Doggy Blog

Dogwalking 101: Everybody's Walking for the Weekend

I would apologize for that horrible pun title, but we're way past that now aren't we? Good.

Today was the first legitimate perfect summer day in Chicago. It was 80 degrees, a few clouds dotting the sky, and everyone in the world out and about. Chicago operates in a cycle of social hibernation and then overexposure. People huddle up inside under their precious snuggies and watch Netflix from around November 25th to mid March. Then, like the humble cicada, they emerge from their pits, rub the sleep from their eyes, beat their crystalline wings, and greet the world again. This escalates rapidly, and soon—especially on days like today—the streets are clogged with the tank-topped husks of the great unwashed masses. That sounded too negative. It's actually quite life affirming to see everyone out again after the long, cold winter.

But more to the point, you get to see a ton of dogs in this time of social emergence. Whereas catching a pup's on the walkabout was catch as catch can in late February, now I find myself tripping over pups on every street I walk down (not literally, of course). This is grand for the dogs, as they need butts to sniff like a trepanner needs a hole in the head. Also, you get that delightful panting smiley face that dogs do when they're a bit warm. If that doesn't brighten up your mood, I'm not sure what will.

The impetus of this rambling post is a brand new dog—in more ways than one—that I'm walking. He may enjoy the sunny weather more than any other dog. And he seems to attract the most attention from strangers of any dog I walk. His name is Otis, plz behold his glory:

 I called him a "farmer" for the entire walk because of the piece of straw in his mouth.

I called him a "farmer" for the entire walk because of the piece of straw in his mouth.

The combination of Otis and the great weather of the past couple days NEARLY caused me to cancel all my other walks/plans/friendships and never leave his side. Honestly, it was really close. The pure joy that Otis exhibits whilst frolicking outside in the sunshine changed me as a human being forever. Things I thought while watching him scoot and jump around:

  • I should immediately find and apologize to every person that I've ever said anything remotely rude, not held the door for, looked at with the side of my eyeballs, etc.
  • I should give Otis all the money in my wallet.
  • I should build a small temple devoted to Otis and amass followers to preach his gospel of innocent joy.
  • I should graffiti the sides of every building with representations of his wee face.
  • I should publish a newsletter with short fiction about Otis's life; solicit pieces from luminaries of the day.
  • Otis should be walking me.
  • I should pet his belly forever.
  • I should give him some kind of small hat.
  • I should enroll him in school and tutor him so that he graduates top of his class.
  • I should teach him how to play harmonica.
  • I should read him every Harry Potter book.

This went on for the duration of the walk. The only breaks in my mental wandering occurred when we ran into people on the street and they were compelled by Otis to pet Otis. This happened multiple times on every walk. Because of all the people that were out and about in the nice weather (good call back, Sean). Most of them just let their own dogs go so they could pet Otis. It was a good day.

 HE ONLY SITS STILL WHEN YOU'VE TIRED HIM OUT TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION.

HE ONLY SITS STILL WHEN YOU'VE TIRED HIM OUT TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION.

I am preparing a full post on Otis for the near future, but I have to take a few more pics of him. If you can believe it, he is a little rambunctious and is thus hard to follow with a camera. Have a good weekend everyone, get out there and pet some dogs!

Sean