Friday, 15 April 2011

Walking the dog

I grew up living in apartments without the childhood experience of a house pet. For me, walking the dog was a trick performed with a Yo Yo. Not by me I hasten to add. I was hopeless at performing any but the simplest of Yo Yo tricks.

As an aside, isn't it about time the Yo Yo fad returned for its periodic three months of being the pastime de jour? Anyway walking a real life actual dog has rarely been an activity for me.

My friend Ae has owned dogs for thirty years now and is recovering from a dislocated collar bone and unable to drive her current golden retriever to the park (which is beyond reasonable walking distance) at the moment so I helped out by driving she and said dog to Centennial Park yesterday. It was just after 9am and a weekday but there was no shortage of other doggies and their human parents doing the walking the dog thing. I was disappointed that the human parents were as a general rule less attractive than their child dogs but then there were several child dogs present grossly more unattractive than their human parents.

I forgot to bring my camera with me so you will have to take my word for these impressions. The photos illustrating this post have been downloaded from the Internet.

Ae's golden retriever was particularly effective at chasing a rubber ball thrown into the distance with boring regularity but spectacularly ineffective at retrieving it; failing to do so on every occasion. On the other hand the dog had no difficulty squatting thus... every opportunity with Ae following in hot pursuit to collect the resultant discharges with a plastic bag. Dozens of other human parents were similarly engaged at spots all over the park. Any germ of a thought on my part that parenting a child dog would be a fun new lifestyle was immediately extinguished by the sight of this activity.

Just in case I weakened in this new found resolve, Ae's child dog then went and sat in a muddy creek. Somehow, Ae's assertions that said child would be fully dry and no longer dirty by the time we returned to my pristine car were not reassuring.

I noticed a group of human parents of the male persuasion in the distance who looked like they would be worth closer inspection until I observed that their child dogs were a particularly frisky testosterone filled group focussed on bowling their parents over with lively jumping of a height that would win an Olympic medal. I gave them a miss.

As we completed our circuit we encountered a pair of professional dog walkers, a sight similar to this...

...except that their charges were of widely disparate size and types including what I imagine is referred to as a Great Dane standing as tall as me. I stand 1.82m when not cringing in fear of a huge dog. One of the professionals had a movie camera in hand and was capturing every move of his brood, perhaps out of love or I imagined for insurance purposes for when the inevitable passing apartment living innocent like me comes off second best from the encounter.

Now, where did I put that last Yo Yo for safekeeping?


  1. You will never get rid of dog smell from your car now.

  2. I wasn't a dog lover until getting my chocolate Labrador. He's so loving, and hilariously entertaining that I actually don't mind picking up his poop :)

  3. When I was a kid, we had a family dog for 13 years. Nobody picked up poop back then. In 1992 I adopted the fabulous Collette and, since we were suburban then urban citizens, I never went out without the plastic bag. But I rarely needed it; Collette preferred to poop in her back yard. Yuck.

    When we moved to the French countryside, all that changed. First with Collette and now with Callie. Picking up poop is a thing of the past.

  4. Growing up with dogs, we always had our dogs do their business at home before taking them out for walks. We never brought bags with us. Of course, yours truly was responsible for picking up the dog poop at home with the "pooper scooper."