Normally, I wind up walking alone. It isn't that I'm antisocial—I'm actually quite friendly... really—it's just that my schedule these days is so chaotic and unpredictable that it's hard to stick to any kind of trekking plan. It's more like: there's a hole in the day, let's hit the trail right now. But a few times a year, my neighbors go on vacation and I get to take care of their current dog. I've been doing this for years, and I believe I'm on my fourth pooch, all of which have been rescued from bad situations and all of which have been absolutely delightful. Freda is the latest of the bunch, and she's a sweetheart. The pooch is all nose, and when we're outside on our route, I marvel at her attention to every conceivable nasal detail. I wish I knew what she was sensing in the air and on the ground.