Friday, 23 December 2011

It's been a busy week

This week's walks have been a bit of a blur, so I won't try catching up. Suffice to say that the weather has been getting warmer and the ice patches have disappeared as the week has progressed.

Yesterday we had a bit of a Holly-induced detour from what was going to be a Standard Route, Variant A. This means that instead of going the quickest route into the Dene you walk to the bus terminus and then walk the additional length of the Dene. For some reason, R&A's camouflage always seems to work best along this stretch of the Dene and Amazon likes to explore the higher reaches of the east side of the Dene. Otherwise this is the same walk as usual.

Everything was progressing well; Amazon was off having fun and Rover was trotting back and forth while Holly took up her accustomed place at the rear. Then we started meeting other dogs. First there was a collie who Rover began playing with. We rarely have a problem with other dogs and Rover but inevitably Amazon turns up.

Amazon hates other dogs enjoying themselves, unless it involves chasing a ball and she is involved. Squeaky toys, pulling ropes, shaking anything are all banned activities as far as Amazon is concerned. She will quite happily confiscate the other two dogs' toys and sit with them between her paws, in full sight but untouchable.

This attitude seems to extend to Rover having fun with other dogs. If the other dog is playful then Amazon will bark at it and try to subdue it. In itself this is not dreadful behaviour as dogs should be allowed to resolve dominance issues. What is more problematic is that Rover then turns on the dog he has been playing with and it turns into a hunt situation with both dogs chasing the dog they have just met. Thankfully Holly does not join in. The only solution is a timely intervention, getting Amazon out of the way and on the lead.

So we passed the collie and walked towards the lower bridge. Here we met two golden labradors who we meet quite often. Not being excitable dogs themselves, they just sniff and move on; they don't want to play chasey with Rover so Amazon does not get annoyed, which is good news all round. We had a quick chat with their owner and walked on.

At this time the routine is that R&A have a quick drink from the semi-permanent puddles along this stretch before running off into the trees to hunt about again, while Holly trots along behind us doing little more adventurous than snacking on the grass at the side of the path if she feels the need.

Not yesterday. She saw another dog on the bridge and decided to introduce herself. Having done so, she decided that instead of coming back over with the dog she had just met, she would keep going. We tried calling her, but got no response. Instead we called R&A and took them over the bridge in search of our wandering old dog.

We found her having introduced herself to yet another dog, whose owner was concerned about the whereabouts of her owner. Holly did not seem at all phased by her break from routine. Rather than backtrack to finish the planned route we continued the way home on the west side of the dual carriageway. R&A looked hopefully at the Big Field but as there were no balls to throw they grudgingly plodded back home having missed out on their last five minutes of freedom.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Rover having a crazy Alpha day

Yesterday was another beautiful winter's day with absolutely clear, cloudless skies. We went out at about midday even though there were other things to get on with in the dash to get everything ready for Christmas. Yet again it was icy everywhere but the sun was doing its best to banish the hoar on the ground. We again set off for what can only be called the standard walk - across the BOF, into the Dene, around by the Lower Bridge and back.

There was a lot more activity than usual, starting with a Staffordshire Terrier who Rover brought to see us. Rover being in unusually boisterous mood then decided that this Staffy was going to be his bitch (actual gender of dog unknown. Faced with an unusually dominant Rover and Amazon being her usual self, the Staffy flattened itself to the ground and then legged it when it heard its master's voice in the distance. We called the terrible twins back so that they did not bully the poor thing any further.

Later we met a couple walking a liver coloured labrador. Everything seemed to be going well until Rover picked up a ball. Rover is normally a gentle, placid beast. However if you introduce a ball into the equation he becomes an obnoxious bully who will do everything in his power to have that ball. He also happens to be able to devote all of the limited mental capacity at his disposal to the complex mathematics involved in catching a ball. When it turned out that this ball was not "just an old ball" as I thought but in fact the labrador's ball, there was nothing for it but to tell him to "leave", put his lead on and walk on with many a longing look over his shoulder.

Rover finished this walk with a hat-trick of crazy behaviour. As we made our way back up the side of the Dene he started jumping up in the air and running around with great excitement, easily jumping high enough to "lick" Cath's face. Lick is probably not a good description of what a lurcher at high speed does, but that was plainly the intention. He eventually calmed down and again both Rover and Amazon appeared at the waiting gate without having to be called.

