What’s happening at the Library: Walkin’ the dog

Published 8:09 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

There are many who wake up and practically leap out of bed, bristling with untapped potential and with the confidence that the day will bring you good fortune once you’ve had a leisurely cup of coffee (or perhaps tea, something with the word “herbal” in the name) and watch the sun rise majestically over the horizon. This isn’t so much a morning routine as it is the fulfillment of a promise, a promise that the day–perhaps even the universe–is beautiful and that beauty will last until the day ends. 

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Then, there is the morning routine of the dog owner. 

The dog owner is not awoken by the promise of a new day or even a sunrise necessarily. They are introduced to the morning by way of barking, maybe a cold nose in their face, or even a slobbering tongue. Those dog owners who have hardwood floors are familiar with what I call the “Song of Walkies,” the scrabbling of doggy toenails on the hardwood floor as their furry friends attempt to keep pace with your zombie-like shuffle toward the door, greeted by a morning that might be cold or full of pouring rain. 

The latter is the experience I’m most familiar with, and I’m largely okay with this. 

Those early mornings are only one part of the moments I spend with my two dogs. The other moments have lots of serenading family reading time with dog snores, of attempting to tear the life from the loudest of squeak toys, and of sitting right on top of my and my wife’s yoga mats (you’d be surprised, but they have yet to manage the concept of downward-facing dog). There are quite a few moments with the dogs my wife and I love. They mostly consist of pettings and Beardie Bounces (the dance my oldest dog does when food is on the way). These and other tender moments are worth having to look at a dreary morning through swollen, bleary, still-not-quite-awake eyes. Also, walks with them are not the torture I recently portrayed, and National Walking the Dog Day (Feb. 22nd) is an excellent reminder that “walkies” aren’t always the early morning slog in snow, rain, or darkness. 

The weather is starting to warm up (or since it’s Kentucky, there will be periods of warmth until about April or May, when the seasons finally make up their mind). These periods of warmer weather are a perfect time to enjoy the neighborhood with your pooch (or pooches). You and your dog can take a stroll around your well-traveled neighborhood, or feel free to veer off on a new and exciting path. You and your dog can get to know the various walking trails here in Winchester. Both you and your pup deserve to get some exercise, some sun, and perhaps even some energy that has nothing to do with imbibing caffeine. 

I would like to stress that I love my dogs, though they can be, to put it lightly, handfuls. That narrative of zombie-walking to the front door with dogs in tow is taken from real life experience. Ultimately, the experiences I have with my dogs are shared ones, and a day like National Walk Your Dog Day gives us an opportunity for a shared experience. I love the fact that my dogs and I can soon walk around my neighborhood and greet the spring that will eventually come to Kentucky in its own good time. Your own dog might be your couch buddy, your walking buddy, or your yoga buddy, but dogs will be your body through it all, through mornings and beyond, whether they’ve mastered Downward Facing Dog or not. 

But after some well-deserved doggie/owner time, experience these programs that are worth the “walkies” toward the library: 

  • On Wednesday, Feb. 21st, at 2 p.m.p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show will feature a recently made film (2023) about finding one’s way through the heart of a raging inferno. A family lives in a trailer home in the woods and is suddenly confronted by a wildfire. Survival becomes their main objective. Popcorn and snacks provided. 
  • On Thursday, Feb. 22nd, at 6:15 p.m., Learning @ the Library: Program and Potluck presents The Dollar in Distress with presenter Martha Birchfield. Art and design, partisan politics, labor unrest, racial discrimination, censorship and scandal: all with a Lexington, Kentucky connection. A new and beautiful design for U.S. dollar bills caused quite a national stir at the end of the 19th century, with a popular Lexingtonian at the center. The potluck begins at 6:15 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. Whether you come to just the program or come to both the potluck and program, space is limited; please register by calling the library at 859-744-5661.