Walking The Dog

When I sat down at breakfast, I told Amy that the title of today’s blog post would be “A Steaming Pile of Dog Poop.” She suggested I come up with a different title.

Brooks at Rancho

That’s Brooks the Wonder Dog. For the past six weeks, I’ve been walking him at least once a day. Typically I take him for an afternoon walk and an evening walk and Amy usually takes him for a morning walk. Today I did the morning walk also.

Our 1,500 step walk (about 0.75 miles) is a big loop around the place we have been staying. After about 500 steps, we get to his poop field and we do a mini-loop around the field. He’s got a rhythm – if he’s got to go, he sniffs around the edges for about 270 degrees of the mini-loop, scrunches his back legs up to his front, squats, and generates a steaming poop that reflects the digestive system of a healthy 80 pound eight year old golden retriever.

I used to hate picking up his shit. But now it’s a special moment on our walks together, for which I developed expertise walking him around in Boulder’s Central Park a few summers ago. I’ve got a one handed bag technique that’s quick and efficient. The bags are eco-friendly and lavender scented, so it’s gross for only one second. We then loop to the poop trash and continue on our way.

For the rest of our journey, Brooks grabs his leash and walks himself. He loves every human on the planet so there is much tail wagging and happy human voices. We have a fun game at the end, as he knows exactly where our condo is and which stairs are ours. He runs to the edge of where I can see him, turns a corner, stops, and then waits for me. It’s delightful.

For the last six weeks, I’ve had at least 30 minutes a day to do nothing other than walk, talk to my dog, reflect, and pick up a dog deposit. This morning, as the rising sun was shining was shining in my face and Brooks was prancing alongside me, I took a deep breath and smiled.

I like this planet.

  • conorop

    The days when I take the time to walk my pup are happier days for me as well. Good looking boy, btw.

  • This is great – descriptive – but great. How did you get from “steaming pile of dog poop” (negative connotation) to this wonderful “Walking the Dog” post? The walk must have made you happy enough to change your entire outlook on the day. It’s what dogs do to life, period.

    (Mozy has the same technique. Although he circles at least 3 times before the squat.)

    • I was laughing about the steaming pile. So I started in a good place, just with the wrong words.

      • Goran Duskic

        I recently read somewhere we should “Love what we do, instead of doing what we love”, I think this is a good example 🙂

      • Sam

        My wife is my best editor as well. We are smart to listen.

  • Shurtleff

    last weekend we were staying with friends, sans dog. i took my cup of coffee for a walk, not as good as with Shasta, but way better then not going at all. When asked where i was going, the answer of course ‘for a walk with the dog’ best way to start the day (taking the virtual dog for a walk made a lot more sense then taking the coffee cup for walk)

  • Jeff Jones

    Thanks Brad -This post made me smile…and want to get a dog

  • It is a beautiful planet, when you come to think of it.

    I have a rabbit, so the pieces are smaller… He is surprisingly intelligent and as he truly lives in the moment, it gives me an opportunity every morning to connect, feel grounded in the real world and count my blessings at the same time. That’s what works for me, I suppose…

  • Goldens are such human friendly animals. Our vet had one, and once he said,- “he’s so friendly, if a burglar were to enter the house, he’d probably guide him to where the jewelry is.”

  • I love dogs and miss having one. We live in a high rise apt and neither my wife or I will do that to the dog. That is an awesome photo of your dog. He’s got game.

  • Brooks is cool.

  • Peter Bassett

    Love this thought. I have a 13.5 week old I am raising on my own, (for at least 2 more months). She goes all the time, so a lot of walks everyday, outside both my front-range apartment and my Grand County home. Like Brooks, she loves people, all people, even those at 6am going to work who don’t want to meet her. These walks are a terrific break in my day. They get me away from the other things that interest me but give me a time to think about so many other things I may never have taken the time to let into my wandering mind. They are mind-openers – non-biased new thoughts…… Along with many other great things on our great earth, these are special times that round me out in a much better way. Thanks for the thought and reminding me how wonderful 11pm, 2am and 6am walks are on our great planet.

  • Awwww Brooks the Wonder Dog! I love him. Yesterday I woke up to dumping snow and wasn’t really looking forward to going outside, but snow is Mojo’s favorite thing in the world. To see him so happy, jumping around, sticking his entire face deep into the snow- makes me giggle.

  • BSchildt

    Amy has good judgment, as do you, for listening to her.

  • Good post. Couple of things…1)Yesterday my wife pointed out (while we were out walking our poodle Hunter together) how nice it is to be a dog owner in Boulder-where so many people love being dog owners and 2) I don’t measure Hunter’s favorite walk in steps or miles but I do know that the walk is usually, almost exactly the same length as Kai Ryssdal’s daily Marketplace podcast. I call it this walk the Full Amante since we loop around that coffee shop at Broadway and Yarmouth.

  • Cecelia Feld

    A well known doctor once said, “walk the dog every day, whether you have one or not.” Addison was not quite the “wonder dog” but I miss him none-the-less. Maybe in my next life I’ll get a golden. More mellow.

  • Sam Warren

    Smiled reading this. Sums up my midday ritual pretty nicely. Routines, dogs, sun and exercise all work wonders. Hope you and Brooks get to continue this tradition for many more days to come.