For the information of the owner of the Staffy, Rover has been neutered. If the dog was in fact a bitch she has nothing to fear from Rover and other than that it was just normal canine dominance behaviour.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Still icy

We had another full day today, so the poor pooches had to wait until nearly nightfall before I could get out with them today. Cath was off to work, so I had all three of them to myself. We set off to find that once again there was frost on the ground. The snow yesterday had not amounted to much, although there was a light covering on the garden this morning.

The snow clouds have all gone off to pastures new, leaving relatively clear skies with some cirrus level clouds to add a bit of interest to the sky. I don't think that the temperatures have been much above freezing today, although I did find evidence of thawing and then refreezing, as you will discover.

Very early on we had an unusually noisy encounter with a pair of huskies. We were just minding our own business when they appeared down the road and started barking loudly and excitedly. A&R decided to bark back at them. Holly, normally as good a barker as any, kept out of it. There was a big gap between us so there was no opportunity to sniff and make up, so as far as I know that is unfinished business.

Dog owners seem happier about their dogs meeting other dogs in warmer weather, I've noticed. in cold weather we all want to just get around and get back home. The dark seems to make us additionally withdrawn and suspicious, so we don't tend to talk to each other as much as we would otherwise.

The Bridge of Food had a couple of chips swimming in curry sauce at one end which I spotted before Holly could make a bee-line for. I was able to direct her away from the scraps of food before she could zone in on them but she clearly spotted them and even Rover tried to scuttle over to give them the once over. Once past this distraction I had to keep all three dogs in control while coming down the ramp which was even more treacherous than yesterday. Somehow with all three leads in one hand and the other on the rail, and I got Amazon to behave to the point where I did not end up on my bum thanks to an over-eager Amazon. The ice was worse than yesterday, even though the snow had gone. It was obvious that where the sun had been out the snow and ice of yesterday had melted but when it ran into shaded areas it had refrozen, causing larger areas of ice. However I kept my feet and the Bridge of Food faded into the distance.

I was into the Dene before I realised that I had not  brought a torch. Thankfully all three dogs had donated prodigious amounts for the bins of Newcastle, so there was only one additional call of nature for Holly and she was accommodating  in stopping where I could see quite clearly how much she had done and where it lay, so the offending article was bagged and binned.

The ice on the upward path kept my eyes pretty much to the ground as I walked out of the Dene, so I was pleasantly surprised at the top to discover a glorious winter sunset over Blaydon. The sun itself was out of sight but there was a bar of orange-gold light along the horizon and one of the planets (probably Venus) was in attendance, bright and beautiful in the sky above the horizon.

At about the same time I became aware that there was a lot of ice over part of the area that the Council have put drainage in. It would seem that their measures are fine for dealing with liquid water but no match for water that freezes as it flows, so the ice was still accumulating. Thankfully I wasn't so lost in the beauty of the sunset and the early night sky that I lost my footing. I found myself a nice bit of grass to stand on and had a quick scan of the sky. A few faint stars were appearing at the zenith but my attention was caught by a bright star high above the horizon. I drew a quick line between it, the Evening Star and the point on the horizon where the sun had disappeared and concluded that this was another planet, probably Jupiter. I did not linger to enjoy this fine sight however as it was a bit parky.

We passed a young man on the path towards the lower bridge but he had his head down and hurried past with barely a glance at the dogs. Just like yesterday, R&A seemed only half interested in their last minute sweep of the Dene as I walked up the path and they came as soon as I called. They don't have very thick fur and I think their comfy corners at home were calling to them as much as they were to me. We passed three people walking a labrador but as I observed earlier, they were not interested in social contact. That left a slightly more confident crossing of the Bridge of Food (avoiding the chips at the end again and a return home.

Just had a quick look on an astronomy website - I was right about both planets!

A teeny bit of snow.

We were off to fetch home one of the kids from Uni yesterday so the dogs were treated to a nice early walk. There was a bit of wind blowing about, there was a covering of cumulus that had been a mist earlier in the morning and it was cold. Almost immediately I noticed the odd flake of smow - not the big ones that accumulate in no time, it was the very small nearly hard ones that are almost but not quite hailstones. The ground was frozen from frost the night before, so even though it was an inconsequential amount of snow it was actually able to accumulate.

