Anyway, I have been HORRIBLE at walking my dogs the last 10 months. I've blamed it on being sick, not having time, it was too cold, too hot, too cloudy, too sunny, too....yeah. And, as my weight has crept up to an unbearable height, I made a huge decision a couple days ago. I am going to walk the dogs! So, yesterday we started again. I'm on a mission to make their lives better and to feel better myself.
Simple, I know! But, I've started to walk them separately as they are not the easiest pack- yet another reason why I've fallen apart with walking. I walk Spike and Murphy together. Murphy is easy to walk unless she is with Sophie. Then she wants to pick on Sophie and play with her the whole way. Spike is not easy to walk with Sophie. You add a third dog in there and it's painful.
See, Spike likes to chase big trucks. And, occasionally smaller trucks. Sometimes cars, and who am I kidding? ALWAYS bikes and snowmobiles. We've worked on this our whole lives together (it'll be 6 years this summer!) and he's made huge progress but he still can be a little unpredictable. When he decides he is lunging, I HAVE to be prepared or I get hurt. You add into it the goofball Sophie who barks and bounces when Spike gets lungy. Or barks and bounces in joy when she sees someone. Or barks and bounces when she sees a dog and once again I have to be ready or I get hurt again. You add to the mix, mostly harmless Murphy who just races around my feet, thereby hog-tying me up when excited, and it's very, VERY difficult.
So, I walk Spike and Murph together. They are easy to manage. And, I walk Sophie alone because she rarely gets time with just me anyway, whereas the other two still go to classes and the like, almost weekly.
And, it's good. It's very good. I slept amazingly well last night. And my mood is pretty chipper. :)
Here's Sophie as we are starting out...
She is happy. :)
But, I have to admit, I have some ranting I'd like to do about people who don't make it easy for me and my pups to walk.
1. Don't yell at me "pick up that poop! PICK UP THAT POOP!" Because guess what? I AM, it takes me a minute to get organized to get the bag.
2. Don't then proceed to yell at me "don't put that in my garbage can!" I realize people don't always want dog crap in their can, but guess what?!? I COULD BE LEAVING IT ON YOUR LAWN!!
3. Don't swerve your car in towards me when I am walking my slightly neurotic, likes to chase you Border Collie Mix. It makes me nervous which in turn makes Spikey even more unpredictable.
4. Don't ask to meet my crazy, bouncing lab. Yes, she loves you and wants to meet you, but guess what? She's too excited and you WILL get hurt. Trust me.
5. Don't yell as me "Whys your dog barking? She must be mean!" No, she's not, she's a terrier.
6. Don't stare, cross the road, turn around and walk away because while it might not look like it, my dogs ARE under control and we ARE working on training through their issues.
7. Don't let your uncontrollable, off leash dog come barrelling up to my pack of barking and snarling dogs. Because, they are NOT friendly. Yours will get hurt.
The list goes on!
But, in the meantime, I've learned some good things too:
1. Sophie is full of joy and bounce and love of everything. While walking, she is taking in the world, happy and excited and wagging her tail the whole way. She even occasionally licks my hand. She's just joy. That's it. JOY.
2. Spikey might be shy and reserved but he's a gentle soul who means well. He might lunge but he turns a contrite eye to me after, with ears back and tail down as if he knows he has done wrong. But, a smile from me and a "c'mon papa, it's alright" and he bounces right back. He's resilient.
3. And Murphy, well Murphy, she's energy- go, go, go. The world is big and exciting and must be explored. It is exhilarating and energizing and must be viewed with a tenacious spirit that propels her along. And, that's another great life lesson.
All in all, not to shabby for 4 35 minute walks in 2 days.
What have you learned both positive and negative from walking your dogs?