When you walk a dog, you have to take the dog’s walk. It’s only right.
If by accident you get a little workout, too, that’s fine, but it should be the dog’s walk.
Dogs like to stop and sniff things. For a long time.
They check their P-mail at poles, trees, and other important-only-to-them landmarks along the way. You gotta stop and let them.
But walking two dogs? When one has ADHD?
It’s a circus.
Rookie forges ahead, Stella stays with, or lags behind.
My arms are frequently stretched out like Jesus on the Cross: one dog pulling one way, the other one, the other way.
Stella knows trail etiquette. Rookie has no conception of it. Rookie will even take a dump right in the middle of the trail, for example. She barks and lunges at bikes and runners. She pulls toward people.
She has no sense of keeping to one side of the trail when passing people. She zig-zags all over the place. Walking the two of them is like puppeteering. I’m constantly switching leash hands, pulling one up, the other down, reining in Rookie, urging on Stella. So when they stop to sniff something I’m happy to indulge. It gives me a chance to untangle and notice the flowers, the sound of the traffic, the call of the birds.
Sometimes I let Stella loose and just hold Rookie. That’s my favorite thing, but sometimes Stella likes to be leashed and will sit down and not move until I hook her up.
This morning Stella and I walked alone.
It felt good to have just one again.
We clambered down to the river. She licked, but didn’t swim.
I watched the river for a long while. Thought of that quote, I think I got it from Sam Harris, something about how there is no observer on the riverbank watching the river. There is just the river.
I stared at the water. In a finger snap, I saw it. Then I couldn’t anymore.
I tongue-clicked for Stella and we hiked up the bank.