I love my daily dog walk. I seldom feel like trudging around a muddy park in sub zero temperatures, throwing a slimy, dribbly tennis ball for my dog – who does? But once I’m actually there, I can guarantee my spirits will lift. It’s a hidden gem of an hour because it’s never ‘just a dog walk’ – I get to appreciate the beauty of my surroundings and the changing of the seasons while taking a breather from the general manic-ness of my life. It’s a brilliant stress reliever.
It’s also fun to check out the other dog walkers – some of us are a stranger breed than the dogs we walk! Let me introduce you to…
* My Doggy Friends – I while away the time chatting to these perfectly friendly people about their dogs, their lives and the weather – and have done daily for almost three years now – but ask me what their names are and I draw a blank. I know all of their dogs names though, so it’s usually “Oh look, there’s Molly the humping Bulldog’s mummy.” It’s a bit reminiscent of the school playground really “Oh look, there’s Jilly with the nits’ mummy”
* New Doggy Owner – They never take their dog off the lead in case another dog might want – god forbid – to play with their dog. If they play they might get rough and little Trixiebelle might get hurt plus there’s all that bum smelling and other horrible dogs’ germ ridden dribble that might infect their precious, clean little bundle of fluff. As you walk past them and smile, they give you a nervous twitch and your dog a look that says ‘stay away from us you flee ridden, vicious wolf’. Listen New Dog Owner, don’t worry about your dog sniffing butts when you’ve got your head up yours! Get a life.
*The Professional Dog Walker – Considering the amount of money you can earn in some parts of London for dog walking, it’s a growing profession. I’ve already told Little Angel to forget her dreams of being a film director and become a dog walker instead – that way she’ll keep fit, have fun with her favourite animals and be able to keep me and SH in the style that we would like to be accustomed to! Our favourite dog walker is amazing and deserves every penny she gets – she’s like the Pied Piper of Dogs and is seen every day happily managing a pack of around 5 or more dogs. She’s cool.
* The Cuppaccino Clique – You’ll find this lot taking over the tables outside the park cafe, sipping on their flat whites while their dogs run amok under the tables, getting their leads entwined and knocking people over who are navigating their way to a clear table. They mostly wear a uniform of Barbour and Hunter wellies and they like a hat too. They chatter loudly in clipped tones about their mutts: “Poor little Dixie’s never been the same since he had ‘the snip'” But they lower their voice when they say ‘the snip’ just in case Dixie is listening. Dur! They are what you call real ‘doggy people’ and because I have a dog, I am considered their friend. We don’t mention the C word around them (shhh, c.a.t).
That’s just a small section of the dog walkers in my park. Oh, I forgot to add…
* Owner without a Clue – You’ll see their dogs bounding like bonkers all over the place and never coming back when they’re called (obviously never been to dog training classes tut tut!) These dogs run up behind unsuspecting walkers and goose them, leaving long strands of slober dangling off the shocked walker’s coat. These type of owners are usually oblivious to the trauma and chaos their dogs are causing because they’re too busy looking at what everybody else and their dogs are doing. Bloody nosey people. Hmm, can you guess what category I come under?