Maddie doesn’t approve of shortcuts when we walk. She’s suffers a little from OCDog. She has her routines, and she has her routes, and when we walk, we take one of two routes. Our “normal” walk is over to Veterans Park, into the park, around the ball fields, back up the walking path and then home. When it becomes necessary to cut short our walk, I tell Maddie “we’re going to take a short walk” and she alters to Plan-B.

Plan-B involves walking precisely to the driveway of the apartments for elderly residents. I used to call that the “old folks home” but I’ve long since passed the point where I would be eligible to live there. In fact, it used to be a school. Lots of towns in Connecticut made a huge mistake with respect to schools in the 70s. Southwest School was ours. Southwest school was built in 1954, the same year I was built. In the late 70s, Southwest School was one too many elementary schools in our town. Like other towns, we put it in mothballs.

Not literally in mothballs. You can’t actually pack a school in mothballs. I mean, I guess you could, but you’d need a few tons of mothballs. I don’t know why, probably the influence of the voices in my head that I’ve unchained, but that makes me think about the movie “Animal House”. There’s a scene at the end, before the “parade incident” where Flounder goes into a store and says: “may I have ten thousand marbles, please.” I think you’d need more than 10,000 mothballs to cover this school.

Almost time to watch this movie again.

Anyway, back to our walk. Oh, I didn’t explain the mistake. I’d edit this if I could, but you’re just going to have to follow this circuitous path with me – no shortcut. And, if you’re a fan of the old movie “Holiday Inn” no shortcuts to the shortcut. You see the problem was that, in the 80s, when we took that school out of mothballs, you know the ones it wasn’t really in, it had to be made to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That would have cost more than building a new school. Although, I never understood that, it’s a single-story building, how hard could ADA compliance be?

So, we spent a big bunch of money renovating the other schools in town, adding on here and there, improving this and that, and making those schools ADA compliant. We turned Southwest School into apartments for what I considered back then, old folks. That probably also required the building becoming ADA compliant. Don’t try to understand. Just do what I do, mutter “government, pfft, can’t trust them to do the simple things…”

OK, now we can go back to our walk. When Maddie is on a short walk, she pulls me to the middle of the entrance driveway to the apartments and then we cross the street. We don’t cross before and we never cross after the driveway, in the middle. It’s like when Maddie goes out to pee. She walks the perimeter first, and then she pees, unless she smells something interesting, or hears a noise, or a bird. No shortcut on the way to the bathroom, or on that walk in the park.

Yellow line is our normal walk. The orange line shows the “short cut” I sometimes try to take.

Yesterday, Maddie did what Maddie sometimes does. She balked at the idea of a short walk. I said: “let’s take a short walk today, pup” and she got her Irish up. She can do that, she’s Irish. She does this in a predictable way. She acts as if we’re going to walk to the old folks place – what the heck, if I am one, I guess I can say it. She acts all calm and stuff, but when we get to the driveway to the park, she hunkers down , leans into my left leg and pushes me into the driveway. It’s as if she’s saying: “no shortcuts, dude, not today.” We turn. We head down the driveway, and she’s a happy pup.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Her instructions for today were:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “shortcut/cut short.” Use one, use both, whatever strikes your fancy. Enjoy!

Maddie was right yesterday. Taking the long way around the park allowed us to catch a glimpse of some beautiful fall foliage.


  1. Where is the love button? This post makes my day. Beautiful pictures. When you wrote “Don’t try to understand. Just do what I do, mutter “government, pfft, can’t trust them to do the simple things…”
    I did mutter pfft with you :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘She gets her Irish up’–I love that. Hold onto that, Maddie–that is what women do best. Good girl! Old folks–gosh, Dan. We say that at work and then look to see if anyone heard us and laugh about it. We are the old folks of whom we speak! Who would’ve thought?! Great post.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That’s a pretty redhead and those are pretty leaves on your New England trees. Our leaves are pretty much done (northern WI has snow) and it’s cold.

    Yes, Maddie has you trained in all things. Much like Gibbs, who made me wait to comment on your post. His “love me!” time comes first…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – I totally understand and accept waiting behind Gibbs. And I know it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t accept it (I can hear Gibbs saying “like I need his permission”). It was barely 40 when we walked today, but it was warm and humid yesterday. Crazy weather.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maddie and I are kindred spirits. :-) My husband reminds me I have a touch of OCD, and my youthful hair color was a lovely auburn. :-) My offer still stands – if you’re coming to this part of the area and Maddie needs a sitter, I’m your woman. You and yours have a great first weekend in November. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love OCDog. :-) I’m glad Maddie made you take the long, beautiful way. As for the government, you can always counts on them making everything hard to do and expensive. After all, it’s our money they’re playing with. And common sense is as lacking there as it is in most of everyday life.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad we took the long way yesterday. We walked earlier today and it was pretty cold, so we took the shortcut. Government, at every level is disappointing with how they spend.


    • We end up doing a modified walk in the winter, because they don’t always plow the path behind the ball field. We’ll check it out, and if it’s not clear, we walk around a little and then go back. Maddie would be happy to trudge through the snow, but I draw the line at that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Maddie’s one smart dog! She’s got you well trained! Loved your fall foliage SOC walk & pics today! It’s a shifting learning experience. I’m on vacay in the northwest (WA) and we had snow yesterday (melted right away). Yep, fall foliage is beautiful and fallen leaves everywhere on my trail walk. Taking pics to preserve the memory! Happy weekend! 🍁🍂Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joey. She knows so much, but she’s so selectively smart. It always works in her favor. She’s got us trained too well. I am glad she pushed me into the park, those trees were beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks, Dan. I was a little concerned that Cody was showing signs of OCD on her walks. On one hand, it’s good because she knows when I take her out at 6:15 am she’s expected to pee at a certain point before we come back, and it’s pretty much always at the same point – and has learned to walk quite nicely on that route. On the other hand, however, it’s not so good because if I want to go the other way for some reason, she’s perfectly capable of yanking my shoulder out of the socket.

    Still waiting for the darn fence – if it would only stop raining! I just hope we don’t have to wait until spring now that the weather’s turning wintery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isn’t it amazing how smart they are, and know their way around. Diva Dog and I don’t walk together all that much since I don’t take her hiking with me. Mostly we drive together so, when we head outside for walk and I’ve told her we’re going on a walk she heads straight for my car. When I get her going away from the car and on a walk she looks up at me then back to the car then back at me with a look that is clearly asking me if I’m sure we don’t really wanna go for a drive instead? :)

    Maddie had the right idea pushing on toward the longer route. The colors are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that Diva Dig would rather ride. Our second setter used to drag me across the street where we would sit with our neighbor (the neighbor always gave him two biscuits). My wife used to say we were going for a talk.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My pup is named Maddie, too. She loves running off leash in the conservation land down the street. Sometimes, though, I just want to do the short loop in the senior development next door. She looks so disappointed in me when we don’t turn off into the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They get so excited with anticipation. We love to watch our Maddie run, but she doesn’t get off leash unless she’s in our fenced yard. Who knows where she would end up.


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