Seeing everyone on Twitter talking about how they’ve all started running, I had this brainwave that perhaps I need to do something too. But running is not my thing. Hell no! So I thought we need to start taking Titan for walkies.
It’s not that our yard isn’t big enough for him to run around in. I think he’s lonely though. When Meisiekind had her puppies, we moved her to the back, to keep them separated, hoping that more puppies will survive this time. (I think Titan had something to do with the previous lot disappearing one by one). So he’s been by his lonesome. Also, he’s almost 2 years old now, and have calmed down significantly from the hyper, no-ears puppy that he was. (We are currently in that phase with Spikeydog. I don’t like this phase at all!). And walking with a dog might help prevent unwanted attention from strangers.
Turns out, walking a dog, Titan particularly, isn’t all hook-him-on-a-lead-and-off-you-go easy peasy…
On Friday, I took all the Princesses for their first shots at the vet. While hanging around waiting for all their books to be completed, I looked at leads and harnesses and picked ones that I thought would be adequate for Titan. After all, he’s a medium sized dog, a bull terrier, with not much previous exercise. I chose a body harness, because his collar is a bit too big for him, and I don’t want to end up choking him either. I also got one of the widest Rogz leads – mesh with a reflective fabric strip – safety first and all.
The puppies are given a beautiful bill of health, I pay and we leave, A1 and I very excited about the prospect of walking Titan. When we got home, R and A2 weren’t home yet, so I thought now is as good a time as any to test out our new gear and go for a quick walk around the block. Titan, a bit confused at first, fought with me about putting the harness on but we got it right. Then I hooked up the lead, opened the gate and proceeded to beg Titan to actually come outside with me. Seems he is well trained. So well trained in fact, that I had to drag him outside the gate. And then he promptly lay down and refused to go anywhere. After much cajoling and pleading and some more dragging, we manage to get halfway up the block.
The other dogs in the street were going crazy :/ Titan was too excited to even care about wrapping the 2m long lead all around me and was gunning it for the dogs. Then I realised the harness around his body was a bit loose. O gaats. SO we make our way back home, I adjust the harness and we try again. A1 and I are doing all of this in flip-flops. Rookie mistake! Eventually we make it around just one block and I am DONE. Man, I am super unfit! But it was fun and I resolve to do it again the following morning, this time including A2 in his stroller and A1 on his bike.
I’m not entirely sure what made me think that would be a good idea… It ended up being such a struggle! Titan left the gate slightly easier. A1′s bicycles’ tyres were flat, so instead of a walk to the park, we attempted a walk to the garage. Oh my shaky soul! Here is what I learnt on that one trip:
- A stroller is not conducive to walks on rugged terrains (patchy grass, sandy sidewalks, rocks and pavement stones)
- A bicycle with training wheels with a flat back tyre prevents the bicycle from actually going anywhere
- A 2m long lead is just too long! Specially with a dog that doesn’t actually know how to go for walkies properly.
- A1 is the biggest moan face on this planet! About everything!
- A2′s love of cars have not yet diminished.
- Titan is an exceptionally strong dog.
- He’s not phased by strangers, but strangers are phased by him. To the point of them crossing the road to get away from us.
- Except the lady who walked past with her big, teddy bear look-alike dog. In front of the entrance way of the shopping center we had to go past. While I had to manage to get A1 across on his bicycle and A2 in his stroller all the while trying to contain Titan who wanted to get at that dog. She didn’t even attempt to make it a bit easier for me. Lady, my dog will kill your dog. Don’t you get that? And then she gave me such a dirty look! I was struggling too much at the time to be offended, but I did think afterwards she was a real snoot!
- The garage is not as far as I thought, but still far enough to have provided a good exercise effort.
- We must have looked the strangest, funniest sight to passers by: a mom screaming at a boy on a bike to stay on the side of the road, while haphazardly pushing a stroller, while trying to contain a maniac dog who is running circles around her or is being dragged away from the gates where smaller dogs think they are bigger than they are.
The best (or worst!) bit came, when about 500m from home, in front of a gate with 4 other dogs, the lead snapped/tore/came off completely! Somehow, without me knowing, Titan had managed to chew through the lead O_o. I had flashes of blood and mayhem and chaos going through my mind. I shouted at A1 to stop, left A2 (on the pavement), and promptly grabbed Titan by his harness, which I forgot to lock the clip in place with the slider thingy, which then came loose in my hands. Oh fuck! So I sat on him. Wrapped my legs around him to stop him from getting to the gate and managed to get the harness clipped back together. It must have been such a sight!
I knew I could drag him back home, with only his hind legs on the floor, but I also had to push a stroller and keep an eye on A1. Then I had a brainwave of somehow attaching the now broken lead to his harness, fashioned a handle from the broken side and eventually, finally we made it back home. It was a workout of note. I’m not sure who was more relieved to see our house – me, Titan or a moaning A1… A2 was still pleased at punch about the whole outing.
But wait, there’s more!