Walking My Dogs

by Vicki

I walk my two dogs, Trina and Hobbes, every morning, with few exceptions. The exceptions are when I am sick, which is rare, and when the weather is just too awful to walk, which is also rare. We have been seen walking in the rain and when it is cold, just bundling up – I am the one who bundles up, the dogs don’t seem to notice the cold or the rain much.

We walk in our neighborhood, or in the one just north of ours, across Glenn Street. When we leave the house, I often have a plan of where we are going, but often the dogs have a different plan. Sometimes we take my route and sometimes we take their route. I don’t know why they have streets they prefer, but they do, and each dog has its own favorite places to go. However, whichever we go, our plans can change quickly if we see other dogs. My dogs are both over 60 pounds, so they can pull me over if they were both to lunge in the same direction and at the same time. What I do to prevent this from happening is watch out for trouble. Trouble usually comes in the form of other dogs, which can cause my dogs to bark and lunge. So I just try to avoid getting too close to other dogs. I usually see them before my dogs and I’ll just take another route to avoid the other dogs. Occasionally, other dogs take me by surprise. When this happens I have learned to let go of Hobbes’ leash. That way I can concentrate on holding Trina, who is more aggressive.

While I can’t trust them with other dogs, they are both great with people, especially with kids. So when we walk through the park, we often get to meet kids and they get to pet the dogs. Also my neighbors, who are 6 and 4, love to take the dogs for a walk with me in the afternoon. But back to this story about morning walks with the dogs. We all look forward to these walks. It is good exercise for all three of us and it is good for all of us to be outside. Depending on the time we have, we will walk from 1/2 to 2 miles. The dogs love the longer walks, but sometimes I just don’t have the time. Saturday and Sunday mornings, Robert will walk with us, and on those mornings we have routine walks we take. Close to the end of our walks, we stop at a special spot, where the dogs each get a dog cookie. If I forget, they never do. They will stop, sit and look up at me with great expectation. Sometimes Trina will eat her cookie outside at our special cookie place, but sometimes she takes the cookie in her mouth and wants to take it home. She will turn and begin to run home, yanking the person who is holding her leash. This is ok when Robert is that person and he can just take Trina home while I stay with Hobbes. But if this happens when Robert is not with us, I go with Trina and drop Hobbes’ leash. He will eat his cookie and then run after us to the house. I can never figure out when Trina will want to run home with her cookie, but I’m always relieved when she just eats it on the spot.

These walks are just a natural part of our days. Every morning except Monday and Wednesday, I get up and the first thing I do is walk the dogs, before I eat or do anything else. Monday and Wednesday mornings, I get up early and go to a 6:45 yoga class. When the class is over I often get coffee, go to the bank or do other errands. Then as I am driving home, my mind is busy planning all the things I need to do those days. I’m feeling energetic and very into my day, but then I open the house door and there are two very happy, very expectant dogs waiting for me. I am always surprised when I realize that in my mind, in my plans, I had forgotten about walking the dogs. How could I have forgotten this? No matter what I had planned, those wagging tails always win. So off we go on our dog walk.

February, 2013

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