City Hounds

Just sniffin' around…

Walking the Walk

Our dogs are pretty high energy dogs.  Red loves to laze around, but he gets restless after a bit, and he needs to get out and get moving.  Ruby doesn’t relax much.  She’d pretty much rather be doing something all the time.

So, walking is an important part of our daily ritual.  But I have to admit that I’m not always in the mood.  Now, once I make myself go, I’m always glad I did (well, except that time that it was so cold that Red turned around and dragged me back home, but otherwise…).  Still, there are times when it’s hard to get motivated.

Our morning walk

The worst times are when I’m really stressed, really busy, and/or not feeling well.  The month of October was pretty rough, with a lot of migraines & allergy trouble that resulted in little to no motivation to walk.  It was easy for me to put it off: “the weather’s so nice they can be out in the yard most of the day,” or “Ruby is going to daycare and Steve can take care of exercising Red, so it won’t matter if we walk or not.”  Yeah, good excuses.

I’ve gotten back on the ball, though, and boy, can I tell the difference.  When our walks get inconsistant, it shows in the dogs’ on-leash behavior: they put their noses to the ground and they pull.  There are so many new smells that they can’t resist.  This, of course, makes the walk a whole lot less pleasant for me.

But when we walk twice a day and reinforce good walking behavior, they’re wonderful to walk with!  I can control those noses and we have a great time.  Walking with coonhounds is pretty much ongoing training: you always have to be more interesting than the smells.  So, if I’m on the ball (like I have been lately), I don’t leave the house without liver treats in my pocket.  They’re smelly enough to (usually) redirect the noses right up to where I want them to be.

This is when walking is my favorite part of the day.  It’s a great time to stretch and get some exercise, but it’s also a great time for thinking.  My rule is no talking on the phone/checking email/texting and no music or books on tape.  Just me and the dogs.  It’s our time together, and I treasure it.  I watch our neighbor talk on the phone while she walks her dog and wonder if she realizes what she’s missing.

We even walked after last year's huge snowstorm.

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November 17, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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