Today was a day of rest.  It started with doing laundry in the lobby while I caught up on my blogging. Then I had a client come over for some stretching and talking about food.

I had ordered Thai food last night, but didn’t finish it, so I heated up the leftovers in the microwave and ate it in what looked like an office break room. It was a vending machine room, filled with junk food. And no pretense at all was made. On the wall there was a mural of various junk foods with words like “preservatives added” “partially hydrogenated goodness” “nutritionally inert” “freshly pre-packaged” ... I wish I could remember them all. I was getting a laugh. 

River had no fresh food. I have some dehydrated food and some kibble in the cargo storage in Thumper’s boot, but I had those for emergencies. And I knew there was a Petco a mile away. But I was in a dilemma. I had the best parking spot in the garage, and I knew that if I drove, I’d lose it. And while a mile is a simple walk for me, I wasn’t sure how River would fare with his recent surgery. 

He’s still technically in his recovery. Today starts the eighth week (of eight). And then there are two or three more weeks of ‘returning GRADUALLY to normal activities” The prescription for the eighth week, does say to take 30-40 minute walks (plural) every day. So this would be about 30 minutes each way.

I decided to do it.

Wow. Hollywood Blvd on Saturday evening is crazy. I had to remind River to stick to my side at least every ten seconds because he was SO stimulated. I kept a good eye on him and gave him breaks and tasks to accomplish to keep him from getting lost in the energetic buzz of the street.

On one of our breaks, I squatted down to his level and was scratching his neck as we looked at the flow of people passing on the sidewalk. But a security guard of unknown affiliation come up and asked us to move it along. I don’t even know what we stopped in front of, but they didn’t want us there, so we moved on.

I was basically focused on River’s reaction to everything, so I didn’t really see anything but through his experience. I did, however, manage to keep an eye on the Walk of Stars. I was hoping to see Lassie for a photo op, but alas, we didn’t find her.

At many points, we were surrounded by people, and had to stop. River didn’t understand stopping amidst all the chaos. He needed to be reminded. But that’s all it took. He was really doing amazing, considering the challenges.

We were approached by Yoda on one of our breaks. He asked if I wanted a picture of my dog with him. This was a full sized man in a black rope with a yoda mask that covered his whole head. I explained how River is afraid of Yoda. He laughed and asked if River bites and I said “yes, he does” but the guy went down to get in River’s face anyway. I repeated, “he’ll bite you”. Because I just didn’t want River to have to deal with the guy in a mask, but he didn’t seem to hear me. Finally after the fourth time, he got the message. “Oh, he does?!” and walked away.

We saw lots of Darth Vaders and Batmans and a Jack Sparrow a couple of Spidermans and a Wolverine. There were many more than I didn’t recognize. It reminded me of a movie I saw about the guys that do this. They’re not employed by anyone. They are self-employed and take the gig very seriously. I sort of feel sorry for them.

Suddenly I found that we were in the front of the Chinese Theater. So we wandered through the courtyard among the throngs, all looking for John Wayne’s footprints. (Just kidding, I Love Lucy reference) But we were looking for Lassie. An usher of the theater came out and didn’t actually ask us to leave, but told us that the security guards will probably come out and ask us to leave because there weren’t any dogs allowed, but he just wanted to let me know. Ah yes, that good old California passive-aggressiveness. Thanks for ‘letting us know’.

I wish I could have stopped to take more pictures because the whole thing was spectacular, but keeping River from losing his cool was taking all of my attention, and both hands. I did stop him at one point to shoot a short video.

We made it to the pet store and got his food and I also got some treats to tease his nose with and hopefully get a little bit more of his attention. We took Sunset back, rather than revisit Hollywood.

On the way back, we stopped into a pub with a giant outdoor deck and they sat me and even brought me a dog menu. I ordered fish tacos and a rocket salad and got River a mint chewy.

He seemed to create a game out of tapping my hand with his nose every few minutes. I gave him SO MUCH praise any time he did that and he would hop around and do it again and again. I bet we looked quite silly, but it was good to have his attention. The cheesy treats may have had something to do with that.

Well, so far, no limping, and we’ve been back in the motel room for about an hour. We’re both  resting, though. It wasn’t the distance that was so exhausting, but the activity level we had to contend with. Walking a mile compared to what we did would seem like nothing.

Tonight I’ll go to bed early as tomorrow morning I have an 8:30 class in Santa Monica. I might go talk to the guy in the garage tonight to make sure he doesn’t have a car parked in front of mine in the morning. They tend to pack that garage!


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