How walking the golden leads to memories of “Walking the Beagle”!
For the first time ever, our golden retriever Sheba was kind of pokey on our walk the other day. I don’t know if she was just a little tired or if she’s getting so focused on the treats she gets that it’s all she can think about. She literally kept stopping to look at me in hopes of a treat, and more often than usual. I wonder if cancer can make a dog have an increased appetite, because I swear hers is better than ever and she’s even more motivated by treats than she ever was.
All of that got me thinking about our late beagle Kobi and how he used to poke along on walks, even before he was showing his age and that could explain it away. In light of our recent blogiversary, I thought it would be fun to share one of my very first posts (my 5th to be exact) about walking Kobi for Throwback Thursday. I commented to Sheba as we poked along that morning that it was probably a good thing I had never trained Kobi to take treats when walking, or we may have never gotten anywhere! The last thing he needed was another reason to stop or something else to use his nose for.
“Walking” the Beagle – originally posted September 15, 2012
Having pets in your daily life can provide a lot of material for a pet blog. I have a list of blog topics I would like to cover….some will require more research, others just come to mind as I am living my life with my animals. Thursday was one of those days….I took my beagle Kobi for a walk in the morning and he provided me with the material for today’s blog.
I try to be a healthy person….I try to eat right (mostly), and I believe that exercise is very important to health. (Both of those things go for my pets also.) We have a wonderful elliptical machine which my husband bought….the latest and greatest. But that is for the winter and rainy days only, as far as I’m concerned. If the sun is shining and the weather is beautiful, I want to be outdoors. Plus my older beagle also needs exercise. Our younger beagle and our two golden retrievers love to play ball. We are lucky enough to have a huge fenced in yard, so with plenty of play area, they would play ball all day long, if only WE had the energy! But our beagle Kobi, who is almost 12 years old now, has no interest in chasing a ball….he never really has. So I need to get him out for a walk. Exercise is especially important for a senior pet.
When Kobi was younger he was one of those dogs who constantly pulled on a walk. On our way away from the house, he would pull all the way. I can’t tell you how many harnesses we went through, trying to find the one that would really slow him down, even a little. (We finally settled on a Gentle Leader). But on the way back home he needed to stop and smell every little thing. Well, the pulling days are over…..he rarely pulls anymore. But the smelling days are far from over. His nose seems to go into overdrive as soon as we leave our yard.
He doesn’t seem to understand the concept that we are out there for a WALK…..which to me would mean pretty much constant motion; with of course potty breaks as needed (and we all know with a male dog, plenty of those are needed). An occasional sniff here and there would be fine. It probably doesn’t help that in the summer the walks have to be early in the morning, before it gets hot, and the ground is still damp which I think brings the smells out even more. It is a constant stop and start…mostly stop…and a lot of tugging on the leash, and my constant talking “Come on, Kobi”, “Let’s go, sweetie”, “We are supposed to be walking, buddy!” “COME ON”!! Ok, maybe I need a little more patience.
Kobi is not showing his age in this case…when he does decide to actually walk, he trucks right along, and some days it’s all I can do to keep up with him. I could probably jog with him, but we are a little old for that. OK, I’m not really too old to jog….I just prefer to walk. But Kobi is, after all, pushing 70 in human years. Our other beagle, Cricket, by the way, is definitely a “trucker”. She puts her head down and her back legs apart, and GOES. Luckily she is a smaller dog, so the pulling is not too bad. She takes her walks seriously. She occasionally stops for a sniff, or a potty break, but that’s it. She understands how this is supposed to work.
I’ve mentioned in other posts how I am trying to get this thing called “multi-tasking” to work in my life. My walks with Kobi in the mornings are a great time to plan and “write” my next blog in my head. I even downloaded a voice recorder app to my cell phone so I can speak in notes so I don’t forget what I wanted to write. I can do this while Kobi stays in his same spot and sniffs and smells, smells and sniffs. I told my husband, after our walk the other day; that I wondered how long Kobi would actually stand in the same spot and smell something, if I had the patience to wait him out. I imagine beagles are not the only breed that is like this. My golden retrievers have a great sense of smell, but they don’t get obsessed with it like Kobi does. I am sure it is a hound dog thing. Oh, and have any of you beagle or hound dog owners out there ever noticed that their ears shut off when their nose is to the ground? They cannot hear a word you say. I’ve often said for other reasons also that my beagles might have a little OCD, or is it ADD? They can only focus on one thing at a time, and focus they certainly do. You can only imagine how obsessed Cricket is with the ball (my friends and family know this for sure), when we are playing! Or when she is whining at the ball sitting up on the shelf, on the weekend mornings when she thinks it is time to start playing.
OK, so I’m probably not going to lose any weight on this “walk the beagle” exercise program. But it is still good for our health, mine and his. It does give me time to think, plus we get lots of fresh air. But most importantly, Kobi gets his time with me, and his chance to do what makes him happy. After all, it is all about the dog, isn’t it?
I can’t help but notice what hasn’t changed: a walk with one of the dogs clears my head and gives me ideas for future blog posts! By the way, Sheba was more than happy to play ball when we got back from our walk, so I really don’t think she was that tired! Later in the day she was pretty zonked though, so maybe, who knows?
One other thing: I miss the old guy! It was good to see you Kobi.
Does a walk with your dogs sometimes bring back happy memories?