We slipped and slid over the Bridge of Food, which lived up to its name today by having half of a small chocolate bar lying there in full view. We steered Holly (and the other two mutts for that matter) away from this tempting poisonous treat. Then it was down the final slope, which was not fun as there was a noticeable sheet of ice across the path. Cath let Holly wander down off the lead but there was no way R&A would abide by that little agreement so I had to put both leads in one hand and gingerly make my way down the slope with one hand hovering over the handrail, just in case.

As we were going we saw a woman and her dog wandering along the path below us. We know this pair quite well. The woman is nervous and not very talkative. Her dog is about Holly's height but much slimmer and it always had a muzzle on and as far as I am aware it is never allowed off the lead. Cath says that she has talked to her when she has walked the dogs without me, so I'm obviously too scary to speak to. By he time we got off the bridge they had got a fair way ahead along a different path to us, so that was the dogs only interaction with other dogs today.

The Dene was a little sombre on its winter colours. The odd snowflake continued to fall through the trees and here and there enough snow had accumulated to for isolated patches of grey-white. I jokingly sang a line or two from "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" but Cath didn't pick up on the sarcasm. I guess she was too worried about snow actually building up and causing delays on our trip to Leicester. Still the snow did add to the problem of getting up the path from the bottom of he Dene. The frost was bad enough but there was enough snow to cause additional slippage. Cath ended up walking on the grass to get a bit of traction but I managed to stay on the path with a little bit of care and concentration.

The Council did some work to help the drainage on one section of the path south of the Dene. Every winter this bit of path has become a large puddle which has frozen up in the winter and been a bit of a challenge. The work involved cutting three drainage channels through the tarmac, filling them with stones and covering them over with a layer of tarmac. They accumulated large amounts of pebbles and gravel on either side and dug a channel for the water to flow away from. This meant a slip free section here, although there was still a tiny patch of ice where water has flowed down from another path and it had frozen as it flowed across our path. Seems to be a job well done!

The return leg went particularly smoothly today - R&A appeared from their little hunting trip before we had a chance to call them, meaning that we were not waiting around for them for ages. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it is a nice little bonus. We headed back, avoiding the little bit of chocolate on the Bridge of Food, and got the dogs back just before the tiny flutter of snow began to turn into something a little more like snowfall, with a scattering of big flakes.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Today I decided to take the ball throwers and go down to the Big Field. I'm never quite sure when it became the Big Field, that's just what we call it. There are two other fields we go to for ball throwing, the Vallum Field and the field by Sugley Dene. I know that this caused confusion with the kids when we first got the dogs as they referred to the field by Sugley Dene as the Vallum Field because the pub called the Vallum is at the far end of this field.

We call the other field the Vallum Field (or just "the Vallum") because it happens to be the site of the old Roman earthwork of that name which is associated with Hadrian's Wall. Apparently there was a road crossing the Vallum at this particular point which makes it more interesting than most bits of the Vallum although the big tourist buses never venture down Southway to see it. It just goes to show that if you want to find the gems of the Roman Wall you have to go under your own steam.

It is a pretty grey and miserable day today, overcast with stratus clouds. The wind has dropped since yesterday and the sleety rain seems to have cleared for now, but it was definitely a day for wrapping up against the cold.

Walking along with three dogs and two ball chuckers should pose no real problems for a man of my size and in the summer I can happily claim that it doesn't. Even the inevitable complication of picking up their waste as you go poses little real difficulty. So what is it about the winter that makes this so much harder? Not icy conditions, because although cold it hasn't been that cold. No, it's the extra clothes, and especially the gloves. Don't get me wrong, I like my layers very much, otherwise I wouldn't be wearing them. Have you ever tried scooping up dog poo wearing gloves? Not only do you lose the required amount of friction with the clean side of the bag but you inevitably fail to pick a piece up, or drop what you have, or something else will go wrong. After all that you have to tie the bag up, introducing a whole raft of other issues. So, no matter how cold it is, you need to take off at least one glove. This done, you have an opportunity to allow the occurrence of what gloves do best; get lost. This nearly happened at one point today but luckily I was looking for the glove as I walked off and noticed that it was not in the pocket I had put it in. The three dogs were most unhappy at backtracking to fetch it.

