He always knows when I'm going on walkabout whether or not I take him. When I do, he gets rather excited, forgetting he's the oldest of the three. He makes whiny noises and chomps his approval.
When I stop, whether to shed a layer, adjust my trek poles, or just take in my surroundings, he makes those noises, encouraging, almost begging, me to keep on. Sometimes, he nips at my heels, herding me like the creatures my mother trained him on so long ago. It's too amusing to be insulting.
The Lair of the Boggieman is at the beginning of the canyon, just below Cemetery Hill. Not that far away at all. By the time we reached the grove of aspens, one carved upon in the countenance of what we named the place for, he's not following so close behind. The excited whines and chomps are replaced by panting. We've gone maybe a mile, but that mile, coupled with deep snow has worn him out.
It's slow going heading back. Lots of breaks. His fifteen year old bones are stiff. I offer to carry him, but he pushes on out of tenacity and perhaps spite. He's not his arthritic half-brother. It's humiliating enough I have to lift him in and out of vehicles when we drive somewhere. His eyes tell me that.
At home, he promptly collapses in the parlor. I give him treats and scritch behind his ears, telling him how good he did. He chomps one last time before drifting off to sleep. The walkabout may have been exhausting for him, but he still approved.