Henry and Oliver. Henry’s ear is inside-out again. I’ve told him it looks ridiculous, but he said it’s important that he remain vigilant for the crinkle of a treat bag.

No rain today, according to forecasts. The trails are open again and the buddies are ready to go. They know all the signs: Mom’s opening the sock drawer. She’s getting the right pair of shoes, and the earbuds, and the keys. Is she, is she? She IS! She’s going for the leashes! This is the best thing that has EVER HAPPENED!

They’re hilarious together: one with itty Dachshundesque legs, the other like Bambi on ice. Though I adore purebreds and can binge on Crufts all day, I prefer dogs of spurious origin, the ones that got lost and found their way to me. It feels more like a story that way.

Oliver would have a doozy to tell, I’m sure of it. He had no idea how to walk on a leash when we got him at three years old, and it’s pretty clear he’d never seen a bike or a skateboard. God knows what happened in somebody’s kitchen. But he’s incredibly gentle and kind, and spends most of his time under my bed, emerging like a benevolent hobgoblin when someone’s offering a walk or some dinner, or maybe a scratch behind the ear. Both these guys trot along like soldiers now when we hit the trail, and it feels wonderful to have their company on a cool and cloudy day. How did I ever get along without them.

Any buddies at your place?