Going to the Big Field means going past all those cat memories that I mentioned elsewhere. As Amazon is the main culprit I sorted out the leads as follows: Holly's over my left wrist with Holly on my right hand side and R&A on my right wrist but walking on my left. I ran Amazon's lead through my right hand to shorten it and stop her pulling ahead and let Rover on a loose lead where he would happily walk at the same pace as Amazon. Whenever we came to a cat memory I stopped for a little while to let Amazon see that there were no cats there which I think helped a little bit.

Eventually we got to the Big Field. I let the dogs off the lead and threw the first ball as far as possible and R&A dutifully chased after it. Holly had other plans, which I had to pick up. R&A chased the ball and eventually settled down to wait. Holly wanted me to throw the other ball, but I wouldn't. I need to take two balls with me for several reasons. The first is that R&A have always competed in chasing a single ball. There appears to be two objects to this game; the first being to catch the ball, the second being for the other dog to chase the one with the ball. The first throw of the day always takes the most time to resolve.

We had no luck training the lurchers to retrieve. It just doesn't seem to be in their natures. Rover at one point seemed to make some progress but then reverted when Amazon made it clear she was having nothing to do with it. They do listen to a leave command however, so if you get near them and call "Leave" they will either drop the ball or stop and put it down.

I got over to the lurchers and retrieved their yellow ball. I threw it far again and the three dogs ran after it. Holly was as usual at the tail end of this chase and soon stopped and barked at the other two. She then turned and I then threw the other (pink) ball in a different direction. I kept collecting both balls and throwing long and short until Holly lost the pink ball. You would think that a pink ball on a field of mown green grass would be easy enough to find. It wasn't. I kept throwing the yellow ball knowing that Holly would never catch it, while retracing Holly's pawsteps until I found the offending object hiding in plain sight.

The ball throwing continued for a while before I reckoned they were getting tired. The usual sign of this is that Amazon will take the ball and lie down with it either in some long grass or under a bush. I retrieved both balls and started across the field, with three expectant dogs running around me. I glanced back and spotted something blue on the ground. I had wrapped the bag with Holly's latest offering around a finger, but with wearing gloves I never noticed the bag slip from my finger. I had to backtrack again to pick it up.

I do not understand the people who pick up their dog's waste and then leave it lying on the ground. Obviously in this case if I had not looked back I would have been guilty of doing the same thing, so there may be an element of accident involved. What I really get mad about are the people who bag up the wast and then decide it would be a good idea to hang the little doggy gift on a nearby tree, ready for the poo fairy to came and collect, no doubt.

What a beautiful day!

Yesterday's Monday's walk was a bit of a blur. It was one of those days when everything had to be done in a very short time, so after going to an appointment with one of the boys and making a big batch of broth, there was only about twenty minutes to get out with the dogs.

I opted for what can only be called the usual route, one that combines speed with a good amount of running around in open space for the dogs. We set off and the lurchers were delighted to find that I was letting them go flat out and we made good time to the Bridge of Food, which disappointed Holly by being completely bare. I then reined in the dogs until we got into the Dene. It was as we made our way down through the little side valley and it was about this point that I realised just how nice a day it really was.

I knew it was warmer than usual because I had been out and I had decided to come out without a coat - although I did have a fleece top and a hat. It struck me as I strode down the path at my fastest long-shanks pace that this was really a day for a nice leisurely stroll, not a headlong dash. I'm not sure what the temperature was but I as warm in my clothes. The sky was a washed out blue and there were white cirrus and cumulus clouds in the sky but the sun was shining and the light fantastic.

Still, I was in a hurry and I had to be appreciative of the beauty of the Dene at speed. We shared the place with a jogger and his large black dog that wanted to play but wasn't allowed. Rover wanted to be friends (as usual) but Amazon braked at it and chased it, so I called her back. I know that she is just a control freak accidental alpha but some owners just see aggression. Thankfully the dog's owner seemed quite chilled out about it. He probably just wanted to get on with his run in peace.

