15 Feb 2021
Before we get started – grammarians feel free to have long discussion about whether my title should have been “Who owns whom?”. I’ve thought it through, decided I prefer this option, and really don’t care too much either way. Knock yourselves out.
This morning while walking the dog, I got into discussion another pet owner while we were both politely waiting for our dogs to sniff out a peemail. We discussed how our morning exercise routine is not so much exercise, as a stroll. And a very stop/starty type of stroll at best.
My dog operates on a fairly strict routine. It doesn’t really matter how early her morning sniff-and-pee walk starts, but she must be out of the house by 7.15am at the very latest. She likes to decide which of the many walking options she prefers that day, and it’s a very set route that she travels when the direction is set.
In the afternoon, her walking time is 4pm. Not 4.10pm. Not 4.20pm. 4.00pm. She will starting hinting at 3.45pm, just in case you need to put your shoes on or sniff and pee on something yourself.
Her before-bedtime walk used to be 9pm, but to accommodate Simon who doesn’t live overseas anymore, and now accompanies her on her evening ablutions stroll, she is ready to go from 8.30pm.
Now – you may think that she has adapted her preferred exercise times to accommodate us, but it’s actually all about her. She has trained us, and it hasn’t been without work on her part. When she was younger she’d have to deliberately pee on the carpet in order to get us to spring out of bed to learn to leave when she’d prefer to go.
BD (before dog), I’d comfortably say my walking used to be exercise. There was speed, there was distance, I even listened to certain music that allowed me to pace myself to the beat.
I don’t bother to listen to music anymore – it would interrupt the constant conversation with the dog…”you’ve already pee’d on that one”, “come on, already, you’ve been sniffing too long”, “how long does it take to do a poo, for crying out loud”, and of course “oh look – the coffee shop!”. And there’s no point trying to set a walking pace – we can be walking at a relatively good pace until something smelled like a good friends pee, so we have to stop and investigate with the intensity of a forensics officer.
It’s fair to say that we don’t own a dog. Chewie owns a couple of humans who need full time supervision, don’t always get it right in the food department, and who need to be exercised regularly or else they just lie around on the couch making horrible nasal noises.
It’s not the first time we have been owned by an animal, of course. We have been in servitude to a few cats over our time, and let’s not get started about how the budgerigar ruled our lives!
Are you owned by a four or two legged benevolent dictator?