For the last several nights, I've steered Bella away from several large emergency-response scenes, where eleventy-seven emergency vehicles converge and illuminate the night with flashing lights. There's nothing a simple Labrador Retriever can do there.
Tonight, a group of chronic partiers chose to stay inside their apartment, so Bella meticulously examined their outside space for tidbits. Last night, three partiers failed to observe us until we were quite close. They were hurling full cans of beer high into the air and watching them burst when they hit the pavement. Turns out, they live in the apartments next door to us. Oy.
Tonight we got quite close to a human couple walking their Pit Bull. We lurked in the shadows. The Pit Bull knew we were there, and kept looking over its shoulder, but the humans remained oblivious.
We've had the normal luck rousting Prudent Cats and finding Abandoned Takeout Food Containers. Someone had cast aside a cardboard sign reading "Spare Change - Anything Helps - God Bless". (They should be more careful - that's someone's livelihood right there.) Bella kept trying to turn the sign over looking for more tidbits. Indeed, she found a chicken drumstick. She looked plaintively at me for permission to pick it up, but there is no flexibility in the No-Chicken-Bones Commandment - that's what Commandments are all about, after all - and we moved on.
Bella is normally good avoiding tangling her leash around poles and street signs, but once she gets going and The Nose takes over, the Wilding starts, and before you know it, she's so focused on scent she tangles up her leash around trees and inconvenient bushes and her own legs.
The best part of the nightly walk is near the end, when we pass the strips of grass near the DMV. I quietly drop the leash and hide behind a tree. Suddenly realizing I'm playing, Bella runs with abandon back and forth, chasing me as I do a bad job of fleeing.