The Dark Knight Went on a Walk with The Man of Steel

I was so excited to welcome in this weekend. I was excited to spend a weekend alone – a hermit with my dog. I had been ill earlier in the week; and needed the weekend to recuperate. I awoke this morning a little after 6 AM to the most beautiful blues, pinks and reds I’d seen in a morning sky, which is saying something because every morning sky in Sausalito is beautiful. After my regular online escape into sports, Facebook and Instagram and after morning texts with family and friends, Taylor was chomping at the bit to escape. Beautiful skies only do so much for him.

Beautiful Sausalito Morning
Beautiful Sausalito Morning

By 8 AM, we were off to the Headlands, hiking into the Alta trails behind where we live. Words cannot describe how truly magnificent the trails are. Full disclosure though, upon entry, I always experience a smell so foul, maybe residue of skunk? Raccoon sh-t? Not sure what it is, but Taylor and I always make it a point to race thru the first 200 feet. Once past that, and another 1/8 mile, the views open up. To the left you can see the bay, with waters so bright blue dotted with boats, the blue matched by the cloudless sky. All around are massive trees and medium sized trees and small trees, shrubs and grass with greens and browns. This morning the air was cool but nice, warmer of course in the sun. Having only seen three other hikers on the trail almost an hour in, I took Taylor’s leash off. He had a sense of freedom exhilarating only matched by my sense of empowerment. Couple that with the fact my two brothers and I were texting each other the entire hike, I couldn’t imagine anything better. Of course, I took a lot of pictures, which I sent to my brothers – obviously, all of Taylor.

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Taylor is a big boy – dense is a better word; and while he’s got a heart of gold, he can be a bully. That is to say, he loves to play particularly hard with dogs his size and spirit. Whether dog or human, playing with Taylor is no easy task. He likes to play big. He likes to play hard. He likes to win. On the back half of our hike, though tired, a spring came back into his step when Taylor met Zod, a five year old smooth coated Bernese Mountain Dog, with a beautifully sweet disposition. While Zod was a significant 1 1/2 times bigger than Tay, they both weighed the same. Turned out that Zod’s owners were a couple from Marin but lived in Chicago for a number of years, specifically Bucktown. And so we reminisced. He wore the most awesome Blue Blockers. (The world really does look better through a set of Blue Blockers; there’s something to those sepia hues.) Of course, she made fun of him for those Blue Blockers that we admired. While we reminisced about Chicago neighborhoods, Chicago food and Chicago winters, Tay and Zod were becoming acquainted.

Tayrr: Let’s play!
Zod: Aren’t you tired?
Tayrr: Let’s play!
Zod: Haven’t you been hiking for a couple hours?
Tayrr: Let’s play! What’s your name?
Zod: Zod. What’s your name?
Tayrr: Taylor, but you can call me The Man of Steel!
Zod: That’s just dumb.
Tayrr: No, it’s not. My dad’s name is The Dark Knight. True story. He was with Batkid in San Francisco.
Zod: No, he wasn’t. That was just a bunch of actors and volunteers. Still, it was a nice thing the city did for that little boy.
Tayrr: It was, but I’m telling you, my dad is the real deal. He really is The Dark Knight!
Zod: And you’re The Man of Steel?
Tayrr: Yes, and I’m going to mount you cos The Man of Steel always beats Zod!
Zod: I’m not playing!
Tayrr: Yes, you are! It’ll be so much fun!

[Taylor mounted Zod.] Embarrassed, I offered my apologies that Tayrr loves to play, just that he played rough.

IMG_7347

Tayrr: That was fun! Let’s do it again! See you soon, Zod!
Zod: See you never!
Tayrr: I am The Man of Steel!
Zod: Whatever. Freak.

A few moments later, our tale was a bit different. Diego, a guy we’ve met on our adventures around the neighborhood who’s also a professional dog walker, was walking a Viszla and a French Bulldog. Fletch the Frenchie bulldozed his way right up to Taylor showing no fear. I could see the comic book bubble above Tay’s head as if he had whispered his thoughts to me directly.

“How dare this little punk stick his nose in my face?
Doesn’t he know that I am The Man of Steel?
Hmmm… What does he know that I don’t?
Best not mess with this little tyrant.
He’s no Zod. And he seems to be no fun.
But I am The Man of Steel.
I will walk away.
Still….
Walk away, self. Walk away.
What kind of name is Fletch anyways?”

IMG_7348I’ve a feeling the little general gets his way more often than not. With a name like Fletch, why wouldn’t he?

Soon after two Rhodesian Ridgebacks ran up to Taylor, but they did so with ill intent. Taylor’s bubble sprang up in hyperdrive “Back away, losers. You wanna a piece of me! I wanna piece o’you! Gimme a reason! Gimme a reason!” Ok, I knew nothing good would come of this. We made like a tree pronto.

The rest of our hike was uneventful save for the fact the view was as gorgeous on the way back as it was on the way there, as it always is. We were just a little bit slower. Two hours later, we found ourselves back.

And now The Dark Knight is famished.

And The Man of Steel is sleeping on the balcony.

The Dark Knight lurking behind The Man of Steel
The Dark Knight lurking behind The Man of Steel
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