Tag Archives: Walking

Come on a Walk with Us!

Lately, the weather in California has been hot, hot, hot! On our daily walks with Simon and Rosee we haven’t been able to walk for very long or go very far. Yet, this morning the weather was warm, but pleasant enough that we could go on one of our favorite walking routes. So, come on our walk with us today and definitely don’t forget your sunscreen!

We started off by going out our front door and down our street. Simon and Rosee were especially excited and couldn’t wait to go…
Picture 1

We walked down, down, down past the local high school, a bunch of bushes that Simon particularly likes to rub against as we walk by, and even a yard sale sign that kind of freaked Rosee out (she wouldn’t walk by it)…

Picture 2We ended up at a local park about a mile away from home and spans across two blocks and has tons of trees which offer lots of shade from the California sun along with numerous spots for the pups to leave their marks…Picture 3We continued through the second block of the park (technically a different park), which is where Simon decided he needed a break in the grass (it was still wet from the early morning sprinkler), but it did put us a little behind Monica and Rosee who was eagerly sniffing her way down the grass–Rosee, not Monica, by the way…Picture 4Then, we started to make our way back home and decided to continue down the side street (instead of back through the two parks) that runs along the west end of town since it’s still pretty shady from the many trees planted along the sidewalk and that just means so much more to sniff…Picture 5As we made our way home Simon started to slow down a little, but Rosee kept her pace (she’s much better at conserving her energy and maintaining her pace unlike Simon)…Picture 6

Ultimately, we had a wonderful morning walk and ended up with two tired pups who were happy to indulge in afternoon naps!

 

Thanks for joining us on our Saturday morning walk and you can totally tell people you went on a 3 mile walk this morning (we won’t tell anyone)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Poop Is Not On My Face

“Leave my dog’s butt out of this!”

There’s this crazy phenomenon going around. I’m not sure if it’s new or not. Maybe it’s just relatively new to me. I say relatively because I was introduced to it quite a while ago, but passed it off as a singular event because it has not been repeated . . . until this past weekend that is.

It goes like this.

You’re on a lively walk with your dog. He or she is behaving wonderfully. You look before you cross the street. You pass by friendly people who comment on your good dog. You feel good. All of a sudden your dog performs a normal bodily function. He or she poops. You take it in stride, pull out your disposable plastic bag, turn it inside out over your hand, and set to bend over to pick up the mess. Unfortunately, that’s when the poop HITS THE FAN!

What do I mean?

Well, a ne’er do well human being passing by takes it upon themselves to perform their self-imposed “civic” duty and yell at you to “Pick up the poop!”

That’s right people. Poop-shaming is alive, and it’s real.

It’s happened quite a few times when Theresa and I have taken Simon and Rosee out on their daily walks with people from inside their houses and driving in cars passing by taking it upon themselves to tell us what to do with our dogs’ output, despite the fact that we are already taking care of the problem.

And it’s not like our dogs are relieving themselves on someone’s well-maintained, pristine bed of crisp green blades. They go in public parks, in street gutters, and in empty desolate fields that are scattered around our hometown. Theresa and I are always very careful to make sure that Simon and Rosee go in places that don’t disturb the people around us. And considering all of the “waste” left in our public parks for weeks, you know until the city gardeners come and clean everything up, I feel pretty good about the way in which our dogs “go” in this world.

It’s just other people that don’t feel so great about it, unfortunately, and decide to impose their will on us otherwise unsuspecting good people.

Poop-shaming, it’s a terrible, horrible, no good thing.

