Poppy on the Promenade

Mini Walking Stories: Meet Poppy

Meet Poppy, The Black Lab Who Is Saving My Life This Winter


November started for me with a bit of a wobble.

A low spot, if you will.

I was finding it hard to get out for a walk.

Honestly, I was finding it hard to get out of bed.

Poppy on the Promenade

I belong to a WhatsApp chat for my neighborhood that mainly consists of folks looking for packages that have been delivered to the wrong address.

But one day I checked the chat and someone who had been working remotely during the pandemic was going back into the office a couple of days a week, and they were looking for someone to keep their dog.

I had met their black lab once before and knew she that she was lovely.

Well-behaved. Gorgeous. And exactly what I needed.

I raised my hand and begged for the company of their canine companion two days a week, and that’s how Monday and Wednesday have become Poppy Days at my house.

No matter what the weather is like, Poppy loves a good, long walk.

She does not mind the rain or the cold. She thinks getting outside is the most exciting idea she’s ever heard.

Even if we just did it two days ago, she looks at me like she’s won the lottery. She does a happy dance when I put treats in my pocket and put on my jacket.

She waits almost-patiently while I bundle in scarf and mittens, and then lace up my boots.

And then we’re off in a flash down the street, like the world is new and exciting, and ohmygoodness, what are we going to find today?!

Poppy’s delight in going for a walk is fuel in my tank.

It was 23 degrees F when we left yesterday to go out. That is colder than I like to be. That is long underwear plus jeans on bottom and two wool shirts, a sweater, a fleece, a puffy jacket and a hat on top.

But I will keep walking on Poppy Days even if I skip my walk on other days, and that’s why I’m just as glad to see Poppy as she is to see me.

When we come home from our walk, Poppy sits at my feet while I work and drink tea.

I didn’t have to train her or clean up after her as a puppy.

I can even let her off the lead to run around (with great joy) in a field, and she will faithfully come back to me.

I truly cannot think of a better arrangement.

Rain or snow, here we come.


Mini Walking Stories is a project I’m doing this month to catalog a fabulous year of walking. During December, I’m inviting you to come along with me for a few minutes on one of the walks I took in 2022. Read more stories here.
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