Our dogs, Zane and Arran, need regular exercise. So do Bill and I. On weekends, we usually take them to the nature park near our home, where they can burn off some steam and do some baying. Although it’s good for us and the dogs, I have to admit that dog walking is not my favorite activity. I would rather let my dogs run off lead somewhere. When Bill and I walk together, the dogs constantly get tangled up, so we’re forever keeping the leashes straight. But we don’t have any dog parks near where we live, so leash walking it is… and again, it’s usually a good thing. I feel better when I get back.
Good thing they’re cute.
As we set off for our walk, Zane and Arran immediately needed to poop. Arran squatted next to the big sign about cleaning up your shit. A German couple, turned out to be our neighbors from a few doors down, stopped to talk to us as Bill was cleaning up the mess. They were a pleasant couple, but as we were talking to them, the dogs saw a cat, which made them freak out.
Then there were two other people with dogs walking by, also causing Zane and Arran to bark and carry on. Since it’s Sunday, we try not to be too noisy, but when you’re dealing with dogs– especially scent hounds– that can be a difficult endeavor. We ended up going a different way than we usually go, just to avoid some of the people and make less noise.
We got deeper into the woods, where we encountered bikers and hikers with no incident. But then about halfway through our stroll, we were confronted by four or five people on horseback. I didn’t take time to count. Since I used to ride horses myself, I understand the dilemma. There was really nowhere for us to go to avoid the group, though, because we were in a thick part of the woods. I knew the dogs would bark like crazy because they have never seen horses before. Sure enough, they did. Both of them made a racket that could have woken the dead. I was dying inside and trying to keep Zane under control as the riders passed us. The dogs remained agitated for the rest of our hour long walk.
I was getting more and more irritable as we got closer to home. The temperature was warm. The bugs were out. I was sweating, swearing, and sneezing, owing to my allergies. The dogs were being noisy. I just wanted to get home, enjoy some peace and quiet, and sit on my can with our new fan blowing on me.
Then Zane turned his head and I noticed something bright yellow on his eye, almost like it looks when a camera flashes on it. It took a minute to realize there was some kind of yellow flower petal stuck to his eyeball. We stopped and Bill tried to get it out, but Zane was not being still enough and Bill’s fingers were too big. We didn’t have much time to investigate, anyway, because suddenly the group of horse people were back. This time, we were near a field, so we started walking the dogs into the field to avoid the horses. Unfortunately, a big group of cyclists were behind the horse folks, so they also wanted to come in the field.
I could have tried to explain the situation, but they were German… I am sure someone in the group spoke English, but it was hard to explain over the furious barking from Zane and Arran, who once again were going nuts. I’m sure I had a full on resting bitch face, which I regret, especially since I really do understand the situation for people riding horseback. I’ve been there myself many times. I just wasn’t enjoying our walk very much and just wanted it to be over.
We were almost home when the same guy who stopped us on the way out on our walk stopped us again. He introduced himself and said maybe we should come over sometime. Ordinarily, I would have been really delighted by the invitation, but I just wanted the stressful Sunday dog walk from hell to end. Bill gave him his cell number.
The dogs are now pretty tuckered out. Whatever was stuck on Zane’s eye isn’t there anymore… so he either got it out or it’s balled up under the eyelid. ETA: Bill checked again and found it stuck under his lower lid. He managed to fish it out without much trouble.
At least they’ve had their walk and the chance to poop.
The source of Sunday stress…