Take last weekend’s jaunt for example. We are walking past an EMPTY field (one, mind you, that is already full of dirt, weeds, and every other piece of trash that exists—and is one that the City cleans up every few months or so) when Simon decided he needed to relieve himself. As I waited for him to finish and prepared to pick everything up, plastic bag already overturned on my hand, a lady pulled up in her car and decided I needed more “motivation.” She yelled not once, but twice to “Pick up the poop!” She proceeded to sit in her car and stare at me for a good few minutes. I refused to do anything with her creepily watching me, but after she yelled the second time and I actually heard exactly what she said you better believe I started walking towards her car asking her what was wrong with her?!?! Of course she took the coward’s way out and drove off as fast as she could. You know, so she didn’t actually have to deal with the consequences of her mean action, she just left that for me. Lucky me, right?

So, if my general audience doesn’t mind me taking a few lines to address all the poop-shamers out there. If you feel the need to poop-shame me, then do me a favor. One: Don’t yell at me. Two: Don’t yell at me. If I see my dog poop and walk away from it without doing anything, go ahead, say something, if only to put your mind at ease and feel like you did something productive during the day. But when I’m being a responsible pet owner, with a plastic bag on my hand, bending over to scrap the ground of excrement then DON’T YELL AT ME!

I have absolutely NO PROBLEM walking right up to you and telling you exactly how much better my dog’s poop smells than the vitriol you are spitting out at me at the moment.

You’re so-called civic duty is being wasted and I would hate to take that away from anybody else. Because, as of right now the poop is not on my face.

Understood?

Whew! Thanks for that. Sometimes you’ve just got to let it out.

Anyway, for those of you who have ever been shamed or might be shamed don’t worry. It’s their problem, not yours. You know you are a responsible pet owner, so don’t let others three second judgments get you down. Ignore them, and keep on walking. I know, I know easier said than done, but it is so not worth getting a stomachache over a complete stranger, especially when you’ve got an excited and happy pup that has already moved on.

Learn from me! And don’t accept poop-shaming!

Dear Driver

Dear Driver-who-almost-hit-me-and-my-dog,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that my dog and I were in your way.

I’m sorry that my dog and I were in your way as we crossed the street.

I’m sorry that my dog and I were in your way as we crossed the street on a cold, but clear Saturday morning, after looking both ways to ensure that no cars were coming our way, after we had already made it to the middle of the crosswalk, as we were decked out in bright colors to be easily seen on an already bright morning, as you came upon us from behind so we had no way to get out of your way should your foot on the brake hesitated one second too long.

I’m sorry you were in such a hurry and we were not. What is a daily ritual and relaxing time for me and my dog, was nothing more than an inconvenience and something to run over for you.

I’m sorry that you obviously don’t understand the bond between a human and his/her dog, that you don’t know the feeling of such unconditional and non-judgmental love that dogs and animals in general are capable of towards their human companions and vice versa. I’m sorry that no such relationship exists for you because even if just one did, then you would have allowed me and my dog to cross the street safely.

If you had any sort of compassion and consideration for others in the world you wouldn’t have driven up so fast and close to me that I almost had the front of your truck imprinted on my shirt. You wouldn’t have stopped right in front of me in the middle of the crosswalk and stared at me like I was doing something wrong when I had started crossing before you even approached the street to turn. You wouldn’t have snuck up on me from behind, leaving me and my dog to scatter while you kept going with your day, wholly unbothered. (I’m sorry my death glare did absolutely nothing to you.)

But mostly, I’m not sorry that you didn’t hit us. I’m not sorry that our lives weren’t changed in indescribable ways, because I would have hated (and I mean hated) to ruin your life.

Sincerely,

Monica and Simon

P.S. Let’s not meet at the same crosswalk next Saturday. Deal?

Tying It Together

Originally, I had a completely different post planned for this week. In fact, I even wrote most of that other post (which I’ll share next week), and I was pretty happy with how it was coming along (I can be a bit too much of a perfectionist sometimes). Then, today something happened. It was unexpected, obviously, and quite upsetting. It even inspired my Pawndered Thought for the day, and the most surprising thing was that it had really nothing to do with Rosee or Simon. (I know this blog is dedicated to all things dog, specifically if those dogs are named Rosee and/or Simon, but I felt the need to share this particular experience.)

