After the big FALL BACK, I’ve been trying to find ways to keep walking the dogs (in the dark). It’s not easy walking three leashed dogs on a street without any sidewalks, especially when one has to deal with speeding cars. Add walking in the dark to the mix and… well, now you see why we walk at the dog park most nights.
Unfortunately, the great FALL BACK has also made the dog park too dark for walking dogs, unless of course, you have a head lamp.
I’ve tried head lamps before, but none of them seemed to offer much in the way of illumination. I am not keen on tripping over tree roots or twisting my ankle in a hole, so I often ended up supplementing my headlamp with my iPhone, or relying on my friend Sara’s light, to make up for from my measly one. (She got hers at Kohl’s just like I did, but for some reason, hers was ten times brighter than mine.)
This year I wanted a headlamp that would give me enough light on my own, whether Sara was with or not. So, I went looking online. (What did we ever do without Google?)
Fortunately, a great little website called Outdoor Gear Lab had already done some detailed research and testing on headlamps and had come up with the best and worst. They tested 28 headlamps in both the field and the lab. Each one was rated on such specifics as beam strength, length and endurance, and price and value. The side-by-side images comparing the beams of comparable headlamps was especially helpful in making my decision.
In the end, I decided to get the Coast HL7. It was the best value for the size and weight of the device, and the beam was especially good (196 lumens). An added bonus was that I was able to find it at a store close by (Walmart).
I thought about going to REI to get the Black Diamond ReVolt (2nd best on Outdoor Gear Lab’s s list), but that would have required a separate side trip and I was impatient to get started walking. I also found the price a little more than I wanted to pay. The HL7 was only $34 at Walmart. I may still go get the Black Diamond ReVolt, but for now I’m going to give the HL7 a try.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when I got to Walmart, the only one they had in stock was the Coast HL7 with 285 lumens. It is even brighter than the one in the review, but the downside is it lasts only 1 1/2 hours at full strength. I have yet to change the batteries, butI am not using it at full-strength most of the time, so we’ll see how long it really lasts. Who knows? Maybe that ReVolt may be in my future after all.
So do you have a favorite headlamp for walking in the dark? If not, what do you use to guide your way?
Reading Kristine’s post (“Wordless Wednesday – Fence Friend”) yesterday on her blog, Rescued Insanity,brought back so many memories from my days as a pet sitter and all the dogs I got to know as I walked my client’s dogs in their neighborhoods.
In the morning, there were the two Yellow Labs that used to run with their owner – we would wave “Hi” as he jogged by and once in a while I would greet the if I arrived as he and they were leaving for their morning run.
In the afternoon, there was the black Lab mix who lived behind a brown picket fence and who would whine for us to come and greet her when we walked by. We always did and I often would sneak her a kibble or two. She was such sweet dog.
In the same neighborhood as the black Lab, was a Husky that loved to run along the fence with Marley (one of my clients) and sometimes, when she was feeling particularly frisky, she would hide behind the corner of her deck until we had gone almost the whole way past her house, then she would bolt and race to the fence to try and scare us. It never did, but it often made me laugh to watch her. She loved kibble too.
In my friend, Henry’s, neighborhood, there was a sweet girl named Blondie. She was a yellow Lab like my Daisy, and just like Daisy, the sweetest thing you could ever meet. She would often sit in her garage or in her driveway while her Dad worked on his car and then would wander out to greet us as we walked by.
The little guy across from Henry also used to run over to greet us if his owner was outside with him. He loved all the attention I gave him, even though he got more than plenty at home, and most certainly was happy to take a piece of kibble from me.
But, perhaps my most favorite was a Husky/Yellow Lab mix that I got to know pretty well. Annie was a sweet older gal who loved laying in the sun and napping most of the time. The only exception was when the kids were returning from school or when I would walk by with my clients, Marley and Bailey. Then she would “chuff “and sometimes bark, to let me and the kids know that we had to stop by and say hello, and you know what? We always did. She loved the attention she received from all of us.
Over time, I got to know this dog’s owner as well. A nice older gentleman, named Frank. We would often wave “Hi” and stop to chit-chat for a minute before I moved on with the girls. Annie was the love of his life and over time I fell in love with her too. There wasn’t a day we didn’t stop to greet her and give her a piece of kibble or two. She came to expect us and would wait by the fence for us as she watched us come up the street.
Then one day, she wasn’t there to greet us. I thought maybe it was too cold and she was inside laying on a nice warm rug, but the next day she wasn’t there either. A week later, I ran into Frank and he told me the news. Annie had gotten ill and had died. How sad. She had become my friend over that year and a half that I had come to know her. Frank and I both shed a tear over his girl as we talked, but it was hard. We both were grieving her loss. I still think of her and smile today. Like Kristine’s dog friend, she was my fence friend too.
It’s been a year since I left my pet sitting business, mostly for monetary reasons, but I still miss it. I don’t just miss the dogs and cats I cared for every day (I miss then a lot!), but I also miss the ones I didn’t care for but got to know along the way.
My fence friends.
I had a meaningful post sitting in my brain just waiting to get out last night. Unfortunately, Comcast decided it was not to be. No internet access.
So, given time constraints (trying to get ready for work this morning and write a blog post), I have decided to opt for the easy way out and share some pictures from our dog park. Have a wonderful Thursday!
Yes, that extra hour of sleep is nice, but then I have to contend with the sun setting at an earlier hour. Not much of a trade off in my mind. That extra hour gave me and my dogs time to go for a nice walk in the evenings, while the sun was still up. Now I get to enjoy daylight all day long while sitting in a cubicle at work – where I can least enjoy it, and by the time I get home it’s dark and cold outside.
Walking with my dogs after dark would not be a huge issue for me if not for the lack of sidewalks and too many fast drivers on our street. It makes me nervous to walk on my street because of those fast cars.
A few times last week, I was able to make it home in time to take the dogs to the dog park just as the sun set. Yes, this dog park is not my favorite, but at least it has good lighting and there are no speeding cars to contend with. Honestly though, most nights I get home and find myself coming up with reasons not to walk the dogs in the dark.
How are all of you dealing with the time change and making sure your dogs get enough exercise? Are there other ways that you are keeping your dogs busy? Or, are you walking in the dark too?