To the Editor:

I have a dog who is overweight. She’s a short heeler mix and spayed. I’m tall and 69, and overweight by a few pounds. OK, 25, but who is counting? For the past 10 years I’ve had a regime of taking morning walks along the river, by the pond at Clyde Holliday State Park. I take said dog (age 6) along as she is a couch potato and wants nothing to do with being outside (unless there’s a fly inside — can anyone explain this phobia?). After I helped my husband of 50 years work at feedlots and on various Eastern Oregon (remote) ranches, I miss the active lifestyle. Jim left for his heavenly home last October, but we enjoyed two years walking the trails together. Lots of wildlife can be seen, even in winter. A particular joy was watching an otter family (six in all) eating fish from the pond. This lasted for two days, and they disappeared into the river system. Geese, ducks of all kinds, some bald eagles, blue herons and osprey are seen often. Deer are usually present. Britches and I avoided one buck in particular, who was following a doe — we turned around when he put his eyes on us! So far, no sighting of cougar or bear, but I did see an elk or two in the past few years. If I miss a few days I can really feel it! My legs get heavy and feet burn, so I try and go at least six times a week for 30 minutes each. When it warms up I will go longer. I was grateful the snow wasn’t too deep, but put on good boots. I always carry a cell as one never knows and I’m sometimes alone. COVID-19 lockdowns aside, this is one freedom I don’t plan to give up!

Mya Ennis

Mt. Vernon

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