You see, what happened today had to do with a cat. It’s a cat that I see almost every morning on our daily walk, and she would always be playing or laying around with her three kittens. The cat and her kittens had made their home by a garden shed that was located in a local elementary school’s garden. Every morning we (me, Monica, Rosee, and Simon) would walk by the school’s garden, and notice these four. Unfortunately, today as me and Monica were driving by after running some errands in town we passed by and saw the cat lying in the middle of the road. It was apparent that she had been hit by a car and that it had happened recently. We immediately pulled over to see if the kittens were okay, but we were unable to see them anywhere. I suspect that they were hiding underneath the garden shed and just too scared to come out. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. It was dumb, ridiculous, senseless, and should have never happened. Not only was it a school zone, so cars should not be driving that fast anyways, but it was pretty much right next to an intersection so cars would be just taking off. Therefore, if a car was coming down this particular road, they should have been able to stop or swerve out of the way. Yet, none of this happened. Instead a car hit this cat and just kept on going.

I must admit that at this point I was disheartened. I felt let down by my fellow humans. I wanted to yell at someone, and demand an answer for what happened. My brain couldn’t comprehend the fact that some people seem to care so little, even though studies show that the majority of drivers will try and hit an animal in a road rather than swerve to avoid it. So, I did what any normal person would do. I went to talk to my mom. I needed an ear to listen, and possibly a shoulder to lean on.

Afterwards, I felt better, meaning that I didn’t feel the urge to cry. Yet, I was still feeling let down by humankind, and it didn’t help that I was having one of those days. The kind of day where every person I encountered seemed to be inconsiderate or just plain rude. I mean I try my best to have faith in the goodness of others. Usually, it’s not hard. All I have to do is look around my neighborhood and see how almost everyone leaves a bowl of food and water out for the neighborhood cats to know that there are people that do care. Still, some days it’s hard to hold on to this hope, and today was just one of those days. Simon and Rosee did their best to cheer me up, and neither one complained when I smothered them with hugs. They really are the best medicine sometimes.

Then my mom called. She said that she went driving by where the cat was and stopped to see if she could see the kittens. While she was there a man came out from one of the houses from across the street, and he took the time to move the cat from out of the middle of the road. He took care of this cat that wasn’t even his. He didn’t have to, and nobody expected it, but he did. He cared. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so bleak.

Earlier today when I posted my Pawndered Thought it wasn’t necessarily meant to be optimistic. It was a thought in reference to someone’s callous action that cost three kittens their mother. However, I realize now that I shouldn’t give up so quickly. There are caring people out there. So, I’m going to end this post by saying Thank You to all caring people out there. Thank You for loving your animals, and for taking care of them.

Another Pit Bull Attack(ed)

It was ugly.

Hair flying everywhere. Snarls and growls emitting from all around. Sharp claws swinging wildly, trying to hit anything they could. And the blood. It was like a red river running down the sidewalks and across the street. It was warm and sticky, and free-flowing. I remember the screaming the most, the way its high-pitched sounds left little else to be heard. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe. Time stretched on forever, no beginning or ending, just a middle full of blood, sweat, and tears. Then, quiet.

No birds chirping. No dogs howling. No cars whizzing by. Just quiet.

The only color I could see was red. Red scratches running down my arms. Red marks marring my hands from the tight grip I had to maintain on the leash. The deepest red however, was littered all over the street, the sidewalks, and my own legs, leaving an ominous trail from where we had been to where we were.

Suddenly harsh panting broke through my fog and I could see. I could see Rosee sitting on the concrete, staring at me. Her eyes were wide, her breathing irregular, her throat emitting strange little strangled whines. On shaky legs I kneeled down in front of her, using trembling fingers to try to assess the damage done.

Eyes glassy, but unscathed.

Chest pink from exertion, but unscratched.

Front legs unsteady, but untouched.

Then. . .

