Having a dog has been so good, I decided to write another blog post about the experience, this time centered around everyone’s favorite group exercise: dog walks. Angus has proven to be a wonderful walking companion, from time to time, and I feel the need to share some thoughts and details about these experiences.
Walking the dog is like taking out the trash, except with an excitable partner by your side whose safety you need to constantly be attentive of, especially when cars, dogs, or other people wander by. Dogs command a lot of attention, but they also have a very limited attention span (so do I!) and thus, they get distracted by fast-moving objects or potential friends across the street. Alex and I have gotten better at handling the leash so that Angus knows how and how not to behave around these things. His improvements have made the regular dog walk more bearable and less of an obedience-building exercise, though at times he does slip back into his older ways.
I always feel bad yanking too hard on the leash, if Angus is really going out of his way, but I know that it’s worth it for the obedience training and negative reinforcement conditioning. Otherwise, he’d command the leash and we’d have no authority over his whereabouts, left helpless to his spontaneous whims. And boy are they spontaneous. As we walked to the park on Sunday, Angus sniffed every trash can and parked car on the way, but he didn’t stop to sniff the gross old banana in front of us; in fact, he didn’t react at all. It shocked us that he would deny sniffing food, even if it technically is no longer food. On the second half of our trip, on the way back from the park, Angus showed much more patience, and again ignored the banana on the road. His tremendous snout eluded him this time.