Since the arrival of the cool fall weather, our dog Rascal has been extremely, what's the word? Needy. He needs a walk in the morning (at least 30 minutes, please) before Dan leaves for work. He needs a walk as soon as Dan gets home, indeed he starts barking for one up to an hour before then. And often, additionally, he needs a walk sometime in the middle of the day when a walk means bribing two children into the stroller, two children who are happily doing something inside.
You know that giant yard that we fenced in at great expense so the dog could go out ANY TIME HE WANTS??? Not good enough for him. He sits at the door barking and then when I open the door for him he looks up at me like, "What is this BS? You want me to go pee BY MYSELF? Out there? But that's just not STIMULATING enough for me."
I am trying to love Rascal and deal with his needs without seeing them as a personal affront to my health, sanity, and self determination. It is a struggle.
In the meantime, I am trying to figure out non-food-related bribes to get my children in the stroller for a mid-day walk. A stroll to Bruggers can cost $10 for the three of us!!! But you know what's free? Fishing!
A brook runs under our local bike path at a spot not half a mile from our house. It's a good place to sit and stir the water with long sticks, if the weather isn't too wet or cold.
Harvey and Zion like to hook leaves on their long sticks and offer them to me as fish. Then I am obligated to take the soggy things off the end of the stick and say, "Num num num."
Rascal waits rather impatiently for the rest of his walk. I tie him a little ways from the stream or else he dives in after the sticks and gets the kids all wet. So he whines until I can't stand it anymore. My goodness that dog.
Fishing with sticks is so much fun that my kids pretend to see fish even in driveway puddles.
The children are so adorable in their enthusiasm for catching pretend fish, that it's almost enough to make me suspend my irritation with another creature barking at me. Almost.