Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Walking the dogs

In general S and I are very lazy dog owners. We don't take the dogs on a morning walk- if I did, I would have to wake up at least 15 mins earlier than I already do- and 5:30 is just not ok with me. S is not a morning person, so forget about him actually walking the dogs in the morning. It doesn't help that we have a fenced in back yard- which makes it very easy for us to just let the dogs out in the morning or when it's super cold. There are times that I feel very guilty that we don't exercise them before we leave for the day, but that's one battle I'm not fighting with S.

I feel like I've been making up for our poor parenting skills by taking both dogs on a longish walk when I get home from school. Before getting pregnant, more days than not, I would just let the dogs play in the back yard, or when the weather was really nice and I wasn't worried about getting busted by the park police (or worried about Chance's attitude with other dogs) I would take the pups up to the illegal dog park and let them romp with other dogs. But since I've gotten pregnant, I have stopped going to the gym and taken up dog walking. I have to say that the walks make me feel good- we get a lot accomplished on our little walks. I get some exercise (besides the exercise I get at school walking up and down flights of stairs every hour or 2 when I have to take my kids to a class or pick them up from one), the dogs get some exerciese, and we have mommy - doggy bonding time.

Chance's and Natty's walking behaviors have improved greatly over the last few months with our daily walks. I used to dread them at the beginning because both dogs would pull on their leashes and walk in front of me or each other, plus Natty would not poop on leash, so we always had to make a stop in the back yard. But I think I fixed the pulling issue by getting them both halters/harnesses. Chance still hates his, but he tolerates it and about 90% of the time will walk right next to me. Natty still walks in front, but she has stopped pulling and has started pooping on our walks! Which is a huge accomplishment- I'm so proud of her! (Sad isn't it?) We've had her for over years now and for the first 2 1/2 years of us owning her, she did not poop unless she was off leash. She's still funny about it though b/c she ALWAYS poops on the same block. I do have to remind her to pee and poop on the walk though. Our code word is "grass" when I say it, she walks along the grass and does her business.

I hope once the baby comes I'll be able to manage pushing a stroller and corraling (?) 2 dogs at the same time. At least the weather will be nice once she's born- which will make it more likely that I'll venture outside with all three at once. Stay tuned for how my dog walking will change once Baby T makes her appearance...


  1. YAY!!!!! You started a blog!

    I wish we thought of a more subtle word for peeing for Little. We say (ready for it?) - "go potty". Which is awesome, right? Although we dog sat for a dog whose command was "it's poopy time", and we felt infinitely dumber for saying that.

    The dog owners in our neighborhood wear their babies to walk their dogs. Maybe that is a way to have your hands free? I don't know - still working on the kid thing. :)

    Welcome to blog land!

  2. yes. i do recommend waring the baby when walking, much more difficult with a stroller and TWO! we just have one, but she is not great at staying to one side of the stroller. So matt usually has her and I with the baby in the stroller. Daddy can also wear the baby and take the dogs for walks! And same here....we do not walk minnie. the backyard is her domain. even when we open the gate, she likes her place. and will stay there all day. although she loves walks, but gets tired really easily, she would rather chase the ball in the backyard I think!! Don't feel bad, but i am afraid after having the baby, the dogs will take even more of the back burner than before!

  3. Yeah, we don't have a fenced in yard. We have a yard that is filled with our downstairs neighbor's gardening skills (THAT neighbor. Yes. One day if I am feeling particularly mean I will tell Little to "go potty" there). So we use the illegal dog park (next to our house) or walk him...but it's usually off-leash.

    Leash walking is COLD where we are!!! Gloves just don't cut it!

    Don't you like how I am monopolizing your blog? I am really avoiding my homework although it turns out that I just remembered I have a class at 3:30. So I'm off.

  4. Hi! I am impressed you have succeeded in getting even one dog to stop pulling. Audrey still pulls and we have been through three obedience classes, two different no-pull harnesses, and (gasp) a prong collar! I think it's me. I am not teaching her the right skill because she learns every other "trick" with no problem.

    And we didn't come up with a bathroom word for Audrey. We probably should have because she ended up having heartworms and could only go in our backyard which she wasn't used to doing - we only walk her or go to the dog park. She held it for over 24 hours the first two times, and realized she wasn't leaving the backyard and then she'd go when we took her outside.

    and on that note, I think it's time to take her out!

  5. "Baby T makes her appearance..." does this mean you guys have already chosen a name for the baby?!

  6. No, silly Meg! No name yet- or at least we're not telling!