I have two too many dogs and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have my faithful, obedient, intelligent, old fart, mutt dog Ozzy. I’m not sure what “Ozzy” stands for. Oswald? Osbourne? Just plain Ozzy? He’s not registered, so there’s no official documentation out there. He’s a border collie/black lab mix.

Then I have my rambunctious, obnoxious, strong-willed, intelligent yet not so bright, hyperactive, purebred lab, Lola. She’s either a showgirl, or maybe not a girl at all. It’s always a gamble when I tell people that her name is Lola, which song they will start singing. It might say something about them too. “Lola, she was a showgirl.” or “Lola… la la la la Lola!”

They are loving life in their temporary home in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Ozzy used to come out all the time when he was a pup and my parents lived up in the Hills, but after they moved to town, their HOA (don’t get me started…) doesn’t allow more than one large dog to visit so Lola had never been to the Hills in her three years.

I can just imagine on our first hike Ozzy whispering in dog language to Lola, “See, this is what I was telling you about!” The old fart did pretty well on his first hike in years, but wore out long before the young pup.

I’ve noticed that Ozzy has a tendency to enjoy the world around him on his hikes. He notices the deer running off in the distance. He catches the scent of rabbits. He is highly skilled at finding deer skittles. Lola, on the other hand, doesn’t stop. She plows through underbrush, runs into barb wire fences, and is just too busy running around to notice the deer running across our path just 10 yards ahead of us. Ozzy looks up at me with an expression that says, “This is so cool.” We both look back at Lola and she’s happy, but missing the best parts.

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