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Holly, Helen and I walk Forest Hills Cemetery atleast 3-4 x each week and today I spotted the Section H sign.  I made a big deal of it with Holly and Helen, trying to get them to look as enthusiastic about their initial as I was.  Stopping their walk and asking them to sit for a picture is not the best way to get them excited.   The weather is changing and snow flurries are staying on the paved trails, along with the frozen ice left behind by tires.  Our walks are slower now because I am slower.  It’s time to be back in careful mode, watching for ice and slowly picking a trail that appears to have the best footing.  

My walking is slower but apparently my driving is not.  Holly had opportunity to meet a police officer today.  I was stopped by a patrol car on Arrowhead Road, on the way to the cemetery for our walk.  It is such a stinking, sinking feeling seeing a squad car do a U-turn to follow you, then have the flashing lights follow.  I turned on a side street to get off Arrowhead.  Holly & Helen were in the back, puzzled on the sudden parking of the car.  As I dug out my license and registration information (which are in the glove box where the treats are kept) I am telling them  ‘No Barking’ and ‘Stay Back’ .  I emphasized the Stay Back to Holly and the No Barking to Helen, complete with a shake of the finger.  I was distracted with them too long because the officer had to knock on my window to get my attention, which sent me two inches into the air and caused Helen to start growling, but not barking.  I did a quick ‘shush’ before opening the window, and she stopped.   My guard dog.   Holly was good about staying back until the officer reached for the license and papers I was handing him.  To Holly, someone reaching into the car surely must have a pup cup or a treat.  In a flash Holly has her happy head over my shoulder and between the officer & I, her wagging tail pounding on the seats.  We both looked around her head to see each other for a successful exchange of the information.   I told Holly to ‘Go Back’ and amazingly she did, which reinforced my belief that she thought treats were involved.  Holly watched as he walked away and kept watching for his return, fully assuming he went back to get the treats.  I thought about trying to snap a picture of her watching for him so intently but then I thought better, reaching into my pocket and pointing an object in his direction was not wise.  This time when he approached the window, she politely brought her nose to my shoulder and stared at him with her begging big brown eyes.  No treats for Holly, but one for me.  The officer suggested I watch my speed, particularly coming down that hill, saying he was leaving it at that – a warning.  After my heartfelt thank you and our good-byes, he added – you have a real good dog there!  And I thanked him yet again, this time with more pride than gratitude.  

After he left, I checked on Helen. He had said ‘dog’, not ‘dogs’.  Apparently Helen was tucked behind Holly and either was not seen at all or blended in so well that the two together looked like one big dog.   Both dogs got treats, Holly a few extra.   We all went for our walk feeling lucky.