Our four-year-old Cairn Terrier Ollie loves everybody in the family. But over the years, I've spent the most time with him due to our expat gigs when I wasn't teaching. Ollie enjoys nothing more than a walk. He stops to sniff every other blade of grass and continues to hike his leg long after he could have any urine left in his bladder.
Because he so loves walking and the English weather is often crap, plus I need someone familiar with his little quirks to board him when we travel, I have a dog walker. Her name is Chloe and she looks to be in her early 20s. She's very sweet and seems to enjoy Ollie since he has no real bad habit other than his inclination to head for the hills if he's ever off leash.
When Chloe first started picking up Ollie in her doggie van, he was all over her jumping and barking and rarin' to go. That is what he has always done with me when I ask him if he wants to go for a walk. He prances and barks and jumps as if to say hurry up old woman and get this leash on me - there are grass blades and utility poles needing a good whiff.
But lately, he just isn't excited anymore about walking with Chloe. I asked her if something had happened on one of the walks or if maybe there is a new dog in the mix. According to her, nothing has changed and no traumatic incidents to report. When she returns him from his walks, he's always happy and acts like Chloe is his new best friend. But then the next time she shows up, I have to corral Ollie to get him leashed and out the door.
It makes no sense. I don't like the fact that he's so hesitant to go on his walks with her, but then he always returns happy. I'm wondering if I should try a new dog walking service in the new year. This is one of those times when you wish your furry family member could talk and explain what's going on in his little terrier head. Maybe he's like me and just ready to hibernate until the days start to lengthen once again. Or he's got some seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Maybe we should both start taking Prozac, ha-ha.
This morning I walked him through the neighbourhood on his usual route, a two poop bag day. It never fails that he takes care of business at least once, early on in the walk, so I have to finish the rest of our jaunt toting a doggie poop bag in the other hand. There's no upside to carrying little doggie tootsie roll turds, but at least I buy the lavender scented bags. Now Ollie's flopped down next to me on the sunroom sofa ready for his midmorning nap. What a life.