On my daily walks with my Grandfather, he would instruct me in the ways of proper strolling for men and women.
For instance, the man always walked on the outside of the street, thus protecting the woman from messy splashes from passing traffic, and from garbage that was often thrown out 2nd story windows onto the street or sidewalk. I don’t know about you, but I never want to live in a town where stinky trash might come flying off nearby balconies. How uncivilized is that? But, he was talking about long ago days when BFI didn’t run up and down streets picking up our ‘don’t wants’.
Another proper strolling requirement, he explained, was for women to take two steps to a man’s one step. Granddad would point this out when as a 10 year old I would try to match his long strides with my shorter legs. Of course, he might have been giving me an excuse to take shorter steps. I will never know.
These walking instructions came to mind when I was walking my two doglets this week. The little one, in an attempt to keep up with Chili, takes about 4 to 6 steps to Chili’s every one, and that is only when Chili is walking. If she gets in an all out run, then Jasmine looks like a windup toy motoring down the street trying her best to keep up.
When Chili stops to sniff a special place, seconds later Jazz must find the same place and take her time learning what is so special about this particular bush or pole. This poses a problem for the walker, that being me. Juggling two leases can be an exercise in frustration with one straining to get to the next stinky spot while the other one is just getting to the last aroma-filled piece of heaven. I’m left standing with my arms stretched in opposite directions trying to accommodate the desires of both canines, and neither is concerned that my arms may not be long enough to please them both.
I see some dog walkers herding 3 and 4 dogs at once, which is way more than I can handle. What with keeping the leases untangled and unwrapped from around 12 to 16 paws…no, I’m pushing my limit at 8 legs.
I haven’t yet broached the subject with my doglets of proper walking etiquette, i.e. which one walks on the outside and which lucky one gets closest to the ‘used’ grass. Thank goodness I won’t have to teach them pacing one to the other. They have that down without any direction from me.
Sadly, the doglets don’t know Granddad’s rules for walking, and I haven’t mastered the art of explaining how those rules relate to canines.
I’m all for letting them work out their own pacing and patterns. Hopefully I can keep them going in the same direction long enough to get them around the block and safely home.