Her ears had nail marks in them with blood dripping off the tips.

Her muzzle though. Her muzzle got the worst of it. Her nose and upper lip were smeared red, it just falling down her mouth like a torrent. At that moment all I could do for her was press the tissue from my pocket to her mouth to help stem the bleeding and continue my mantra of “It’s okay, Rosee, it’s okay.”

The day had started out deceptively normal. Wake up, eat breakfast, take dogs out for daily walk. See? Normal. The weather was warm, but not too hot. Both Rosee and Simon were behaving themselves nicely. All in all it was a good start to the day.

Working our way down a street lined with slightly older homes, made mysterious with their large front yards surrounded with shrubbery and short picket fences, we were suddenly put on the defensive. Our attacker came out of nowhere. Lithe and speedy it went immediately for Rosee’s face, not even giving her (or me) a chance to realize what was going on before it was too late. Going straight for the face, moving forward with wild abandon, all I could do was pull Rosee between my legs and plant my knees on the ground in an attempt to hold all of her 75 lbs. back from further attack. Once I gained a better grip on Rosee’s collar I successfully worked at pulling her across the street to safety with her attacker following. It wasn’t until we hit the middle of road that the attacker finally trailed off going back to hide like the little coward that it was.

What happened? Why was my dog’s muzzle spouting blood? How did I get covered in scrapes, bruises, and blood?

The answer: a cat.

Yeah, that’s right. We got attacked by an extremely forward cat. We were ambushed as we walked down the street by a cat stealthily hidden in nearby shrubs who thought we got a little too close to it. Jumping through the plants it had used as camouflage this huge cat (seriously, it must have been a Maine Coon or something) launched itself at Rosee. This cat screeched and screamed, digging its sharp claws into Rosee’s muzzle, at one point I was worried they were actually stuck! Rosee freaked out, unsure whether to go forward or backward, so she settled for just jumping up. Never once did she bark, whine, snarl, bare teeth, or snap at this cat. She just was. I pulled and pulled, and eventually got her away from the assault, but the damage was done. The cat had left her torn up and bloody.

A thirty minutes’ walk from home, I could barely contain myself to move let alone pull a stunned dog along with me. Theresa, who had been holding Simon back from the attack, quickly called our mother who was able to immediately come and pick us up. In an effort to right herself while we waited for our ride Rosee would shake her head and red droplets would just go flying. My hand, arms, and legs were covered in her blood and mine. Dabbing Rosee’s dripping face I could only tremble and stumble until we walked through our front door.

Once home Rosee’s face finally stopped bleeding, but she still had terrible scratches running across the length of her upper lip and nose. She was still breathing harshly and didn’t know whether to sit or stand. It’s like she was no longer comfortable in her own skin, and frankly, I knew the feeling. What should have been a comfortable morning routine was inexplicably boiled down to a terror-filled few minutes that would stay with all four of us for a long time. For weeks afterwards every time Rosee or Simon saw a stray cat wandering the street they would go crazy, pulling and whining after it. Every time we passed “The Spot” Rosee would dive for the fence where the cat had emerged. Suffice to say, the next few weeks of walks were spent trying to undo the damage this attack had taken on poor Rosee’s otherwise burgeoning relaxation she was finally starting to associate with walking.

As for me, I carried a paranoid air around me for a while. If this was what one wayward cat could do to Rosee, what would a dog do? Besides that, big or small or anything in between it is truly a terrible thing to see your beloved animal bleeding due to no fault of its own.

And so much for all those “Vicious Pit Bull Attack” storylines. This experience has certainly made me wonder how many of those “vicious pit bulls” were simply moved to defend themselves, because that is what normal dogs, animals, and even people do when they feel threatened—they get defensive. I feel as if I have been given a glimpse of clarity and understanding. How does that saying go again? Oh yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. More aptly stated perhaps, don’t judge a dog by its breed.

Because seriously, a cat!