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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Walkin' the Dog

Seeing as Scooter was recently declared a tubby-tubberson, I decided that for my normal walk today, I'd take him along.

Blargh.

See, normally, I take Scooter out for a short walk, return him to the house, and then Norah and I go for our long walk.  Why not take Scooter for the normal long walk?  In short, he's a pain and a half to walk.

He wants to stop and sniff, and pee on, every. single. blade. of. grass.  Not to mention, Scooter has become increasingly neurotic* over the past few years, so each time something unexpected crosses our path -- a stray leaf, for example -- he abouts jumps out of his skin and immediately wants to head home.  He was so scared of a high school kid who waits for the school bus, that one day, Scooter seriously pulled himself OUT of his collar to avoid passing this teen.

So, if I take Scooter for a long walk, I feel like I am either dragging him along the entire time or being dragged along.  Most of the time, I don't want to hassle with him, so that's why I leave him at home.  But, in light of his recent obesity diagnosis, I decided that I should begin hauling him along.  It was a pain, but he did alright, especially once we got a few blocks in and he kinda settled into the idea that he was going the distance.  Plus, it's been an overcast day, and this morning's weather was downright cool and pleasant, so I enjoyed the walk.

And, it was a successful day in terms of simply removing him from Norah while she was eating.  In fact, despite having to listen to him whine at our bedroom door while we're eating, I think it makes mealtime less stressful for me.  Before, it was beginning to feel like meals were a 3 ring circus where I felt I was either constantly reprimanding Norah for giving Scooter food or I was constantly threatening to BBQ Scooter if he wouldn't quit leaping in the air to try and take her food.

In time, I'm sure he'll just get used to having to be put away during meal and snack time and I won't have to listen to him crying in there.  But really, after listening to a child cry, I'm pretty immune to the whimpers of a dog.

*I asked the vet if Scooter's increased anxiety in the past few years could be medicated.  Actually, I specifically asked the vet if there was a "shot for Annoying."  The vet just laughed at me (he thought I was joking?) and said that he could give Scooter doggie Valium but that the effects were that it would make him lethargic.  Now, a lethargic Scooter doesn't sound entirely bad to me, but ultimately, I guess I'd rather not have him feel dopey, so I opted against the Valium prescription.

15 comments:

Tim F said...

Your post really reflects what I've been going through with my two dogs and 16 month old daughter. The dogs are both hounds and are a pain in the butt to walk, but they need walks so they go with us all the time.

And, eating is always crazy with two dogs and two cats running around.

MCM Mama said...

Glad the walk went ok.

My cat sits right between S and me during dinner in hopes that someone will drop something.

Tri Dave said...

You could try a few drops of some stuff called Rescue Remedy. It's a product designed for people to help calm you down. I give it to my dog during thunderstorms. It helps keep her from shaking and panting through the entire storm. You can find it at GNC. The eye dropper liquid is pretty cheap, less than $10.

Wes said...

lol... ok.. listen kiddo. If scooter wants to eat hisself to death, it is his destiny. but really... these things ebb and flow. make a few subtle changes and things will be fine!

savvyfitchica said...

Nikki has become increasingly "anxious" as well. We have doggy downers for when we take her in the car, but don't like to give them to her unless we absolutely have to. This last time, our vet recommended "Composure Calm" which is a natural product. We use the liquid but it comes in chews as well. It seems to calm her restlessness really well. You can buy it from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Vetri-Science-Composure-Liquid-Dogs-Cats/dp/B000B8GENI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

J & M said...

I know what you mean about having a hard time walking the dog! Lucy is crazy hyper every time we get her on a leash.. even worse now that she is an outside dog!

We switched from a regular collar to a harness and it made a huge difference! She doesn't choke herself now when she pulls, and it's easier to get her away from the apparently heavenly smelling bushes.

Good luck chica!

Nobel4Lit said...

I can't imagine towing a kid AND a dog. My dog just barks at people when I walk him, even though he's just fine at the dog park! Maybe he can play around there??

Firefly's Running said...

I second the recommendation for Rescue Remedy. It really does help eliminate and reduce anxiety. It has worked for both my dog AND cat. It's a TON cheaper thru Amazon, plus you can have it shipped to you. Plus there's Comfort Zone which works very well too.

Erin said...

What, a dog barking, whining, or wagging a tail to beat hell against every piece of furniture (oh wait, that's my dog)? You will settle into a new routine around meals that is both healthy for you and Scooter.

As for the walking, it's never been his cup of tea. Too bad he doesn't run at the dog park like he and Annie used to. They are too lazy. That would be an easier exercise routine. I wouldn't sweat the walking part.

Marlene said...

Your descriptions of Scooter's personality traits are always hysterical! What a character.

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Brasil said...

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lifestudent said...

I forgot to mention this the other day - but our dog put on about 10% body weight since Brooke was born. Its what happens when your dog stops being your kid! Less walks, less attention, more lounging and more napping. Its a natural progression ;)

Krissy said...

Oh my goodness I can't relate enough to your description of mealtime with a toddler and a dog. Same thing happens over here, it is just so hard to stop a toddler from feeding the dog let alone stopping a dog from sitting waiting for the food to drop... I hear you, you got to do what you got to do to ensure your sanity and Scooter's health!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered crate training Scooter? It would probably help both your stress level and his... I stumbled upon your blog through a google search that brought me to your 2006 post when you first got Scooter. I just got a new pup myself who will eventually be my running partner when my old dog is ready to retire, and the first thing we did was crate (Kennel) train her! It gets her out of the way while we're eating so that she can't even consider begging or stealing food!