I am not allowed to trip, and I don't mean on acid. I am prohibited from tripping over rocks, roots or ruts. No slipping in mud. No exceptions. My surgeon is a man who doesn't like to repeat himself, which is fine with me, because I always get impatient with people who repeat themselves. But the one thing he has mentioned several times is that even a small fall could be disastrous. His expression in those moments says, "I have seen things you do not want to know about." Even a little jerky upset could whang something inside.
So, when I walk, I find myself staring at the ground, considering every possible obstacle. A twig? Watch out! A pebble requires the same detour as a landmine. Going down the rickety steps here, I always worry that I might catch my sleeve on the bannister or slip on the wood. You know how it is. It doesn't take much. I began practicing in the month before surgery, along with being generally one-armed, so I've had plenty of time to develop a fully wracked set of nerves.
So, Roo is getting her long walks, but not on the trails she would like to go to. We have to stick to flat, safe trails. Every time we pass one of the trails that intersect the main path and lead up to the higher hills and the forest, she stops to suggest we go thataway. "Sorry, Bear," I have to tell her.
I think that's what Roo was thinking when she picked up my boot and brought it to me. She had been out in the yard and was tired of rooting around for mouses there. She wanted to do what she is meant to do - be a field dog. She's been purloining leashes, gloves - and now the boot. In another couple of months we ought to be able to go where she likes. In the meantime, I have that sling cinched tight and Rooki has to hope the mouses stay near the trail.