Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When Will They Ever Learn?

Our daughter lives in a pretty residential area of a city in another Western state. She has a Yellow Lab, Georgia, whom she walks regularly. Yesterday, they encountered an off-leash Golden Retriever. What seemed to be an uneventful doggie meet and greet ended when the Retriever attacked Georgia. The Retriever's owner was shocked and distressed and has paid the vet bills. But we have a traumatized dog and human who will never again feel quite safe on their walks.

I hope that the Retriever's owner has learned NEVER to let her dog off leash unless she is in a dedicated off leash area.

I hope.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today, has an article on The Crisis in American Walking! I. Kid. You. Not. (I would love to give you a hot link to the article, but I continue to have technical problems with hot links in text.)

So now, we will be deluged with nannies pushing us to get out and walk. Well. Nearly every morning, I get up between 5 and 5:30 am and take Bingley and Magic for a walk. Our route goes up a rather steep hill. Tomorrow, being Wednesday, Bingley, Magic, and I will meet Marilyn, Franklin, Hattie and Odie at a park and walk around for about an hour.

There are some pretty impressive studies that confirm that people who walk dogs are more likely to stick with their walking regimen than people who walk alone or with a human companion.

If this doesn't make sense to you, you've never gotten into a routine of dog walking. A friend of mine wanted to know how I managed to be so faithful in my walking of Bingley and Magic. Simple, I told her. Walk your dog three days in a row at the same time of day. (Actually, she could do with two days in a row. Her dog is an Aussie, and herding breeds are notoriously brilliant) That's all you have to do. The dog will take it from there. And unless you have a heart of stone, you will not be able to resist the bright, expectant eyes, the wagging tail, and, perhaps, the persistent following of your every step. No matter how busy or tired you are, it will be easier to get on your walking shoes, leash up the dog, and go for a walk.

I promise.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Time Passes

I have mentioned that John and I went through a patch when we lost three relatively young dogs in a relatively short time. The shock and grief was awful.

So when Bingley turned Eight in September, it was a cause for serious celebration. Eight is senior status for a Greyhound. Now, he's more than Eight and a half. And recently, I noticed that his muzzle and face are slowly turning white. Bingley is becoming a Senior Citizen.

He still wants to chase rabbits. He still patrols the back yard for critters. He is still determined to go after small canines, refusing to believe that they are, indeed, dogs. And forget about cats!

But some mornings, he stays in bed all the time I'm dressing, right up to the moment that I open the bedroom door. He still runs a few laps around the living room while I leash and harness Magic, but I think he's slowing down, ever so slightly.

Frequently, I take his head in my hands, look into his soft brown eyes, and remind him that he is to live to be a Very Old Man. I pray he does. Living with a senior dogs is one of the great joys of life.