For those of us with dogs, our daily routine includes a number of short walks to take care of their needs. Somewhere in that schedule is a longer walk to give you and your dog some exercise and perhaps a bit of fun. On weekends or vacations, these walks may turn into adventures in new settings with great things to see, hear, and for your dog to sniff!
Two-year-old Sam loves his early morning walk. He practiced his sit when Penny met him. His person said this daily routine gets her going too!
One friend calls this “the long walk.” We call it "Poppy’s exercise" because she will gladly go inside on her puppy pads to avoid being outside. But she does need to move her little body and get her pulse rate up at least once a day, so we take her for a mile or two trot around the neighborhood.
A Study on Walking the Dog
A recent study titled, “(Just) a Walk with the Dog? Animal Geographies and Negotiating Walking Spaces,” argues that “... walking with dogs represents a potentially important cultural space for making sense of human–animal relations. We show how the personalities of both dog and walker can shape not only walking practices, but also the human–animal bond. We contend that the walk is a significant arena where relations of power between animal and human are consciously mediated.”
It makes you think about the interactions you see as people walk their dogs. Is the dog having fun? Are the dog and human interacting or are they on separate missions? Who is training whom?
One of Poppy's favorite snow day activities is to run in the snow with Ed. Look at that waggin' tail to see how much she enjoys this.
Be A Dog!
One command you should regularly give your pal on the other end of the leash is, “Be a Dog!” To us that means Poppy can follow her nose, sniff at the corners, or hop up on a bench and relax. She gets a turn to do what she wants on the walk.
Other times we may need some faster-paced exercise and she will have to walk along with us to allow us to get what we need from the walk.
It's a matter of give and take. Sometimes Sam gets a longer walk. Sometimes Poppy gets to play in the snow. Sometimes Sam's person wants to get home sooner. Sometimes we want to walk faster. Everyone should get a turn now and them.
Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino adapted for BostonZest from one of our City Paws newspaper columns
Photos: ©2017 Penny & Ed Cherubino