“It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a single (wo)man in possession of a good leash,
must be in want of a dog.”
– Jane Austen’s dog
As much as we EverWalkers love to get out and stretch our legs,
our four-legged companions might enjoy our perambulations even more!
Note, dear reader, the wagging tail, the proximity to the front door,
the panting joy as a leash is fetched and shoes are tied.
Our dogs are EverWalkers, too!
According to Bark.com, there are at least three different kinds of canine walking enthusiasts: The runner, the sniffer, and the greeter.
The runner can’t wait to get out and stretch their legs, cover long distances, feel the wind in their ears.
The sniffer, on the other hand, finds their thrills on the ground, at telephone poles and fire hydrants, on tufts of grass we humans don’t even notice.
The greeter is the social butterfly. They can’t wait to connect with other dogs or humans or both. A walk is really a moving dogtail party.
According to a Bark. com survey, their readers’ dogs were:
To those categories might be added the puller, the marker, and the adventurer.
Whether pulling forward or away or back, many dogs view a walk as their “me time”. These are the pullers who sometimes seem to resent being tethered to their human’s agenda. Let alone their leash.
Other dogs are super focused on pee mail — that age-old canine communication announcing “I was here.” And I was here. And I was here. And here too. Oh. . .and did I mention here?!?
And of course, there are the adventurers. The dogs who love to escape, roll in mud (or worse), climb trees or boulders, or simply do something off-the-beaten track. The ones who leave the house clean and come back, well, not.
Finally, we have the iconoclast. The dog who marches to the beat of their own wagging tail. Dogs who pogo stick whenever they reach a crosswalk. Dogs who walk on their hind legs. Dogs who howl as an ambulance passes. Just like us, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and individualities.
Is your dog a greeter, a puller, a runner, a sniffer, a marker, an adventurer? Or some of everything? Let us know! (And post a photo if you feel like it!)
The most important thing about EverWalking with our dogs is making sure that it is an enjoyable experience for both parties — and any other parties (two-legged or four) that you might encounter.
For those of you of a certain age, you might remember British dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse, who taught the world about “Walkies!
For those of you not old enough, here’s a brief introduction to the joys of Walkies!
The Barbara Woodhouse of our day is, of course, Cesar Millan AKA The Dog Whisperer.
Since we want our four-legged EverWalkers to enjoy our promenades as much as we two-leggeds, here are the Dog Whisperer’s top tips for having an enjoyable dog walk:
- Walk in front of your dog, so you will be seen as the pack leader.
- Use a short leash for more control.
- Allow plenty of time for a morning dog walk. At least 30 minutes to an hour for you and your dog’s enjoyment.
- Be the leader even after the walk. Ask your dog to wait while you get settled in the house.
- Reward your dog after the walk.
Just like us, dogs need walks for their bodies and their minds. They love to get outdoors and interact with smells, sights, sounds, nature. They socialize with other dogs and humans.
Dogs who aren’t walked regularly not only get stiff or obese but they also become homebound and sometimes eve scared of new experiences. So by EverWalking our dogs, we are doing for them exactly what we are doing for ourselves. But it is fair to say that what we get from walking a dog is so so much more.
Author Milan Kundera likely said it best: “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace.”
No wonder so many people are adopting dogs during this pandemic. When it all comes down to it, dogs give us the one thing every human being wants: The opportunity to love and to be loved.
So here’s to our faithful EverWalk canine companions! Whether they pull or sniff or greet or pee or run or mudbathe, may we humans try every day to be the people our dogs believe us to be!
As we — two-legged and four — EverWalk Onward!