YOU ARE BUSY!
Everybody is working in our homes these days. Time is the toughest commodity to find. Does your dog care if you drive for an hour early in the morning to let him hit the beach or leap and bound on a trail above?
Sure. Dogs love adventure, new smells, fresher air, lots of new things to sniff. An occasional adventure is fun for everybody, and the beast will pick up on your excitement as well as his own.
DON'T BE RIDICULOUS
Enjoy the places you can afford to go. In town, we have Studio City Park, Sherman Oaks Park with a well-traveled circle around the ball field full of dogs having a great time with their owners. We have Fryman, which is a significant festival of smells and sights for both of you. (Clean up after your dog, please!)
BETTER REGULAR THAN GRANDIOSE
Today's quote from a friend: "I let her run around in the yard usually. I don't want to bother walking unless we can both really get a workout on Fryman or something..."
What is wrong with that?
a) The dog needs a real hike--and his needs a run (a high-strung spaniel, mostly high strung because it's designed by genetics for sporting and it's only getting a chance to spin around in a little yard). A dog designed for chasing creatures in fields of tall grass is hardlyl getting what it deserves in a little enclosed back yard. At least grab a leash and take it for a few miles to your favorite café, have a cup and a visit, and then a few miles back.
b) The owner and dog are missing out on the relationship. Why does this friend of mine own this fine dog?
"I got her for my son."
Please don't do that. The son is five and could care less on a consistent basis. He enjoys the dog sometimes. (Other times he likes to pull its ears and try to poke her in the eyes. I've stopped that several times.)
My friend doesn't really like dogs, and he doesn't have time for one. He isn't rich enough to have an assistant do all the basics. He isn't at home enough to really guide his son through consistent etiquette. And his wife is checked out on the subject. She never wanted the puppy, and she wants the grown dog even less.
I have offered cash, tutoring, and several other possible bribes. But they won't give me the dog.
"I want to save those real hikes for something special," my friend says. "Where is the best place in Studio City or Sherman Oaks to walk my dog?"
- It's better to walk your dog regularly and locally (so that it's DO-able)!
- It's better to walk him fast and on a schedule.
- It's best to walk him anywhere where he can have some non-pavement time to feel the earth and grass under his paws and to sniff some non-man-made stuff.
But if you are talking special? Parks and Fryman win. The more open space and the more the atmosphere says, "Keep hiking," the better for both of you.
Aren't we lucky to have lots of sidewalks, parks, and a beautiful mountain trail right near us all?