I’ve come to an obvious conclusion. We don’t own dogs. They own us. This wisdom I didn’t come to while reading a book or doing some research. It hit me rather when both of my legs were tied up in dog leashes, one wound around the other, with a dog at each end going in two different directions after different pursuits.
One dog wanted to smell the grass. The other dog wanted to smell something much more unpleasant which shall remain unnamed. I wanted them both to walk next to me and stick to the path so I could get back to my desk in time for a conference call.
They didn’t care.
This reminds me of a walk I did once while visiting friends in Vermont. My friend Karen, also a card carrying dog owner, came up with the brilliant idea that we should take our dogs for a walk out in the country (which is pretty much any road in Vermont). She thought to invite other dog owners who might want to join in. They all did. I had Pup in tow, who was and still is a Vizsla. Everyone else had their well behaved Labs and Goldens.
This was the first time I noticed there was something wrong with my dog. Everyone else had four-legged friends who walked nicely next to them, strolling along with the adults, as if they were listening to the conversation and taking notes. Their leashes were limp, following after, as if an afterthought.
I had Pup. A Vizsla, born and bread to hunt, smell and point out all the oddities of mother nature. For every step I took forward Pup took two steps back. I spent the entire walk tugging at the end of his taught leash hissing, “Come on Pup!” while trying (and failing) to keep up with the others.
This is life with a Viszla.
I am now resigned to this fact: we do not and probably never will, have picture perfect walks. We have Pup led adventures. We go wherever his nose goes. Add Brady to the mix and I end up twisted between the two leashes, being pulled in two different directions, between fallen leaves, fire hydrant posts, fence corners and tree stumps.
And yet, something about this total chaotic mess feels like a walk in the park. They make me stand still. Even if my feet are twisted between their leashes. They make me stop and feel the cool October air. Even if I am hissing under my breath for them to catch up, stop it, keep moving, come here, don’t do that.
They make me slow down and take life one smell at a time.
And maybe that is their secret recipe for bliss?