The Way They Go

Honey the golden retriever thinks dog lovers are weird.

Meet our guest post writer, my husband Mike, and Honey, his muse.

Once every hundred mornings or so, Pam will sleep in a bit, and will thereafter sit down to her blog a little later than usual.

The dog(s), however, who get up each day at the same time, eat each day at the same time, and get walked each day at the same time, will, on this kind of morning, loudly voice a principled opposition to my wife’s unilaterally imposed scheduling improvisations.

This, you might well imagine, makes it very hard for her to concentrate on her writing.

If I am paying attention then, and if I want to raise the chances of my getting lucky later, I will at that moment volunteer to take the dog(s) for a walk myself.

Somehow, these trips never seem to go off without some small hitch.

Having recently woken up to such a morning, I decided to walk Honey and our foster dog Ginny down to the drugstore, seven blocks away, to get the Saturday newspaper.

Honey the golden retriever and Ginny the foster dog look to make trouble.

What trouble can we give him now?

Inasmuch as the dog walking ethos in our household involves, in part, providing the dog with ample opportunity to find and circle a convenient spot for about eight minutes prior to relieving herself, I immediately assumed a particularly peculiar predictive practice Pam personally pioneered some years ago.

Yes. In our household, we keep our eyes affixed to our dogs’ buttholes as we walk, looking for that certain telltale convexity (i.e., bulging) that says, “Slow down. She’s gonna blow.” This is what we do.

And this morning, it appeared Ginny was gonna blow early.

So, per the standard operating procedure, I slowed us down to a pace of rigorously enforced leisure. And we continued that nice, deliberate pace almost all the way to the drugstore, Ginny all the while refusing to take any notice of her posterior condition.

That pace was probably why we were a good two blocks away from the cover of the drugstore awning when the cloudburst hit, soaking us all through the fur.

Honey the golden retriever and Ginny the foster dog go for a walk.

Maybe we can get him to run with scissors.

But that’s not the hitch I’m writing about.

Because, you see, our foster did not display any less convexity on the way home than she did when we were outward bound. Nor was she any more inclined to do something about it.

So, concluding that I had been monitoring an unusually long false alarm, I finally decided to get on with my life. Which meant, in this case, giving equal attention to our forever dog. Who, two blocks from home, decided she wasn’t going a step further until she had gotten a good, long sniff out of something hidden somewhere in the snow.

OK, I said to myself, the other part of our dog walking ethos is that we’re out here for them. I will relent.

By this time, Ginny was well ahead of me and Honey was well behind. (Experienced two-dog walkers are familiar with this tableau which repeats itself constantly: Your straining dog; your taut leash; your outstretched arm; your body; your other outstretched arm; your other taut leash; your other straining dog.) Deciding in favor of the dog abaft, I reined in the dog ahead and we all moved backward a step.

Honey the Golden Retriever and Ginny the foster beagle look to cause trouble.

I’ve got it. You pick out a bus. I’ll throw him under it.

As I watched Honey, she put her head down in her chosen spot and plowed forward in that endearing, puppy-loves-the-snow way that make you go “Awww.” So, suppressing my concern over how she would smell when she was done, I went, “Awww.”

A few seconds later, Honey again put her head down again and plowed forward. And, again, I went, “Awww.”

Then I returned my attention to Ginny, who, in the few seconds I had my back turned, had cognitively captured and completely considered the conundrum of her bulging backside.

Lost as she was in deep thought, she had also managed to straddle her one-inch-wide red cloth leash.

And, of course, was now pooping on it.

And I went, “Ewww.”

And as I stand here at the utility sink, washing the leash and treating it with one of those expensive “your-dog-will-never-tell-he-once-peed-here” products, two thoughts keep chasing each others’ tails in my head, getting their leashes tangled and tripping me up.

“Yeah, this is the way my dog walks go when Pam sleeps in.”


“To heck with getting lucky. From now on, I also want chocolate cake.”

Thanks, Mike, for giving us a funny look inside your twisted mind. If you like this, check out 

Your Turn: What’s the funniest thing that happens to you on a walk?

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  1. Those dogs have a sense of humour! My female biped is very impressed that you cleaned the poopy leash yourself!

  2. Such a funny post!

    I’ve definitely had the leash peed and pooped on….but not in the same walk…of course :-)

    If you walk your dog a lot, weird (if not funny) things are bound to happen. Here’s one from my blogging past….

    • Mike Webster says:

      Taryn, that was a good story. However, it might have pushed me once and for all into vegetarianism.

  3. I, too, have experienced the two dogs walk extensions. What I don’t understand is, why do these dogs have to look deep, deep into your eyes with their whole soul while they’re pooping? Mine does that. My dog looks at me as if to say “Wow, I am giving birth to something big here, you just wait and see!”

    • Mike Webster says:

      I can’t vouch for it firsthand, but I think my wife has seen the same look in my eyes when I’m on my own way to the restroom. It’s a kind of magic.

  4. I think they conspired against you Mike. Payback for the rain maybe?

    • Mike Webster says:

      I don’t think so, Slimdoggy. Revenge simply isn’t in our canine friends’ vocabulary.

      Conspiracy, yes. Revenge, no.

