Our standard chocolate wiener dog, O Henry — or sometimes Oh, Henry!, depending– loves to walk. The word walk–well, actually walkies, okay, I admit it– is a big part of his small but effective vocabulary. Being naturally lazy, I’m not good at this, and usually manage to avoid it, just as Ruby, aka Queen of the Couch, the red standard girl who tolerates O Henry, manages to avoid it. She refuses to walk at all on the leash, planting her short little legs, tummy on the ground, as only a dachshund can. She demands to ride in her dog stroller. All right, she has a heart condition, okay? She needs the stroller. And yes, I get strange looks. In this neighborhood, people sometimes actually slow their cars to look more closely at her, as she rides serenely in her coach on wheels. Oy.
Anyway, I’m lazy. But once I give in, I find that walking the dogs is a perfect time to plan scenes, figure out tricky plot details and think up new twists and problems for my current hero. Doing this in the car works very well too, except I often miss exits from the 401 as I relentlessly plot on in my head, oblivious of minor details like exits. If I’m not going the usual route– to George Brown College, say– I’m apt to end up there anyway, on auto pilot, as I plot, puzzle and scheme in my head.
You can see how walking the dog is safer. And besides, it’s great for your dogs! They will love you all the more for it! Tip: take along some milk-bones for snacks. they’re not half bad.