We circled round past the lower bridge and as usual I only had Holly for company as the lurchers got into hunting mode and scooted off to look for rabbits and squirrels. This is a traditional part of the walk so I am quite used to it. There is a point on the return walk where there is a slalom gate designed to stop people on motorbikes, etc. from bombing down the path at great speed. Another of our traditions is to stop here to wait for the lurchers. The A1 is too noisy here to be heard calling into the Dene, so I usually call before I get there where I reckon the edge of the Dene is closest. If there is no response to the calling I use the whistle. Cath and I have subtly different sequences (basically I can't repeat her sequence as it doesn't feel natural to me) so the dogs are used to more than one call.

It was definitely a whistle day. Rover appeared on the path quite quickly and ran up. This is another tradition. Rover almost always turns up first. Amazon takes her hunting very seriously and is never happy to be called away from it. Just as I was considering another call on the whistle, Amazon turned up ahead of us. She had obviously been quite far back along the way we had come and decided to cut the loop by running through the little housing estate which sits like an island between Dene and the bypass.

That was almost the whole walk. As I was still in a hurry I got into trot mode. If I am by myself with the dogs I sometimes decide to run with them. This is impossible on the way out as R&A are too excited and just decide to try going flat out, which means that I am not running so much as being pulled along and pulling the dogs back. This is not a good situation as it empowers the dogs and means I am not in full control. On the way back the situation is different. The mad energy has gone and the dogs will quite happily let me trot along at about the speed that they trot at. It's not quite jogging and we can make quite good time. Even Holly likes this pace, although she misses out on all the interesting sniffs and chances to snaffle abandoned food. We kept this up for most of the bridge of food area, although I slowed them to a walk when I saw a couple walking towards us on the bridge. We were almost back to civilization when I saw a woman and a small dog ahead, so we slowed down to let them pass. The dog ran towards us and I saw that it was the little hairy Jack Russell that lives on the corner. It was quite happy and playful and Amazon ignored it until we got around the corner, at which point she had enough and started barking. The dog wouldn't go back to its owner, so he scooped it up. As R&A were on the full length of their leads, they took this as a cue to jump up, which I had to then stop them from doing. With that little episode behind us we walked the last bit home without any further excitement.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

An atypical start

I was hoping to start with an introduction to the usual route that we take on our little perambulations but yesterday we were anything but typical. For a start we normally get ourselves out at some point in the morning, but that didn't happen. I probably could have got out sooner but there were other things on like tidying the house ready for Christmas, so our patient pooches had to make do with the back door being opened for them periodically.

When Cath got in, things were starting to look bleak on the walkies front, as we all settled down to vegetate. I think it was the vegetating that led to a decision to go and get a meal from the chippy and rather than take the car we could walk the dogs.

Normally our walk starts off in the direction of this particular chip shop and then turns away to go in a big loop back to the beginning. If we had attempted this walk we would still have two highly strung and decidedly unexercised lurchers to keep in check while we waited for food and then the food would have cooled down too much by the time we completed the walk.

So instead we went for an occasional route which would let them have time off the lead before we got to the chippy. We stayed on our side of the A1 and walked through the estate to a footbridge which would take us into the Dene at a point well below our usual crossing point - at the furthest point away from home on our usual walk. This meant that we still had the full length of the Dene to walk before we got to the chippy.

It was dark when we set out, so we dug out the flashing collars, to find that all but one had dead batteries. Rover was selected for the honour of wearing the collar of red flashes and we set off. The dogs were puzzled when we missed the usual turn but this walk was not without precedent so we proceeded on our way.

There is a very good reason why we rarely go this way and that reason is feline. Although we love our lurchers to bits, they really are not the brightest of dogs. Excellent memories but lousy cognitive ability. If they have ever seen a cat in a particular place, they are convinced they will see it again the next time they go that way. And the next time. And the next time. They are very tense and excited when they go on a normal walk but this seems to be nothing compared to the anticipation of seeing a cat. This street has had numerous cat sightings over the years so there are a lot of memories overlapping each other and they basically look for a cat at every gate and every turn. This is not a fun experience.

Nevertheless we survived the street with only a single cat being sighted and we agreed that it was not nice to chase cats, so we reached the bridge in one piece. This particular bridge leads directly into the Dene so as soon as I can see clearly into the grassy area at the top I will unleash the hounds. I have one rule when it comes to letting them run and that is that I will not let them go if they tug to be away before they are unleashed. As Amazon had actually been behaving herself, I was about to release her when she tugged, so I left her waiting and let Rover off. By this time Cath had let Holly off, so she did her strange chasing thing. Amazon got off the lead fractionally after Holly, so she paused long enough to let Holly get onto Rover's tail before setting off at a dainty run which changed to a sprint as she reached the open grass and she could get away from Holly.

