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Practice makes near perfect at bedtime

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September 29, 2016
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A Good Walk (Without the Dog)

There was a time I couldn't imagine taking my morning walk without a canine companion.


No. 2 was only a month or so old when we got Tanner from a shelter. He was timid and fearful of The Mr. but he and I got along great and he loved a walk. There were times when he'd get out of our fenced yard, but he always came back. Until the day he didn't.


Somehow I managed to find a rhythm without Tanner. We had a string of foster and stray dogs after Tanner left and I made sure to walk each of them. None of them as good on the leash as Tanner, though.


And then there was Sarge. The 100-lb. puppy who didn't know his own strength. I loved walking with him. The biggest problem was that I couldn't control him in terms of keeping him from pulling on the leash. (This was, of course, prior to my obsession with The Dog Whisperer.) The pulling was such a problem that it made my morning walk nearly unenjoyable. And I actually contemplated not taking him with me. But I couldn't do it. The nakedness was just too much.


When we moved to Phoenix we had to leave our pets behind. Cats we had adopted together prior to getting married and our beloved Sarge. I cried. Lots.


It was more than a year before we were able to get new pets. And I had already started my morning walking routine without walking a dog. And things felt good. I didn't feel naked and I didn't miss having that companionship. Although, there were times when I wished I had one with me. (You know, like seeing a coyote three times in my neighborhood.)


The other day while talking to a coworker about our pets she asked if I take Chimi and Luna (whose name was Changa when we adopted her but we couldn't stomach saying it) on my morning walks with me. And while The Mr. has tried to get me to take the tiny Chihuahuas with me on my morning walk I'm finding that the walk is much more enjoyable without the added responsibility.


I've taken regular (read: non-exercise) walks with Chimi and Luna before and they are all over the place. Like I've said before, taking the time to discipline them while walking takes away my time for myself.


"No," I told M, "because then the walks become more about the dogs and less about me."


I have enough trouble finding time for myself these days. There's no reason to muck up a good thing.

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