Spring has sprung at last -- at least for today. The windows are open and the sun is shining and you can walk outside without contorting your face against an icy head wind. I took Vito (or "Gary" as the kids have inexplicably renamed him) for a long walk earlier, trying to budge some of his (and my) girth. Magical thinking. People (non-dog-owners) are always under the misconception that walking a dog is great exercise. They see people jogging alongside their hyper yellow labs and think that's typical. It's not. On a typical dog walk, there is no jogging or even walking briskly, and with a pug, it's more of a low-intensity shuffle. No one's heart rate is getting elevated when it takes 45 minutes to walk 10 yards. Even James, usually a paragon of patience, refuses to walk the pooch, finding the entire Vito-on-a-leash experience “brutal.” “The Walk” according to Vito: Sniff all shrubs within reach. Stop, sniff and mark all telephone polls and mailboxes. Bark at cars and joggers who don’t have a right to exist. Greet landscapers hauling bags of manure. Sniff a pinecone for 10 minutes. Collapse into a heap at all shady spots on the sidewalk to “rest.” Today, the landscapers had finished up their work and drove past us, noting “You’ve only gotten this far? That’s ridiculous. Hit the gym, Vito.” We made it all the way around the loop in 64 minutes and I had to pour a pan of cold water over him when we got back.
Another sign of spring: The Renegades softball schedule was released this week, which includes many waterfront games at Marine Field in South Boston. This factor led to another addition to “Jimmy’s World” where he enjoys Mexican fare at “Café Rodriguez” (Casa Romero) and Thanksgiving Turkey sandwiches from the “Groratoria” (Circe’s Grotto). Yesterday, I got an email that read: “The only reason you'll come to those Southie games is so you can get hot dogs at Flanagan’s.” Flanagan’s?