I don't like or dislike dog walkers who act like their pets. I also have the same ambiguity about pets who act like their owners. However I do take notice.
I am an old man with lots of time on his hands.
I recently read a study that stated that many dogs mimic or adopt some of the idiosyncrasies and attitudes of their owners. They may become easily bored. They may act childishly. Some may even develop the nervous tics of their owners.
Another study indicated that dogs particularly react to certain emotional or physical states of their owners. They may be particularly aroused if their owner is sad, sick or scared.
During my walk yesterday I noticed many individuals, some walking alone, others with infants and young children. Many were out and about with their own dogs. Some (I assume paid by the hour or dog) were herding, or being herded by, large packs of dogs on leashes. The walking was tough for man and beast alike. There had been several recent snowstorms and some of the sidewalks barely had a narrow path. The footing was icy, and any pathway was lined with extremely high snowdrifts. However if you did slip and slide the drifts may break your fall.
I began my walk with an act of kindness when I encountered a woman with a young infant cinched to her chest. I stepped onto a mound of snow and allowed her to pass by. As I was climbing down and trying to regain my footing an elderly woman scooted by me and I almost took a header. I was angry but I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that my initial act of kindness was intended for an attractive young woman and an elderly woman took advantage and almost broke my neck.
As I continued my walk I noticed that there was a small little crowd forming ahead of me. It was another narrow pathway and a young man with a tiny little dog was preventing people from continuing on their way. Apparently he wanted his dog to do its business. The icy surface was covered with rock salt and small, probably very cold, puddles had begun to form. The dog had tiny little legs. People were becoming agitated and their voices were beginning to rise. Whether it was because of fear or the pain of its private parts being covered with semisolid rock salt the dog was beginning to tremble and make whining noises. Whether from necessity, terror or to please its owner the dog would surely soon void itself. Not a patient man, and not wanting to hurt the dog if I tried to strangle its owner with the leash, I climbed a mound of snow, entered the street and continued on my way.
I turned a corner and was about to enter a cobblestone street that had been recently plowed. Walking can be treacherous on the cobblestones on the best of days and I debated whether I would challenge myself to remain upright given the icy conditions. However I noticed a young man with a large dog ahead of me. The dog seemed to be carrying a small twig in its mouth. Curiosity got the best of me and I decided to follow the path that the dog was taking. In hindsight I have no idea if I had thought that a dog with a twig in its mouth would break a better trail than a dog with no twig in its mouth. It wasn't a very long street and I don't know if the dog actually took the best possible possible path, but I made it to the end without falling down.
Until I reached my destination I couldn't stop thinking about the dog with the twig in its mouth. Twigs were few and far between given the large amounts of snow that covered the ground. First the dog had to find a twig, pick it up, then make the decision to carry it throughout its walk. Not being a dog and not being inclined to stick things that I find in the street into my mouth I don't know if sticks or twigs taste better before or after snowstorms.I came to no conclusions but it's such thoughts that kept me entertained during the rest of my walk.
May I offer for you reading pleasure: I can't help but wonder if any of the kids today get to have the fun that we did
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In my not too distant past, if I were to see a street person, a bum, sleeping in a door front or on a park bench, I would have kept my distance and perhaps shrugged my shoulders.: He had the "smarts" to ask someone where to go, I didn't
Come back often to see what these piglets are discussing. Pork may be on the menu. Menu changes frequently.
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