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walking my dog

I think I'm posting this entry so you all can guilt me into doing the right thing... or something.

I really like having a dog, and I know I should walk her every day, but it just doesn't happen. I get home from work, Josie (age 3) is clamoring for my attention, marc (the work-from-home-dad) needs a break, the baby needs nursed, the dog needs walked. And I just feel torn.

Josie is heartbroken when I walk without her, half the time I avoid the walks it's just so I don't have to deal with her acting like I'm evil for leaving her behind. But it's really hard to walk the dog and take Josie in the stroller. It turns the whole walk into a balancing act, and I have to carefully avoid all routes where a playground is in sight.

Marc has bad ankles that have induced a horrible fear of the brick streets in our neighborhood, fair enough. He only works out on treadmills. Also, he doesn't like the dog, I might as well face it, this is my dog. I need to give her walks.

For a while there I was waking up at 5am and going running with her and we both really enjoyed that, but then I got pregnant sick. Now days, since baby #2 isn't sleeping through the night quite yet I need a little more sleep, and nursing takes up that much more more precious morning time before work.

Tonight I told myself that I was going to come home, eat dinner, and tell Josie "tough luck kid you have to occupy yourself while I walk the dog" but I couldn't do it, Josie was outside getting mosquito bites and when I implied that I'd give her a bath to make them feel better she was naked in about five seconds running around yelling "bath time! bath time!" I handed Marc the baby and went to wash Josie and am sitting here blogging while she plays.

My dog does have a three-year-old to wrestle with all day, that's more exciting than some dogs have it. The family is at home, there's a kid to chase, they do a lot of laps together. I know that's not the same as a walk.

Everyone says dogs are so good for kids, you'd think it would be easier to explain to them that I need 15 minutes outside every night without them! Makes me feel guilty for leaving marc, but crap, I just can't figure out how to make this work out right now. What am I doing wrong?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
What is preventing Marc from amusing Josie while you take the baby and the dog for a walk?
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
I expect it's the fact that he has Josie all day long...in which case this should get a little better when she starts preschool?

Does the walk have to be around the neighborhood, would 15 minutes of circles in the backyard work in a pinch?

Maybe make a dog walking buddy who can help? One person takes dogs, the other the stroller?

I have no idea, I'm just throwing stuff out there.

Too bad you couldn't sneak a walk in before Josie realizes you are home. : /
Jul. 23rd, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, he's with her nine hours a day, so come evening time he wants a break and Josie wants ME.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:35 am (UTC)
I thought you had a fenced yard; you can't let the dog out there? Possibly with Josie!
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
Yup, they get to run around outside a lot, i just keep hearing that's not the same as a walk.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
Oops, I guess all of our dogs over the years were horribly mistreated, since they only ran around in our back yard. Granted, there was really no place to *take* a walk, plus my parents' back yard is pretty big.

I wouldn't worry about it if you can't fit it in. Chances are that Judy is semi-tired, anyway, if she's been playing with Josie all day. I think a walk is more important for dogs that don't have a playmate all day and aren't active. I've done dog-sitting before, and we would do a morning and evening walk, but that was mainly for pooping/peeing purposes, really. The exercise was secondary (one was an elderly dog, the other was younger, but we didn't walk too far, since she had a bum leg/hip). Like a block or two, max.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
Does the dog seem depressed (not eating, sleeping too much, etc) about not getting walkies? If not, I wouldn't worry about it. Get out when you can, and if you can't it'll be all right. As baby gets older it'll be easier.

My boy doesn't walk the dog either, I think we're in the same "it's my dog" situation. But, it's not so bad to do walking dog for me. Still we only get out a couple of times a week. (there's a reason I picked "low energy dog" as 2nd highest important part. Likes kids being the first of course)
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
This, especially since it's summer and kids need something to keep themselves off drugs (as my mother would say). ;) For a couple of bucks a day, a teenager gets some cash and your dog gets exercise. Win win!
Jul. 23rd, 2013 05:16 am (UTC)
sling for baby so baby can nurse while you walk. josie for one hand and a dog leash in the other. all 3 at once!
Jul. 23rd, 2013 12:23 pm (UTC)
Sling for the baby, don't put Josie in the stroller, get an extendable lead for the dog. Also a lead for Josie if necessary (no joke, lots of people do it - attach to her wrist or waistband of shorts etc) if you think she'll run off.

Dog and Josie will chase each other happily, reducing the distance you have to walk. You'll be having time with Josie, and the baby. Marc gets 15 mins without the children.

But if the dog is fine, don't worry about it. If she rests in the house, doesn't beg to go out the whole time, isn't overly hyperactive, sleeps through the night, isn't overweight then she's getting enough exercise and attention. Don't stress over it.
Jul. 25th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
Is the issue of walking dog and Josie that (1) she gets mosquito bites, (2) she can't walk that far, or (3) she's hard to wrangle?

Agree with teazle: Josie is old enough to walk, she doesn't need the stroller. Attach it to her wrist if you think the waist/harness reminds you too much of what is around the dog.

If not, hire a local dogwalker. They don't cost much, I'm sure teenagers are willing to volunteer for close to nothing, and you spend the 15 min with Josie instead while Marc gets a break.
Jul. 28th, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
Is there any way for Marc to do a secret doggie handoff before Josie notices you are home?

Otherwise -- I think that Judy is probably fine in the exercise department with Marc and Josie home all day. Our dog just lies around all day while the two of us are at work, so we make a point to take her on a good long walk around the neighborhood in the evenings. Helps work things through her digestive tract, as well as being good to give her some physical activity. I think maybe there are also more discipline related benefits that you get from forcing her to walk on a leash that she doesn't get from just running around the yard... but as long as you walk her sometimes (which it sounds like you do, sometimes) I'd think you'd be fine. There's only one of you, you've got to prioritize sometimes.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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