Wes and I have some 'normal' walking routes for his morning constitutional, but every so often (works out to be 1x a week), we hop in the car in the morning dark and go to the trails at a nearby park. He LOVES this workout, getting some off-leash time to romp and play and niff.
And when he gets back in the car, as I'm hooking him up in the back compartment of the Sube, he's just the happiest dog ever, for having chased bunnies and disrupted the sleep of the crows in the nearby trees and left pee-mail for his buds that come later in the day.
After I hook him to his leash back there, I can't help but grab that face -- that handsomest face -- and scrungle his cheeks up, and stroke those folds of velvet skin/fur under his neck, and ruff his ears and put my nose on his nose. He gives a pink-tongued lick. Just the tip. And his tail thuds -- Krang-Krang-Krang --into the metal seat divider behind him.
And we whisper to each other:
"You know you're the bestest boy ever, don't you Wesley?"
"Yeah, Pop. Thanks for the run this morning."
"You're welcome, handsome."
"I'll be a goo'boy today for having tuckered myself out here."
"It's getting to be a nice day, isn't it? The sun's coming up and the stars are melting."
"Yes, Wes, they are."
"The day smells good. Spring's coming."
"It sure is, Wesley..... You know how much I love you, don't you mister man?"
"Yeah, Dad. Me, too."
"I want you to stay around forever you know -- healthy and wise and just a hint of puppy still in there."
"I'll try, Dad. I'll try...."