Going Nowhere

Copyright © 2000 Walt Zientek

"I have good news and some not so good news," said the tiny doctor.

The tall man looked down at the petite Asian woman and waited to hear the story.

"I love your books," the woman said. "We don't even own a dog and we were all
in tears when we read them. Now my son insists that we get a dog. It seems our
family isn't complete without a pet."

The man just grinned and nodded and tilted his head, waiting for the rest of the

"I guess you spend quite a bit of time, sitting at your computer, writing and
smoking and snacking, don't you? she asked.

The tall man just made a guilty face.

"I bet you spend far more time reading and writing about dogs than you actually
do spending time with yours."

The man made an even guiltier face. "These inscrutable Asians!" he thought to

"Just because you are thin," she continued, "doesn't mean you can ignore your
diet and forget to exercise. You better make some lifestyle changes. Get out
there with that big dog of yours and get moving. It will be good for both of you.
Watch the fat content in your foods too. And about that smoking.........."

The man nodded and got out of there as quickly as his under-execised legs
could carry him.

At 5:00 the next morning, he woke up the dog, threw on some sneakers and
shorts, leashed up the sleepy yellow lab and hit the road. Hard. Very hard.

Shin splints soon exploded in his right leg. His left calf cramped up within the
first quarter mile and sweat poured down into his eyes.

The big dog thought this was great.

The man huffed, puffed and gasped his way through a nearly four mile course
of hills and bends and yapping poodles. He limped and wheezed and wiped his
eyes on his nearly saturated shirt. But he kept on walking and limping.

The big dog kept on thinking this was great.

Whenever the man put on his sneakers, the dog knew what was about to happen
and started doing a happy dance around the house. The man didn't do any
dance, happy or otherwise.

The two of them patrolled that suburban neighborhood every morning that
summer and sometimes, when the temperatures weren't too bad, they walked
again that evening. Sometimes the man's wife or daughters would come along as
well. They met all the dogs in the neighborhood and plenty of neighbors as well.

They saw coyotes and cottontails and families of raccoons. They also saw a
dozen pounds disappear from the man and about half that from the yellow dog.
They saw the shin splints and leg cramps melt away too. They saw biblical
sunrises and romantic sunsets.

They saw a lot less time on the computer, fewer junkfood snacks and most of
all, they saw a whole lot more of each other.

So, if ever you should ever be in a certain neighborhood and you run across
a tall, thin man and a big yellow dog, moving at a good clip up and down those
New England hills, you will know what they are doing. You will know where they
are going.

They are going nowhere. Together.

Back to Caleb's Corner

Last modified: 5-29-2001

Page Copyright © 2001 Walt Zientek <WZW@aol.com>