They’re robots. They have to be – there isn’t anything else that could explain this. Once, maybe I could buy it, but twice, now? I suspect they might be roaming the streets of my neighbourhood every morning!
They remind me of the little orphans in Madeline, walking two by two down the road. But with a dog, unnaturally early in the morning, and not dressed in adorable little blue capes. From what I can tell, the entire family (and possibly friends of the family as well) come out to walk this dog. At least 7 people for this one dog, speed-walking through the predawn streets. I can barely get someone in my family to join me on a leisurely stroll midafternoon, when the weather is nice, and not too warm or too cold for perfect comfort. These people have their teenage-and-younger-daughters (possibly even friends-of-daughters as well, since a lot of them seem to be matching in age) joining them on a walk at holy-cow-why-does-6am-exist o’clock, the temperature hovering around zero degrees C. They aren’t even doing some half-assed up-the-street-and-back-again walk – this morning I only ran into them once, but the last time our schedules synced, I ran into them on my way out, and on my way home, and they didn’t look at all like they were on their way home at that point.
Seriously, though – teenagers! And they even seem willing/cheerful about participating in the predawn dog walk.
If they aren’t robots, I’m still pretty sure there must be some kind of mind control involved. Maybe they’re the Borg.
I want to be them. Y’know, when I have my own theoretical future family. The idea of my entire family turning out for a morning walk every day is laughable and ridiculous. But, in theoretical-future-land, where I possibly have a significant other, and possibly kids… it just seems like such a bonding kind of activity, everyone going on the morning dog walk.
I meet so many people when I walk Gwynn, usually they are alone with their dogs. On a regular basis, I hear something along the lines of, “Well, the kids really wanted him as soon as they saw him.”, and “It’s my son’s dog”
And then I think – Why isn’t junior out walking the dog at 6am in the rain, then? Or that gorgeous summer day when I ran into you – why wasn’t Junior out with you then? I’ve never even seen Junior, but he/she considers the dog to be his/hers?
It seems like most kids who beg and plead for a dog leave it 100% to be raised, trained, fed, and cared for by their parents. I’m not talking about really really young kids. If you got your 4-year-old a dog, you should already have expected that you’d be Fido’s primary caregiver. But if you cave to your 14 year olds (or even 10-year-old’s, really) pleading for a dog, shouldn’t you give some of the responsibility to them as well? Even if it isn’t the morning walk, what about the walk that they could take Fido on while you are getting other things done?
I had friends when I was about 10 who got the dog they’d been begging for. They even bought him with money they saved up. For a while (ie, when he was small and adorable), they were captivated by him. Time passed. Once in a very long while, they would walk him (usually as a way of showing off the fact that they had a dog), but Ziggy was primarily cared for by the parents.
I know that kids aren’t really able/ready to take full responsibility for an animal. But I really think the Borg family has the right idea, regardless of ‘whose dog’ it is. The parents might still have to get up early every morning to walk the dog, but their kids are also getting a good idea of how much work goes into caring for a dog, well beyond those beautiful summer afternoon walks.