This could happen on any day and the time of day is really insignificant. It’s something we’ve all seen with a certain degree of delight.
It’s the walking of a dog.
It matters not the size of the animal. Some dogs come the size of a colt and others come so small they look more like a cat (a small cat).
It’s more about the connection you see between the dog and his master that I marvel at.
You don’t have to own a dog to achieve this degree of delight, you just need to witness it.
There’s something very calming and therapeutic about this visual. The proud dog owner and his beloved mutt, seem to be making an announcement to the world, “slow down and smell the fire hydrant.”
The pair never seem to be in a hurry. Hold it. Allow me to qualify that. The pair that walk at a slow pace happens only if the dog owner is over a certain age. (You determine that.) The pace of the Doggie Stroll increases substantially if the person is a teenager and has been threatened by his parents to take the dog out for a walk. You need to understand, all that’s on this kid’s mind is texting his girlfriend on his new phone, or engaging in a game on his Xbox.
Now this kid who is taking the family dog on a fast jog around the block, is doing it at spring speed. This poor mutt barely has a chance to do what he desperately intended to do before leaving the house. But the kid has little regard for the dog achieving its goal.
Let’s focus for a minute on the older dog-walkers. They’re the ones you should really delight in watching.
The two walk slowly and they seem to enjoy every step as they soak in marvellous surroundings that God has generously blessed us with. The bond, the love, the companionship is very evident between dog and master.
I envy that partnership.
For the most part, I believe that people who walk dogs have to be some of the nicest people on the face of the earth. I’ve always been greatly entertained when the dog decides that it’s time to do what only comes natural.
When this occurs, the dog’s master instantly becomes interested in things on high. Things like clouds, or tree tops, or seagulls flying overhead. He pretends not to know what’s happening at the other end of the leash. If dogs could smile, I think this would be when they’d do it.
I’ve spent countless hours over the years at Orillia’s Couchiching Beach Park, in rather intense study at observing the relationship between owners and their dogs. Every time they meet someone on the pathway, the owner stops and easily breaks in to conversation. The stranger will pet Rover and massage his neck while carrying on in engaging conversations with Rover’s owner.
In these interactions one can be sure that Donald Trump or COVID-19 will never enter the conversation. This is a guarantee that could not be promised when just two strangers find themselves dog-less and sitting at the same park bench. COVID, politics, or religion can be guaranteed in a setting like this. There’s a real possibility that these two strangers could end up in a heated argument.
Can you see where I’m going with all this?
The difference is the pet — the household dog.
Dogs bring out the best in people. Even if your pooch disagrees with your political views and your belief in eternal security, he’ll still love you to the end.
Rusty Draper is a retired radio broadcaster in Orillia. His humorous takes on life in the Sunshine City appear every other Sunday.