I keep them short because there are usually menacing clouds overhead, and I prefer not to be 30 minutes from home when the heavens open.
Something I see on almost every walk is a number of people with dogs out walking as well.
OK, ‘walking’ may not be the best word in a few cases. Sometimes it looks more like the dog is out for a drag, having absolutely no interest whatsoever in trying to keep up with its crazy human who has abandoned the coziness of home for this thing they keep calling “the great outdoors.”
Then there are the other dogs who are more than happy to keep pace with their human, but have no desire at all to stay on a straight path. They run from one side of the path to the other, occasionally go between their human’s feet (which can cause a few problems), and apparently don’t realize their leash can not magically pass through the power pole they just went on the other side of (which also causes problems).
I got a kick out of a couple of dogs and their people I saw last week. In one case, there was a petite woman and a tall and solidly built man who appeared to be walking together with their dogs. What made it interesting was the woman was walking a rather large German shepherd, while the man was walking a chihuahua. The disparity between the sizes of the humans, the sizes of the dogs and the combination of each was rather neat.
In the other case, I saw a couple of women walking their dog through a park-like area, some distance from me. One of the dogs spotted me some distance away and started straining at its leash.
I was unable to determine if it was trying to just come over and say, “hello” to this new human-type person, or whether it wanted to rip my face off for daring to come within 150 feet of its human without permission.
As it turned out, our paths diverged and soon the dog had found something else to pay attention to.
I sometimes stop and chat with people if they’re obviously not trying to set a land-speed record with their dog. Sometimes the dog will come over and sniff at my legs to make sure I’m not likely to try to kill their human. Other times the dog will just sit quietly and wait for us to finish our chat.
When we do take our separate ways, I always make sure to say “goodbye” to the dog as well as its human.
It’s the polite thing to do.