Fri 5/8/09

A Daily Walk With DietPower

Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!

Boston terrier

This Boston Terrier occasionally barks at me from a lawn on Judith Drive. I don't see him often; our schedules don't mesh. I don't even know his name. Although his bark is friendly, he can't run over to me for a pat on the head. Like most dogs in our neighborhood, he wears an electronic collar that sounds a warning buzzer when he approaches the Invisible Fence buried in the perimeter of the lawn. Can you see the regret in his eyes? He wants to know me, but the fence won't oblige.

Because its markings resemble formal wear, the Boston Terrier is sometimes called "the American Gentleman." It isn't really a terrier, but a cross (originated by Robert C. Hooper, of Boston) between the English Bulldog and a now-extinct breed of foxhunter called the English White Terrier. The Boston terrier dates only to the 1870s, and is one of just a handful of recognized breeds native to the United States.

I never see a Boston Terrier without thinking of Paul’s Barbershop, in Avis, Pennsylvania, where my father took all five of us for 50-cent haircuts. (The going rate was $1. Apparently, we had a bulk deal.) It was a classic three-chair shop with a checker-tile floor and huge leather waiting chairs. It smelled of tonic and cigars.

Paul, a kindly chain-smoker whose life and family have forever remained a mystery to me, gave me my first haircut there in 1950. I still remember crying over it. But I also remember his Boston Terriers. He had a whole pack of them—six strong—who lived behind a curtain hung in the back doorway. If you sneaked over there and suddenly whipped open the curtain, six faces with bulging eyes would erupt in a wild cacophony until you closed it again.

Paul had trained his dogs never to come into the shop. He made one exception, however. Whenever they heard the whine of the electric shaving-cream dispenser, they would burst through the curtain to lap up any drops of hot lather that spilled on the floor. (I can still hear their toenails clicking on the tile.) We used to beg Paul to demonstrate this. Sometimes he did; sometimes he didn't. But as we climbed down from the chair with our ears newly ventilated and our heads evaporating Wildroot, he always gave us a penny to spend in the gumball machine bolted to the heavy oak table piled with dog-eared issues of Popular Mechanics and Field & Stream.

It's funny how many memories you can find in a face, isn't it? (I wonder if this pooch likes Barbasol.)

Download DietPower and lose poundsAbout this page: Precisely at noon each day, I step out of my office for a 3.5-mile walk around my Connecticut neighborhood. I carry a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TX5 pocket camera with a Leica 10x optical zoom lens. My object is to make an interesting photograph of at least one thing that is different that day. I post the results here, hoping they will inspire you and your friends to walk, too.  Terry Dunkle, DietPower founder and CEO.

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All My Yesterdays

Thursday, May 7: Underground Passage

Wednesday, May 6: White Violet

Tuesday, May 5: Singing His Heart Out

Monday, May 4: Kenny's Secret

Sunday, May 3: Monument to an Afternoon

Saturday, May 2: Gasoline Rainbow

Friday, May 1: The Duck and the Bashful Maiden

Thursday, April 30: A Poison Ivy Sandwich

Wednesday, April 29: The Very Picture of Spring

Tuesday, April 28: A Busy Bumblebee

Monday, April 27: Electric Pink

Sunday, April 26: Saturday Night Special

Saturday, April 25: An Old Oak Falls

Friday, April 24: How an Ant Sees a Daffodil

Thursday, April 23: The Nameless Brook

Wednesday, April 22: Weeding Time

Tuesday, April 21: Wet Apple Buds

Monday, April 20: Mr. Allen and the Crew Team

Sunday, April 19: Bloodroot II

Saturday, April 18: Green Jellybeans

Friday, April 17: Bloodroot

Thursday, April 16: Skunk Cabbage III

Wednesday, April 15: Find the Critter

Tuesday, April 14: Blessing of the Animals

Monday, April 13: The Crow Who Said "Wow!"

Sunday, April 12: A Quirky Church

Saturday, April 11: Self-Portrait in a Pothole

Friday, April 10: Easter flowers

Thursday, April 9: Dumb as a Squirrel

Wednesday, April 8: April Snow

Tuesday, April 7: Egg Trees, Connecticut Style

Monday, April 6: I Carry My Lunch

Sunday, April 5: A Tree in Spring

Saturday, April 4: Pigs with Drivers Licenses

Friday, April 3: Forsythia

Thursday, April 2: Skunk Cabbage II

Wednesday, April 1: Mystery of the Hanging Shoes

Tuesday, March 31: Downy Woodpecker

Monday, March 30: 300-Year-Old House

Sunday, March 29: The Broken Fence

Saturday, March 28: "You're Such a Delight"

Friday, March 27: Skunk Cabbage

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