3 Things I’ve Learned Walking My Dog
The family Christmas present (yes, it’s nearly the end of February, and I’m still discussing Christmas presents) was to finally after months of begging, pleading, and eyelash-batting to find the perfect-for-us family dog. The boys asked, too, but no one begs, pleads, or bats eyelashes like an only child (even if I am 36).
We started in October but were ignored by the first first two foster/adoption/rescue agencies we contacted. Ignored, y’all. And I don’t mean that I sent an email or application and then psycho-called them two hours later. I mean we waited the entire amount of time they asked for on their own websites, and then sent follow-up emails after that. One place didn’t even have a working phone number listed!
Look, I get that most rescues are 100% volunteer-run but either business for adopting dogs is so good you don’t need to check your email or y’all need to find a better way to keep up with those of us ready, willing, and able to adopt.
Finally, and proving that good things come to those who wait, we stumbled upon a local small dog rescue, Canine Estates (if you live in the Tampa Bay area, I highly recommend them!). They not only got back with us, they were enthusiastic when we said we wanted to come by and visit our first choice – who had no use for us and wouldn’t even sniff our hands.
The Universe works in mysterious ways because we met Saki that day – a 10 year old Miniature-Pinscher/Chiahuahua mix who was so underweight all we wanted to do was feed him – and buy him a new sweater. His was an ugly orange and had a small hole in it. I thought about that sweater for days.
Fast forward two months later, and he’s found his place in our little family – loved and spoiled by all of us. Because I work from home, I spend the most amount of time with him…which means I’ve had plenty to learn.
First there was learning just how similar raising kids really is to having my own furbaby, then there were a few other lessons I’ve learned on our multiple daily walks:
I’m Always Looking Down
I look down a lot. Most of the time it’s for poop, usually his. Small dogs make small poop. Try finding that in the middle of the night. But I’m also looking for old, rotten, ready-to-make-my-shoes-stink poop that other people can’t be bothered to pick up from their own dog. Oh yeah, if you don’t pick up your dog’s poop in public places, I’m totally judging you.
I’m also curious to find out what is so damned special about that one blade of grass, one leaf, one low-hanging branch on the bush, you name it. Because, according to Saki, it’s really, really interesting. We must sniff each one we come across for at least a minute.
He’s a Great Workout Partner
Walking Saki is a good workout. But don’t be mistaken – oh no, not for running (he’s only 12 lbs and about 6 inches off the ground). We tried running for a few days because he was always so happy to go outside and moved really fast. That lasted for three days until we both grew tired of it. He slowed down (a little) after that – such a good boy!
No, now I get an arm workout holding the leash tight. He doesn’t want to run but he still wants to go faster than what I consider a fast walk. Plus, bonus!, I get a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout – they’re all the rage, ya know. We walk several steps, stop, walk a few more, stop, practically run, stop abruptly wrenching my arms out of the sockets – giving my arms even more of a workout. Thanks, Saki! Who’s a good boy??
All. The. People. Want to Say Hi
But none of them really want to talk to me. I’m good with that. Please, socialize with my little dog with the big attitude. He’ll sniff you and move on when he’s ready. Yes, you’ll probably be in mid-sentence, telling him what a sweet boy he is. He’s done, we’re moving on.
If our neighbors don’t give me a glance, I’m good with that. No. Really. I have a three-feet-of-personal-space rule and the only one who can get me to break it is Saki. Plus also, I don’t talk to strangers because my Mama raised me right.
We smile more in our family, laugh more, talk more, hang out now that Saki’s here (and we were pretty well-adjusted before). He’s the absolute perfect edition for our family – big personality, bigger attitude, and all.