  5. lol! You know you’re in trouble once they team up!
    I’ve never been so grateful for a good off-leash heel and an extra poop bag for leash-transport than when Moses managed to do the same thing to me! Luckily we were only a few blocks from home.

    • Mike Webster says:

      An extra poop bag. Eminently intelligent, practical and foresighted. Completely not my style.

      • Oh I’ve been burned before, trust me – a lesson learned the hard way (and I thought I wasn’t much of a gambler… it’s because I frequently lose)! Always have 1 more poop bag than you have dogs. 2 bags and 2 dogs will guarantee Moses goes twice.

  6. LOL. A look inside the male mind. Proving once again all they think about is food and sex. And they make horrible dog wranglers.

  7. BOL! What a storyteller you are, Mike! That was great…despite the conclusion of pooping on one’s leash. Loved the alliteration there at times…so fun. You have a way with words! Oh, and you should definitely get chocolate cake too!

    • Mike Webster says:

      Thank you, Oz. As Steve Martin once said: Some people have a way with words, and other people. . . . . . . . . . . . not have way.

  8. Bwahahaha! Those silly girls were just giving you a run for your money :) I could SO relate to the two outstretched leashes . .why is it they never want to go the same way??

    • Mike Webster says:

      I have no idea. But if our strolls were ever to hit the ballet stage, that posture would become the First Position of the Two-dog Walker.

  9. A lot of alliteration allowing all a look at the Something Wagging dog walking mornings.

    Love your style, Mike. Welcome to the ranks of those who have had to contemplate how best to keep their dog from peeing/pooping on their own leash. :)

    • Mike Webster says:

      Funny how the thought of applying for membership to this particular club had completely eluded me ’til now. I just hope the annual dues are reasonable.

  10. Hilarious post! “particularly peculiar predictive practice Pam personally pioneered”-I said this several times, like a tongue twister.

    • Mike Webster says:

      Alliteration is one of my favorite literary devices. Another is repetition. And a third is repetition.

  11. Ha ha ha ha ha! First, I have to commend Mike on his fantastic alliteration skills! I bow to you, sir, and it only made this post more entertaining!

    Right now, the funniest thing on our dog walks revolves around trying to get the new, young dog to keep pace with me and the slightly older, more experienced dog. I swear, Flattery perversely zigs when the rest of us zag. She just has no clue about walking in formation. One day we’ll get there!

  12. Mike, you’re such a good husband to brave the dog walk so your wife can focus on her blog. That the Universe is plotting against you in undeniable, but your brave defiance in the face of fate is admirable. I say, “Let him eat cake! Chocolate cake!”

    • Mike Webster says:

      Thank you, Amy. I am indeed good and brave and defiant.
      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just noticed I have a hangnail and must therefore arrange for an ambulance visit.

  13. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. I actually don’t know why they say that, but they do. Dog walking and poo scooping can be unpredictable pastimes. I’m impressed you not only pitched in and “took care of business” but also waxed poetic about the experience!

    • Mike Webster says:

      “Waxed prosaic” might be a better description, Peggy. And “Did NOT know when to QUIT” might be the best. :)

  14. Loved this Mike!! Loved your descriptions and can totally relate. I watch my dog’s bung holes too and also know when someone’s going to ‘blow’ as you say.

    I can also commiserate with what I refer to as the “Scarecrow” position, when I in fact have two dogs, each straining in different directions.

    Please tell me why the absolute best dog posts all have poop in them?

    • Mike Webster says:

      After death and taxes, Jodi, poop is the third great inevitability. My theory is that those who do battle with it every day, as dog walkers, plumbers and some civil engineers do, have earned the compensatory privilege of finding it incredibly amusing.

      It does make me wonder if the cat bloggers have a similarly treasured subgenre of litterbox stories.

  15. I was going to do a post (complete with video) about how my dog does this back-and-forth dance before deciding on the perfect spot (and half the time he changes his mind, pees, and then searches on for the perfect spot). But how much scatology can the Internet take? :)

    You’re still a champ for going, and you’ve earned your cake. You can even eat it too.

  16. That’s what happens when the kids get the substitute teacher. As a backup petsitter, I get that a lot when I have to walk another sitter’s dogs. I just imagine them winking at each other and saying “Let’s have some fun with her!”

    • Mike Webster says:

      It does seem that the fundamental principle underlying both substitute teaching and backup petsitting is “Not on MY watch.” If the charges actually learn anything in either venue, that’s gravy.

  17. Chocolate cake? Given what you were dealing with, Mike, might you prefer a nice vanilla cake instead?

    Also, how do we make these guest posts a regular feature? 😉

    • Mike Webster says:

      Regarding the first question, I am a man of eclectic tastes.

      Regarding the second, Pam asked me a similar question this evening. So I checked the stats.

      To date, she has published 951 posts covering all sorts of topics, and has drafts for another 41 in development. In the same period, I have written four, three of which have revolved around what might generally be characterized as “self-inflicted wounds.”

      Summary finding : If disaster is indeed my most reliable muse, then “regular feature” would be roughly synonymous with “death sentence.”

  18. Hee hee a brilliant post, not yet had to wipe poo of a lead. However I have had to subtle try and get it off my hand from misjudging the pick up and bag position, while on a date!