What a Walk Means to a Dog

My injured foot has slowly been getting better. I have not, cannot and will not stay off of it completely nor will I see a doctor. I don’t know why. I guess I’m just sick of shit going wrong. Dr. Google (and previous experience) tell me that there no “cure” other than time, RICE and supportive shoes. It’s OK. It has three months + to get back to normal. I’ve been walking the dogs less frequently and less far and choosing trails carefully. Sidewalks are the most painful places, so I’m not walking around the hood. The golf course would be best, but guys are still playing golf. That leaves the wildlife areas, but Shriver/Wright is better than the Rio Grande Wildlife area because the trail is softer and there are far fewer rocks..

The poor dogs had gone without a walk for three days, so once I had done a ton of chores, I leashed Bear and Teddy, and we went out there. We were relegated to the Rio Grande Wildlife Area by dog owners parked at Shriver/Wright.

My foot is still hurt and walking on that rocky trail was difficult, requiring that I pay good attention to where I placed my foot. Teddy was a pain in the ass, continually walking behind me and nearly tripping me. I lost it and started giving him the what for — I never do that, but there I was. Pain makes people not themselves, and I definitely had a hurt foot. But afterwards, I was really sorry and embarrassed. We turned around at 1/2 mile and within 10 steps I’d re-injured my foot. “Karma,” I thought.

“I’m sorry Teddy.”

Teddy didn’t care and he’d stopped walking behind me.

I thought about what I’d read about Australian shepherds, “These dogs are tough. Think about it. They get kicked in the face by cattle.” I felt a little better.

We walked. Slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly. The dogs were good, and I was philosophical — the best I was going to get and it was pretty OK.

Back at home, my dogs — who have been a little insecure and, in Teddy’s case, aloof, since the two nights at the kennel — were back to their old affectionate selves and I thought about that. When I walk my dogs, that’s when the real bonding occurs between all of us. It’s not the food bowl. It’s not being petted, trained, given cookies or played with. It’s the hunt. This is the actual reason I have had so many dogs and love them so much. The hunt is the biggest thing in my life, too, the best part of any given day and the redemption of many a bad day. When my mom accused me of having dogs as “child surrogates” I said, “No. We’re friends. They like to do what I like to do.”

All of us basically hang around all day waiting for the moment when we can go hunting. My new plan is to take a couple days off and then walk them each on alternating days and take my cane. 🙂

11 thoughts on “What a Walk Means to a Dog

  1. Sorry to hear that you re-injured your foot — alternating days with the dogs sounds like a great idea, as does taking the cane! Do take care of yourself, so you can be back on the hunt soon!

  2. I’ve just come back from walking Cindy. Since David died I have mostly exercised her by chucking a ball in the garden because I don’t really like walking her along the side of the road where there is no path. It is not comfortable for me to walk on and although she is not scared of them like she was as a pup I don’t like big log trucks going by a metre away from us. However, lately Cindy has not enjoyed ball games as much and it turns out the reason is arthritis. She is thirteen and a half after all. She still runs but not for as long. I don’t want her to be bored so it looks like we’ll have to do the short walk to the local football ground so she gets some exercise and stimulation. Seeing how happy she was to go will make it worth the trouble.

  3. Last night there was a creature in our yard. Speaking of hunting. I thought originally it was a deer, but it might have been a coyote. We have both and I didn’t get much of a look. I locked the doggy door to keep whatever was outside OUTSIDE – and my dogs inside. The dogs went completely crazy. Especially Duke who was racing in and out of the house like a mad thing. After about two hours, they finally stopped trying to break down the door. THEY knew the hunt was on. I wish I knew what was out there. I’d rather a deer than a coyote because it would have been a damned big coyote.

    • From time to time some wild thing walks down the alley. Bear and Teddy cannot get out and it would be more trouble than it would be worth for the wild thing to penetrate the boundaries. Sometimes in the morning there are cool tracks — deer, moose, raccoon, fox 🙂 Since there is a mountain lion that sometimes prowls the alleys looking — I guess for cats, small dogs and trash, and sometimes a bear, I’m happy they can’t get out and happy for Bear’s thundering bark.

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