It’s said when you have a pet either you are training the dog or the dog is training you. Harper has trained me well for she gets me up each morning for a morning walk.  Like an eager child on Christmas morn, she wakes me ~ 10-15 minutes before the set alarm. We have our routine: First, she barks and I tell her to knock it off we have 15 minutes more sleep. She barks again. I nudge Someone and tell him ‘his dog’ wants him to take her for a walk. As this evokes nothing, I get up and get dressed and out the door we go.

We see the same people on our strolls, which isn’t surprising. Here are the usual drama personae :

An Indian woman, walking against traffic, in the bicycle lane. She is always in a colourful sari.

Three elderly people. The two women walk and talk with each other, while the fellow walks ahead or behind them, looking a bit left out.

A young couple walking two beagles, who always change direction to avoid us.

The newspaper woman in her SUV, who disregards all stop signs and speed limits as she weaves back and forth throwing papers onto driveways.

My favorite is a man whom I’ve christened “Johnny Cash” for he is always in black. Harper and I see him at the park. He arrives on his bicycle. He then runs counterclockwise around the park, his elderly golden retriever at his side. He seems handsome (he’s got good legs anyway) but it is hard to tell, for he whizzes by us.

Harper loves to socialize with other dogs, but Mr. Cash’s dog won’t play (neither will Mr. Cash). Perhaps because they are focused on their exercise. I daresay there is some snobbery afoot.  I’ve sensed owners of pure breeds tend to look down on mutts and their owners.

Another interesting observation is vocality of small dogs, which bark and snarl as we pass.  I don’t know if this says something about small dogs or small dog owners.  We sometimes encounter men walking small ‘toy’ dogs, who seem embarrassed to be out with Little Sheba.  It may be about size for my dog is much bigger than their little wiener (dog).

Our walks end with the morning ‘dental stick’. Harper is supposed to eat one each day as a means of cleaning her teeth. I am dubious of its efficacy, but Harper likes them. Perhaps that is the whole point of her eagerness for a walk – I get a treat at the end?

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