Tales of Teddy

uncompromising quality and love for dogs

All Posts Teddy's Tales

Teddy’s Tales: Another name for a dog walk

If you had told me ten years ago that I would look forward to listening to a radio show about walking in the British Isles I might have been surprised. As a fashion editor at Milan Fashion Week I remember writing about a different kind of walk: the Italian tradition of la passeggiata, where people stroll the streets at the end of the working day as much to people watch, flirt and show-off their clothes as to stretch their legs. While I’m no longer on fashion’s frontline, I still appreciate a show of finery although now I have traded the catwalks for dog walks – three times a day, to be exact.
So when I was listening to Clare Balding discussing the German expression for a particular type of hike (destination walking – zielwanderung) on her Radio 4 show Ramblings, it occurred to me that there ought to be more than one description for a dog walk – there are so many different types, ranging from meandering and enjoyable to those that are unexpectedly curtailed and more than mildly frustrating.
Thankfully, the most common of all for Teddy and I is the walk we both enjoy most: where we both get some head space and exercise, a bit of socialising, a bit of playtime and a fair amount of sniffing and chasing off lead (that last bit, for Teddy). Perhaps this is the real walkies – complete with Barbara Woodhouse intonation – that dogs go bananas for.
Then there is the dog walk dictated by time/weather/footwear. This usually makes up our afternoon jaunt, when Teddy is kept on a lead and away from mud. It frees me up from Wellies and gives us a bit of time to practice walking to heel. An altogether more urban constitutional: I’m calling it pavement pounding.
The last walk of the day is our most brief and, although Teddy does his best to eek out his sniffage time, it is meant solely for lavatorial purposes. I’m not keen on it but this term has been used before and does rather do the job: tiddles it is.
But what about the walk that goes wrong? There’s the one where the dog jumps into a filthy, weed-filled pond only to be dragged out miserable, stinking, needing to be taken home immediately. Or the one where the dog runs off and, contrary to normal behaviour, will not come when called, adding a worrisome 45 minutes to the clock. Or, as last week, the one where the dog sticks his head in a bush full of burrs that weld to his whiskers and fuse shut his eyes (these must be removed with precision plucking before they get further embedded- it’s a tricky business, inevitably performed on bended knee, in deep mud). Less dog walk, more duff walk?
Finally there is the outing that some may say is the advantage gifted to dog-owners everywhere: the walk that provides an excuse to get out of the house. It can be skilfully employed to avoid sticky situations, as a pretext to sneak to the pub or provide simply the best reason to revel in a sunny Sunday morning. Would that be The Great Escape?

If you like this, you might like...