I was thinking about Rufus (aka Tan Man) yesterday during my walk with Lucy. The Happy Wife and I have spent, and continue to spend, considerable time in the company of dogs. I wondered how much I’d spent with Rufus, in terms of the miles we had walked together, including the times he ran/walked and I rode my mountain bike, during the 11.5 years he was with us. I made some conservative estimates.

First, I rounded his age down to 11 years, times 365 days/yr is roughly 4000 days. For a variety of reasons we didn’t walk with Rufus every one of those 4000 days, for instance when we were away on vacation or out of town for work. So again, very conservatively, let’s say 25% of those days we didn’t walk (or me ride) together — 4000 x 0.75 = 3000 days. Then, say the mean distance of the walks was 2 miles. This is harder to estimate, but it seems pretty conservative, because the trails we walk most weekdays at Kincaid Park (near our house) in just the last three years since returning to Alaska are all two miles or longer, and the trails we often walk on the weekends are longer still. Plus, when Rufus was younger, it wasn’t uncommon for us to walk together more than once a day, and being he was a youngin then he would roam a lot, covering more distance than I did on the trail.

So, 3000 x 2 = 6000 miles. According to Google maps, this is about 7% more than the driving distance (via I-80) from Los Angeles to Atlantic City, NJ, and back.

I was surprised by the result. That’s a lot of walking together.

And I wouldn’t trade a single mile of it.

Roam if you want to
Roam around the world
Roam if you want to
Without wings, without wheels
Roam if you want to
Without anything but the love we feel

                                    — B-52s, Roam