Holly has a fascination with chasing Amazon. She will chase Rover too but Amazon is more fun. Rover just runs very fast and gets clear, leaving Holly breathless and trotting back to us as if she had really achieved something. Amazon, however, reacts to the chase. She will pretend that she is not in a hurry, glance back at us, trot around in circles, anything but let herself be chased. Last night she got a clean break away from Holly and could run as fast as she liked. Holly gave a desultory "Worra Worra Worra!" and trotted back to us.

The Dene has some lighting but it is not exactly extensive, so we promptly lost track of our little hunters. Even Holly kept trotting off away from the path. I think that they get a completely different feel and smell to the place when it's dark, so even familiar places become more exotic. Occasionally we would see the flash of Rover's night collar or Holly would appear to trot along with us but we might as well have been walking alone.

At length we reached the top end of the Dene which is a bus terminus and well lit. As if by magic the three dogs reappeared. There was a brief bit of confusion as we did not leave by the gate that they were expecting because we had yet to walk the extra 200m or so to the chippy.

I waited outside with the dogs while Cath bought our suppers. An old friend known as Mel stopped for chat. He was on his way to town where he DJ's at a rock night at a pub we used to frequent when we were all  much younger. I think he referred to it as LYH which I think is Legendary Yorkshire Heroes, which used to be the name of an off-license from the same period of time (the Eighties if you must know).

We said goodnight and wandered back with the food. Holly seemed extra inquisitive regarding every bump or discarded wrapper. Cath thinks it was because she could smell the chips and was becoming conviced that everything she could see was unclaimed chips. Holly is an expert at snaffling food from the ground and it can be quite a challenge keeping her nose out of a discarded kebab or bag of chips. Nothing was forthcoming for her, however; even the Bridge of Food let her down. The Bridge of Food is a feature of our Usual Route that Holly loves because she often finds food there. I will probably have more to say about another time on Lurcher Tails

Thursday, 8 December 2011

About Lurcher Tails

Hi, my name is Kevin Futers and almost every day I am out walking with my two lurchers and the lodger dog. When I am out I often see, hear or imagine things that are to do with the seasons, the weather, other dogs, other dog walkers and so on. The purpose of this blog is to let me share with the world (or the half dozen people who pick up on this) a brief part of my day spent with my dogs.

The regular cast includes my wife, Cath, Amazon the neurotic alpha bitch, Rover the happiness dog and Holly the Lodger Dog.

Amazon and Rover are lurchers with a mix that includes blue merle collie and either greyhound or whippet, we just can't decide. The problem is that they are much smaller than greyhounds and they are much bigger than whippets, so they are, I suppose, collie sized in height. They both have brindled markings on parts of their body but these are broken up by their splodges. Amazon had a lot more tan in her colouring, Rover is very grey and black with hints of tan. They are about four years old now. They came to us free from a lad in Ashington who had rescued them from a neighbour who was giving them away without any thought of the sort of home they were going to. We only set out to get one dog - Rover - but when we got there we found out that Amazon was not going to the person that said she would take her, so we got a bonus dog. Rover got a well thought-out name, Amazon got an on-the-spot name based on the box we had brought to bring Rover home in. It all worked out well as the pair of them are inseparable and love running around together. They keep each other company and that is good for the times that they are alone in the house.

Then came Holly. She belongs to my future daughter-in-law and came to us from her home as her mother was  moving into accommodation that did not allow dogs. Holly looks mostly like a short legged border collie and we are fairly sure that she is crossed with a fox terrier. She is now about twelve years old and is starting to have senior moments but at other times she acts like a puppy.

When Holly arrived we had a little trouble sorting out the pecking order which was eventually won by Amazon. It must have been a close-run thing, because Holly remains insubordinate and does some things that almost seem like top bitch actions. Rover realised pretty quickly that he was in no place to challenge either of the bitches. I mentioned earlier that he is a happiness dog. I am fairly sure that his happiness derives from never striving for the top - he is an underdog and quite happy with that, thank you!

I think that is enough information to be going on with. The next post will be the first walk.