Dog Walking: A New Religion

9 Apr

Dog walking can be a religious experience. It’s got all the elements—dogma, movements and prophets.

Each morning I harness my dogma, pick up its daily movement and profit from burning calories while I walk.

My friend Nina and her dog Champ are devoted followers and often join me when I walk my dog Shadow. For Champ and Shadow, dogma involves christening every mailbox we pass.

I realize it’s their job to mark their territory, but together these mutts stake more claims than the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They’re never satisfied with their conquest and each day re-mark the same mailboxes. It’s gotten so bad, one thirty-minute walk recently exceeded three and a half hours.

Adding further delay, other walkers disrupt our walks by stopping to say things like, “What cute dogs! What are their names?  Mind if we pet them?” Then what starts as an innocent scratch under the chin escalates to a back rub and the next thing you know my dog is flat on her back getting the kind of full body massage I have to shell out ninety-five bucks an hour for.

I know they mean well. Most people would simply call it being friendly. I call it an invasion of my dog’s personal space. After all, I don’t say to the woman pushing the stroller, “What an adorable baby.  What’s her name?  Mind if I nurse her?”

What I’d really like to tell them is, “Sure, my dog would love to accept a free Shiatsu massage, but unless you’re also going to rub me down like a side of seasoned pork, let’s just stick to the “walk and wave” so I can get home before the sun sets.

In an effort to speed up our walks I adopted a new pet-a-gogical dogma. I gave Shadow a new nickname and taught both dogs strategic claim staking.

Now when we run into others who stop to ask our dog’s names I simply point to my dog and say, “This one is named Rabies.”  Before they high tail down the street I add, “and Champ is the one peeing on your leg.”

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27 Responses to “Dog Walking: A New Religion”

  1. Paprika Furstenburg April 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    As a cat person who enjoys sitting snuggled up on the couch with a warm furry pet versus walking a warm furry pet while carrying their “movements,” I appreciate the perspective you offer. Next time I pass a dog and his escort while I’m out on my walk sans pet, I’ll wave, say hello and give myself a wide, pee-free area to walk around.

  2. crubin April 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    “What an adorable baby. What’s her name? Mind if I nurse her?”–This will no doubt be my favorite line of the week (maybe even the month!)

  3. Audubon Ron April 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    My sister and her boyfriend found a stray dog. Her boyfriend looked on the dogs collar and said the dog’s name was Rabbis. I told my sister, “Your boyfriend is a real genius, honey.”

    The really cool things about owning acreage, no cleaning dog poop.

  4. writerwendyreid April 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Very funny post. Next time I run into someone walking their cute dog, I will keep those things in mind. 😛

  5. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer April 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    That’s a great advertisement: “Dog Walking Service”, call 973-???-////. You could attract a fabulous clientelle and have even more hilarious stories your new service would generate. Ronnie

  6. Dawn@lightenUp! April 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Yes! Yes! Massage me, not my dog. (TWSS)
    Dang it. 🙂

  7. sportsattitudes April 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Have to admit when the wife and I are outside and a dog is walking its owner by, we do feel compelled to say hello and make some sort of friendly, additional comment, question or gesture toward the dog. That being said, we do NOT reach out to invade said dog’s space. Have seen too many instances where “Fido” did not appreciate that additional move. (From reading this, I appear to have developed a craving for pulled pork…dry rub, of course)

  8. annesturetucker April 11, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    Hi Lisa – Thanks for visiting my blog so I could find you! I love your blog and I will be back for more smiles and laughter 🙂

  9. mj monaghan April 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    “This one is named Rabies.”

    You are hilarious, Lisa. I may have to use that one. Love the dogma puns, as well.

  10. earthriderjudyberman April 11, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    I’d like a dog, but recognize the commitment involved. So I have two – mostly – self-sufficient cats. I get my doggy fix when we walk around the neighborhood, and from my neighbors who have beautiful dogs. But I recognize that a dog has to be receptive and I don’t offer the full-body massage until the 2nd meeting. 🙂

  11. funnyortragic April 12, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    I’ve got a mean walking rule with the pup–he doesn’t get to stop for 5 second pee sessions, and he has to sniff and walk. He’s not allowed to leave our yard until he does his business. This was enacted after the walk where he stopped every 15 feet…for an entire MILE.

    • Main Street Musings Blog April 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      Wow, you hold a tight leash! Good training!

      • funnyortragic April 13, 2012 at 5:50 am #

        My first dog was a german shepard. I just realized one day she could eat me if I didn’t train her, and it was easier after that one.

  12. car racing Games May 3, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Apprexiate this post. Let me try it out.

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