“Look,” I said to Long Suffering Wife, “why buy a walking machine, when you’ve got two walking machines right here!” I pointed to where Dumbdog and Littledog were sitting at the back door with their furry faces pressed hard against the fly screen; just in case one of us had food.
The Master had spoken, so we didn’t buy the walking machine, we hired one instead. And while certain members of my family are exercising in the comfort of the lounge room, I’m out in all weather walking the dogs. Dogs I didn’t want in the first place!
My role as Chief Dog Wrangler started several years ago, when a vigorous campaign was mounted to convince me to get a dog. After a heavily rigged family vote, Dumbdog arrived and I got lumbered with walking him each afternoon.
Then I was informed that our new pooch was lonely and needed company. “NO!” I cried, “We are NOT getting another dog! I am NOT walking two dogs!” I would not be moved on the matter.
On the way to pick up the new dog, I prayed that Dumbdog would hate her, and we could put this whole sorry episode behind us. My prayers were answered when the little dog attacked Dumbdog on sight. But she eventually grew weary of dragging him round by the throat, so we brought her home.
“Right!” I said to my family, as our latest acquisition, Littledog, leaped from the car and fouled my clean concrete, “you wanted these mutts, you walk them!” Around here my word is law. Later that afternoon, muttering fiercely under my breath, I stormed off down the road behind two excited, and urine squirting hounds.
But after many weeks of being tangled in leads, tripping over small dogs, and having my arms pulled from their sockets at irregular intervals, I slowly grew to enjoy our daily walks. I had time to daydream, think, and de-stress. Plus our fitness levels have improved remarkably; we can now outrun most of the loose dogs trying to kill us.
So if you want to be happier and healthier, then I can heartily recommend a daily dose of dog walking. And you might even bump into me someday out there in the bush, or on the footpaths of Gladstone, because my attempts to get the dogs to use the walking machine have not gone well at all.