July 12, 2019

On the Road

By Tom Richards

Zeke and I are closing in on 350 miles. We have walked together these past seven weeks, Zeke exploring territory he already knows and territory that is new, finding smells that I think he has smelled before and novel smells that are rich with history and mystery and narrative.

Even the old smells must have changed in some small way, because he romps through the undergrowth as if he has discovered some new odor, some gloriously different whiff that makes him race with abandon, turning to me and smiling, telling me that it is even better than yesterday.

The weather varies during our treks, so does the picture. Cold and rainy, hot and oppressive, clear and delightful, the conditions never bother him. He celebrates what comes. I wish I could say the same. There is joy in watching him walk and run and swim and hurry, even as I struggle to keep up. He and I have seen rolling hills and sharp hills and large sand dunes and ocean and harbors and small towns and hospitals and humans– and he finds rapture in all of it.

We have met so many nice people. They stop and pet and marvel. The questions I receive as we walk are always affirmative and kind and curious. “He is a pup, right? No more than one year, right? He is actually almost four? And the remarks are filled with wonder and adoration. “Gosh, he has big paws.”” I love that face.” “You have a great dog.” I pretend to be modest, but I am bursting with pride. It is silly I know, but I swell my chest as someone compliments me on a dog I was simply lucky enough to find. And one who will eagerly walk 500 miles because I tell him that we must. I’d like to think that he understands what we are doing and that adventure and treats and smelly things await.

Yep, that’s my boy.  Zeke and I, on the road.

Hiking & Howling Update

Distance walked (as of Sunday, July 7) = 312 miles

Miles remaining before our ending date of September 20 = 188

Funds Raised: $4,950.00

Places walked – Ockehocking Preserve, Mt. Misery and Joy, Goshen Trail, Old Covered Bridge Circle

Zeke and I continue our journey. It has been a bit more difficult these past weeks as the weather has been hot and humid. He and I are now doing most of our walking in the early mornings when it is a bit more comfortable, and with lots of water and a few rest breaks, we continue to get closer to our goal. Thanks to all of you who are supporting us on our journey with your generous donations and kind words of encouragement.

Nellie’s Schoolhouse is now visiting Camp Pegasus in Bryn Mawr everyday at 2:15 and is beginning the second session of Dog Walking 101 at Carousel Connections in Haverford.

We are also pleased that our wonderful relationship with the Judith Creed Homes for Adult Education continues this summer.

Learn more about Hiking & Howling.

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