The bagels were good, but it was the dog biscuits that kept me going back to the bakery in the square where they made fresh-out-of-the-oven dog biscuits along with bagels, cookies, and cakes.
So it became a routine after our walk on the other side of town to stop at the bakery for a bagel and a biscuit on our way home.
I'd park the car and as I got out, say, "Time for treats."
And she'd track my every step ... from the car to the bakery door and back again.
When I returned to the car, she'd thump, thump, thump her wagging tail against the seat back and quiver with anticipation. Leaning forward she'd press her nose between the front row seats and sniff the air as I put my coffee in the cup holder and reach into the small white bag for the treats ... mine and hers.
Until the day there were none.
Dog biscuits that is. Sold out they said.
When I returned to the car, I put the coffee in the cup holder, and said, "Sorry, Ag, no biscuits today."
She let out a whimper.
"I know," I said, "I'm sorry."
And she whimpered again ... and again.
So I reached into my pocket to offer up a dry, everyday, boring biscuit that I called a treat but knew, today, it really wasn't. Bakery biscuits were the real treat, and she knew it.
I reached back and held the biscuit steady for her to take it from my hand as she had so many times before.
But not today.
No. She turned her head to left, lifted her nose, closed her eyes, and went silent.
There would be no more wagging, no more whining, and certainly no substitutions.
Read more of my adventures with Agatha ...
Meet Agatha ... otherwise known as Ag, Aggie, Agatha Goop 'n Slime, and my favorite, Thunderella, because ... let's just say she was never light on her feet.
Do you have a dog?
Does going for a walk sometimes feel like a chore?
That's how I felt sometimes ... especially when it came to walking a nose-to-the-ground, scent-sniffing basset hound. Agatha liked to walk, but more than that, she liked to sniff and smell ... ALL the smells.
And more often than not, it meant we did a whole lot of stopping and not a lot of walking.
It was frustrating ... until I started looking around and discovered all there was to see. It changed everything.
And that's why I wrote, Things I Notice When I Walk the Dog, available this Friday, October 7.
It's a picture book ... dedicated to Agatha, to dogs, walking, and nature.
A book for dog owners, people who like to walk (with or without a dog), and children and adults alike who whine and whimper when it's time to walk the dog.
Things I Notice When I Walk the Dog is a delightful picture book filled with inspiration and insight. Throughout the book, there are more than 25 things to notice ... how many will you spot?
And how many things will you notice the next time you go for a walk?
Sign-up for the Waystation Whistle newsletter and get an email when the book is available to order.
We never had a dog when I was growing up. There were a few cats, a snake even, but never a dog.
I can't even recall knowing any one dog all that well, but there came a day when I wanted one.
So I went looking for one, talked about getting one, did my research on bringing a dog home, and finally got one. A basset hound.
Why a basset hound? I think it was the ears. They have big, beautiful ears. Velvety ears. And they are solid dogs, well-tempered, and laid-back.
Unfortunately, they are not great about walking in a straight line, moving along from here to there ... at least not Agatha. Nope, she'd walk a few paces and stop. Sniff, move on, and stop again.
After reading the most popular and recommended books about having a dog, I understood the importance of daily exercise, and made sure we went out. Every day. We went in the woods and around the neighborhood, but it was always the same ... a herky-jerky trek from here to there.
Now, granted, I wanted a dog that was easy-going, but when it was time to get her out for some exercise, it became an exercise in frustration. For me and the dog.
The frustration, I realized, came from expecting Agatha to power walk, get moving, and do what I wanted her to do ... to go against her nature. Bassets are after all, scent hounds. Sniffing is what they do. Once I figured that out, I enjoyed our time outside.
What I learned
I learned to take myself for a walk first ... alone. And to accept what Agatha was teaching me ... to slow down and notice things.
In the coming weeks, I'll be releasing a new picture book, Things I Notice When I Walk The Dog.
It's a picture book memoir. Agatha's legacy ... and part of mine.
Think memoir's not for you?
If you think memoir is not for you, think again. People love stories and you've got some good noes.
Stories you can share in a collection or how-to book.
Remember, memoir is not an account of your entire life. It's the account of an experience or event where some kind of understanding, lesson, or insight occurred.
How did you get started doing what you do? What does someone entering the field you're in need to know? What do you wish you knew? Share it and help someone in the same position.
Have you completed a self-initiated challenge where you learned something you didn't expect?
What do you do in your spare time? Are you a mast chef, a marathon runner, or member of a band? What's that like? Let us know.
Your insights and experiences are unique. And that's why we want your take on how it's done and why it matters.
Once you get started, you'll be surprised a what you can share.
Writing about your experiences can feel self-indulgent or out of reach in the beginning, but you tell stories all the time. The challenge is putting them down on paper.
Want to ease into writing? Check out these new tools.
The Hello Dahlia! printable stationery and journal papers.
People love stories, and you've got some good ones.