Walking the dogs. Good for them, good for me. But honestly walking the same route over and over is boring. We aren’t hardcore walkers here. Little woman, little dogs, we’re what you might call amblers. The dogs are sniffers extraordinaire and though I try to follow the teachings of dog guru Cesar Milan I’d say I’m only about halfway successful. With two dogs it seems like I’m always stopping for one or the other to “mark the spot” or sniff out a particularly lovely squirrel tree. One is always dashing ahead to the end of her leash and the other one often seems to need to take a break from his exertions and lie down in the shade for a bit (to be fair he has pretty short legs). Along with being bored by taking the same route(me, not them, they always seem to find new smells to be excited about), we also have the issue of constantly running into other dog walkers, bike riders and runners. No I’m not totally anti-social (ok I am a little bit)and it’s great that others are out and about getting their fresh air and exercise, but my cute little babies are not always the most well-behaved little doggies. They aren’t bad; they don’t bite, but they do charge at bike riders and bark at runners, and before you ask, yes I’ve watched the “Dog Whisperer” and I’ve trained myself to be the ‘pack leader’ but it can get tiresome always having to yank them back, staying aware of whose coming at me on a bike, or jogging up behind me (btw if you’re running and you come up on someone walking their dog(s) give them a heads up unless you want to get tangled up in an extendi-leash, just sayin’). Between getting bored with the route, and hoping to avoid too many encounters with other outdoor folks, I have been known to make a turn down a side street or into an alley if I see someone coming toward me walking their dogs. Luckily my town’s alleys aren’t New York City alleys and I’m sometimes met with very pretty surprises. Apparently a lot of people here live in their backyards and decorate and garden accordingly. Who knew? My “alley” dead ends into three of my neighbors driveways and goes nowhere, and it ain’t exactly pretty. One recent walk found me wandering down a couple of the local alleys to avoid a lovely lady and her pretty, big and I’m sure much better behaved dog, and I couldn’t resist taking these snaps of “alley gardens” in my neighborhood using my cell phone camera. Cheers to these folks for making themselves a pretty spot in an unexpected place and thank you for sharing, even if you didn’t know you had. I’m sure I’ll be taking more detours, even on purpose. 🙂

caption id=”attachment_54″ align=”aligncenter” width=”224″ caption=”Alley gardens”][/caption]