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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Walking Partner

Since I stopped running (6 weeks, 5 days ago, but who's counting?), I have been regularly walking as a way to remain physically active in the remaining portion of my pregnancy. On most days, Scooter and I take about a handful of walks: These are mostly short pee-break walks, but once a day, we get out there for a "long walk" (about 1-2 miles).

But, despite his initial enthusiasm and his inherent cuteness, he's not really the ideal walking partner. Here's 5 reasons why:

1. He's stubborn and willful. Which means he wants to go where he wants to go. And that's where the smells are. So, if a particular patch of asphalt or an individual blade of grass smells like heaven to him, he'd rather stop and sniff that for half an hour than keep walking. This also means that he tries to pull me all over the place in pursuit of such delicious smells. So, he is definitely not that well-trained dog you see that calmly trots along next to its master while walking.

2. He's neurotic. And kinda skittish and unpredictable. So, one minute he wants to chase down a garbage truck that is barreling past, and the next, a leaf blowing across the sidewalk nearly makes him jump out of his fur.

3. He makes frequent stops. In a route we typically take that is about 1.5 miles, he will stop to pee a dozen times. The first 2 or 3 times, actual pee comes out. The next 10 times, he's just fruitlessly lifting his leg. Thus, it feels like we're pausing at every tree, fire hydrant, and sign post on the route.

4. He has a penchant for walking in the street. I don't know why the grass isn't good enough for him, but he always pulls and wants to walk in the street, and his leash is just long enough for him to continually skirt the edge. Now, the streets we walk aren't heavily trafficked, but there's enough cars that I feel as though I am constantly yanking him back onto the swale and telling him to "get outta the street!"

5. When he's done, he's done. Most dogs I know love to walk and will walk for as long as their master will take them. But for Scooter, once he gets a certain distance, he wants to go back home, and he will continually try to turn around. Some walks are better than others and he is happy to walk as far as we go, but other days, we get about 3 blocks in, and he's ready to turn and head back home. On those walks, I feel as though I am dragging him along behind me. And the irony is that once we get to the turn-around spot, his attitude seems to change to "this isn't so bad, let's continue on!" Essentially, there are some days where I think he just wants to walk in the opposite direction as me -- probably just to piss me off.

But, for as annoying as he can be, I am glad to have him with me (most of the time -- yesterday, Jerry took him to the dog park, so I went for a long walk without him, and it was quite glorious). Plus, he's usually so tuckered out from the walk, that once we return home, he's out for a good few hours, and my mantra has always been: "A tired dog is a well-behaved dog."

My mom tells me that that was the basis of her entire child-rearing philosophy as well. Hmmmm, that explains all those days at the park, and the long summer days of swim lessons, tennis camp, and soccer practice...

18 comments:

N.D. said...

haha I feel like that is all dogs. Good summary!

Viper said...

Seems like you just figured out what to do when your soon-to-be swaddled angel turns into a terrorist toddler.

Amanda B said...

I get what you mean, I gave up on trying to walk with my dog. Because of the farms that seem to be all around us, I hated having to separate my dog and the cows :/.

X-Country2 said...

That's a great list. My husband might discribe me with the exact same list. :o)

GeorgiaSnail said...

I love my dog to death and wish she was a good running partner, alas she and scooter must be long lost relatives...She fits your description to a T.

Krissy said...

Your dog seems to have quite the personality! Our dog used to run with me sometimes 6-8 miles and NEVER get tired, he misses those runs these days. One day I will be back out with him. Although he is not a good walker, he trys to bully other little dogs to be the boss, if he is running he is too pre-occupied and he won't be a jerk to other dogs on the way....

MCM Mama said...

Sounds an awful lot like walking with kids...

And I love the "tired kid is a well behaved kid", but I've never managed to wear my boys out. They have some sort of source of energy that would save the nation if it could be tapped.

Wes said...

Mufasa is like that too. If he gets out the front door, he stops to pee on everything. I need to get one of those chest leashes, cause he just chokes himself on the collar one and doesn't even seem to care.

Marci said...

Awe Scoots, my MIL has a Jack Russel dog that has very similar "walking" habits to Scoots.

Marlene said...

Awww, Scooter! What a stinker!

Katie A. said...

ROFL! This is a gret post! But I am a dog lover, so anytime you post about Scooter I am in love! He is a typical terrier, my corgi-terrier is the same - I wish I could run with her but that will never happen.
After a good long walk though, if she is done, she just sits down. Won't move, won't let you drag her. There has been many a times when I have huffed it home a half mile with my 30 pound Lilly in my arms, sheesh! Be thankful Scooter hasn't leanred that trick yet!
Glad to see your still out moving! :)

RunningLaur said...

Perfect summary! I'm glad we have a girl dog to cut down on all the pee stops.

Jess said...

Haha wellll he's good for company right?

d.a.r. said...

HAhah!! While Chief doesn't have to do the constant peeing (blessing of a girl dog) she has her own inherent set of neuroses. She will not walk anywhere but the sidewalk. If she has to pee, she will seriously straddle the corner of a sidewalk and a driveway and hang her little pug tushie over the grass and tinkle. She also is done when she is done. She lays down and refuses to budge. I usually end up carrying her alone. Those crazy dog people with the dog strollers? Don't seem so insane to me anymore...

Jamoosh said...

Kids and dogs - pretty much interchangeable!

cami said...

Well, he may be stubborn and neurotic, but he sure is cute! :)

BrianFlash said...

Sounds like Scooter is the pack leader. Better watch the baby close in case pack leader decides to trim up the pack!

You might want to consider some Cesear techniques to teach that pup that you are in charge.

Mrs. K said...

so you gonna have this baby while i'm gone? are you?