Prosaic Paradise

Campaign for the Mundane

Dog Walker

Filed under Home by at 8:25 pm on Mar 30 2010

Yesterday I came home as the kid from next door was walking her dog. Her new dog, not her old dog, but that is another story I don’t even have all the details of and kind of don’t want to know.

I look down at this puppy, and this puppy looks totally happy, is sniffing everything, and is melting my puppy-weakened heart.

But this girl who can’t be any more than 9 or 10 is totally texting. She is texting the hell out of something and continues to text as she walks the dog. Something about that made me suddenly, sharp-intake-of-breath sad. She might well love that puppy and interact with that puppy at all other times than when I got home yesterday but that wasn’t the read I was getting.

I just felt like she had no idea how fantastic a blessing it is to walk your eager puppy and play with her. I also kind of saw myself and how ignorant and blind I can be when my nose is pointed at the damn phone.

Yeah, I’m always projecting. Also, I’ve been having a touch of puppy fever. Nothing to be done about that now. And no slight on our wonderful kitties either. Who I will now go pet.

14 Responses to “Dog Walker”

  1. 1 TAOon 31 Mar 2010 at 7:21 am

    Puppies are the most awesome things…most of the time. Responsible pet ownership means training and discipline and cleaning up accidents all over the place. LOL! I’d not trade my pugs for anything but there is a certain amount of swearing that comes with any dog ownership experience.

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    Kim Reply:

    Jack always rejects the idea of getting a dog based on the fact that it’s like having a kid that never grows up and can wipe itself.

    We won’t be getting a dog until our beloved cats decide to leave us, which hopefully won’t be for a long time, but I know someday… puppy.

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  2. 2 Moiraon 31 Mar 2010 at 9:48 am

    This makes me sad for a different reason. I walked my family’s dog almost every day from age 12 to 18, and those walks were the only thing that helped me clear my mind and process a lot of crap that was going on in my ridiculous teenage life. I always felt mentally healthier and happier after our walk. I don’t think it would have been the same if I had had the ability to text along the way.

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    Kim Reply:

    Our dogs both passed away before I was 13. I don’t really have clear memories of whether I walked the dogs, though I think I did. But the relationship was important. I think what really got me about it was the puppy being so clearly young.

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  3. 3 mpomyon 31 Mar 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Even an adult dog can be among the most innocent and vulnerable members of a community. Just two days ago, someone dumped a pair of dogs at our local dog park in the middle of the night. Since I live across the street, I got to listen to these frightened pooches (who appeared to come from the same litter) barking their heads off all night. In the morning they were picked up by animal control, and I am still absolutely sickened by the whole thing.

    What you saw may not be as atrocious, but it bothers me just the same. It bothers me that a young girl doesn’t appreciate the remarkable companionship that comes from having a dog in your family. It bothers me that the technology we all adore would cause someone to miss out on the IRL experiences that are precious and fleeting.

    Then again, the young girl could just be the dog walker. And puppies are pretty excited to be out and sniffing, no matter what the person on the other end of the leash is doing.

    And finally, I know there are time issues, but a dog is not expensive and even encourages $aving, as you will not even want to go out during the weekend because you will be home, parked under your furry companion. Time to give in to that puppy fever!

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    Kim Reply:

    No giving in to the puppy fever yet. Our cats are a little neurotic – well one of them is – and it would severely effect his quality of life. :(

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  4. 4 Pegon 31 Mar 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I think this girl’s parents should be shot at dawn for allowing her to have the damn cellphone to begin with. She’s missing out on life! As for the puppy, they should be ashamed for giving it to her because she clearly has no interest in the poor critter. Animals and people alike are becoming more like accessories than friends — sad commentary on modern life . . .

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    Kim Reply:

    I’m not a big fan of these people’s attitudes in general, but you can’t win ‘em all, or even communicate with ‘em all. I don’t have kids but I like to think that cell phone use would be restricted to later in life than that. But until it happens… I guess I won’t know!

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  5. 5 Meganon 31 Mar 2010 at 2:31 pm

    A 9 or 10 year old walking a dog unsupervised. Problem #1.
    A 9 or 10 year old texting on a phone unsupervised. Problem #2.

    Neither of those things should be entrusted to a 9/10 year old. They aren’t mature enough to handle potential problems. What if she dropped the leash? What if the dog bolted? Does that little girl know how to retrieve a run away dog? Can she handle the approach of another dog – another aggressive dog? I’m guessing she can’t do any of those things.

    Basically the same issues with the cell phone – the what ifs and also
    this –
    It’s totally unnecessary for a 10 year old to have a cell phone. Unless, of course, she was texting her parent to say, “Hey, I need help with the dog.” But I’m guessing not.

    I say all of this as the parent of a 10 year old and the owner of a puppy. Ace does not walk Penny unsupervised. Puppies and children are too unpredictable.

    You, however, are more than welcome to come walk my puppy unsupervised anytime . . . or just pet her. She’s very cuddly.

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    Kim Reply:

    I could be wrong about this kid’s age, but I don’t think I am. And even if she is a few years older than that, it’s still not quite right. I just hope what I saw was a fluke and the rest of the time she enjoyed the gift of a sweet puppy’s companionship.

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  6. 6 girlvaughnon 31 Mar 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I can be extremely guilty of allowing myself to get distracted with my phone. I don’t have a dog (even though I REEEAAALLLY wish I could have one) but I imagine that I would do this too sometimes. I find myself getting irritated with my cats if they are climbing all over me while I’m on the computer. Usually I catch myself and give them extra love and allow them to climb all over me and my computer…

    trying hard to improve. thanks for the reminder.

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    Kim Reply:

    Oh yeah. I mean, I think I ignore the cats WAY too much. I am no perfect kitty parent! I should probably play laser pointer with them WAY more than I do. :)

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  7. 7 Michelleon 02 Apr 2010 at 9:21 am

    After reading this post I made sure to be more in the moment and just appreciate my dog when I walked her. I never ignore her and text people because I can’t even imagine doing that and not walking into things, but sometimes you get caught in the routine and your mind starts to drift.

    But Maddy is so happy when she’s on walks, and paying attention to that really made my day better. So thanks. :)

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    Kim Reply:

    Yay, that makes me happy in turn!

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