Fair Weather Walkers


It happens every year about this time. Michigan groundhogs start to peek out of their winter hidey-holes. If Jack Frost doesn’t bite off the end of their nose, it’s time to venture forth and see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Invariably, these walkers are accompanied by their dogs, who haven’t been for a walk since last October.

This is one of my pet-peeves, so where’s my soapbox? Ah, there it is. Where have these folks been all winter and spring? Their poor dogs haven’t been for a walk in months. Honestly, what’s wrong with you people? Do you think letting your dog sniff around the backyard is enough healthy exercise for your best friend? Not even close.

However, I get it. I used to be the same way. Years ago, I worked afternoons and I would take our dog Ralph for a quick walk around the school when I got home. Since no one was around in the middle of the night, I would let him off the leash. He loved to chase the swallows that populated the playground grass. I’ll be the first to admit that I skipped many of those evening walks. Sometimes because I was beat from work, or maybe the weather was just too crappy.

However, when Skittles came along, I promised myself that we would walk every day, regardless of the weather. I stuck to it, too. Oh sure, we skipped a couple of mornings here and there. Once, when there was a typhoon trying to knock down the front door. Another time, when the actual temperature had dipped waaaay below zero (-17 degrees). Other than that, we went on our morning walks religiously. Sometimes after work as well, when she was being especially obnoxious.

Maybe that’s why I get so aggravated with these people. Don’t they understand that time spent with their dog is precious? Even if Mindy or Jessie can be nightmares sometimes, their owners will miss them terribly when they’re gone. So, when I see these faux-walkers enjoying the nice weather, it does kinda set me off. I know they’ll be out there a couple of times for show, then once the weather heats up, it’s back in the house until fall.

I still walk every morning, pretending that Skittles is right there by my side. So people, walk your dogs! Not just when the weather is gorgeous. They will leave this world sooner than you ever imagined. Let’s be honest, you can use the exercise, as well as your pup. So get out there and hoof it and woof it. Okay, dismounting soapbox.

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