, the great Scout – always on the lookout for the rest of the group. It’s not easy being second in command when you’re in the lead position. 🙂

  25. I’m so glad you felt up to a walk. I hope you are better and stronger every day. Woof! Love, Maggie

  26. A “sled-dog” like my own Cee-Cee, I see!! 🙂

  27. There’s nothing better than a happy dog.

  28. I use to make my toddler walk and put Satchie the pug in the stroller … those were the days;)-

  29. I’ve just tweeted this lovely post 🙂 I really enjoyed it.

  30. I love the “my backyard” photo! 🙂 Action shot!

  31. I love it when dogs do not just read their “daily newspaper”, but the Sunday supplement as well, even if it isn’t Sunday lol X

  32. What a treat to just walk down the lane to your library! Convenient and easy access…Our main branch downtown Nashville is fabulous!!!! Love all your pics, especially of the one Butterfly jumping in the air…what a shot!!!! Blessings for a wonderful rest of the week!!!!

  33. I’ve just tweeted this delightful post, and two other great ones. too.

  34. What a hoot! I’ve read a few of your blog posts and love hearing about the dogs. Thanks for visiting me and giving me a reason to stop by and return the favor.


  35. Wow reminds me so much of my doggie. 🙂


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