Watching Dog Walking

Smile by choco@Nerima’s photostream. Licensed under Creative Commons

A week or two ago, on my way to the train, I caught sight of a man walking a little dog some ways ahead of me. I had not slept well and didn’t feel particularly enthusiastic about getting up at  6 a.m. to go to the day job. Not in a bad mood exactly, but sunk in a sleep-deprived fog.

The sight of the little dog, however, revived my spirits. He (or she) was trotting beside his person, a dark-haired man in baggy shorts and a T-shirt, who was ambling along in no apparent hurry but not stopping for the little terrier, either.

Being cat-centric, I’ve never owned a dog, but I like to watch animals, and I find it especially interesting to watch dog walkers and note the human-canine interactions. Last year my husband and I walked our neighbor’s dog while she was away for the weekend. It was a fascinating experience deserving of a blog post unto itself, and it gave me some interesting insights into the whole dynamic of walking a dog. Not the simple thing it might seem–but back to the main story.

Th man in front of me respected the little Yorkie’s pace while also keeping his own, not allowing himself to be pulled aside every time the little dog wanted to stop, but never yanking on the leash, either, just continuing his gentle, ambling gait so that Yorkie couldn’t become fixated for too long a time on any particular patch of fascinating smells and eventually resumed toddling along by his person’s side.

When I passed them, I noticed that the man was Asian-American, and now, writing this, I am reminded of the gentle, non-confrontational art of Tai Chi.

Seeing the little animal and the gentle, placid man who held the dog’s leash brought a much-needed smile to my face that morning.

P.S. The cute little fella in the photo is from Japan, a nice reminder of how universal some things are!


  1. Gloria Alden said,

    September 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I seldom watch owners walking their dogs since I live in the country and when my own dog, a collie, and I go for walks, she’s not on a leash. But I enjoy her company and how she checks out every log we cross for interesting new smells and her excitement when she accidentally puts a squirrel up a tree. In fact I often think how lucky Maggie is because she has the freedom to explore every new smell and linger as long as she wants to do so. I continue on and eventually she catches up. I aslo enjoy the interaction between Maggie and the barn cat and with my two tabby house cats, too.

  2. Nancy Adams said,

    September 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    That sounds idyllic, Gloria! Maggie is indeed a lucky dog.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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