Sunday, March 15, 2009

A day of walking dogs

I was wide awake at 5 a.m. today, so we walked to the park and were in it by six. This is what it looked like:
We ran into lots of friends and ended up spending about two hours there. By the time we came home, Henry was dog tired, and Simone was dog tired. Tired is good. (Too bad the same is not true of children.) Later my daughter wanted to make good on a promise to volunteer at a local animal shelter, so we went over to Sean Casey Animal Rescue on East 3rd Street in Windsor Terrace, and my day of walking dogs continued. Passing the parrots, cockatoos, a shar-pei puppy, and a very large tortoise, we headed to the dog room. First we walked a pitbull for about half an hour. This dog was sweet with humans but didn't like other dogs very much. R. had her on a long rope leash and soon had rope burn--that was one strong animal, in need of training and a ton of exercise. Then we took out a collie mix and a beagle mix, both pullers. Suddenly I remembered why you leash train dogs when they are puppies. An untrained, full-grown canine is all muscle and sinew and thwarted energy, and walking one of those creatures on a leash is not a lot of fun. Still, they need exercise so badly that anyone who has a spare half hour and can handle a strong dog should consider giving a little time. (They have plenty of smaller and easier dogs too.)

We came home and I took the whippets to see the end of the Brooklyn St. Patrick's Day Parade, arriving just in time to see a line of horses with tails dyed green and a garbage truck, and to hear bagpipes skirling in the distance. How gently the whips trot along beside me on a loose leash, and what a pleasure it suddenly was to walk my own dogs--again.

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Anglo-Brooklyn by Joy Holland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.