Our mailbox is about 1/2 mile from our house. Normally, when I walk down to the mailbox, I don’t take my dogs. For the last three years there have been various unpleasant, unleashed dogs in the neighborhood, so I generally only walk our dogs on our property.
However, this week, we had a power outage, the roads were bad, and the weather was disgusting, so I figured most people and their canines would be inside. I took Cami with me on one of my rainy/slushy excursions to the mailbox.
Cami is basically a very shy dog and she doesn’t embrace change. Anything outside of her basic routine is stressful for her. But getting an outing is always a HUGE cause for excitement. When she realized that she got to be “special dog” and go by herself, she was even more excited.
As we headed out, it started to dawn on that little white dog that she really hadn’t been out on the road in a while and everything smelled different . As we made our way across the meadow, her sniffing became more intense.
You can gauge Cami’s mood by the state of her tail. Since she’s a Samoyed mix, when she’s happy, she carries her tail curled over her back. As she gets less happy, the tail descends. When she’s really unhappy, her tail disappears between her legs.
As we walked across the meadow, the Cami tail indicator was dropping to half-mast, but she still seemed reasonably happy. She splashed through the slushy puddles, enjoyed the snow, and sniffed furiously all the way. The way back was equally uneventful, but I could tell that she was getting worn out.
After the walk, I realized that sniffing must be really tiring. Cami was a horizontal hound for the rest of the evening. Sure, she gets a run around the forest every day with her fellow canines, but I learned that if I really want to tire her out, all I need to do is go for a jaunt to the mailbox. Apparently, all that sensory overload really takes it out of her.