Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Dog Walking Anxiety Attack

Confession:  I'm afraid of big dogs.  I think it leads back to when I was a little kid, and my Grandpa's beagle would chase me and then knock me down.  After face planting a couple of times at a tender age, I'm just a little wary of jumping dogs....and big dogs.  I know a beagle is small, but when you're four years's HUGE!

So what do I do?  Volunteer to walk dogs at the Humane Society.  I like dogs, but I don't have any real experience with them.  Case in point...the collars confuse me.  They are so small that it's hard to see which way they adjust.  Bigger?  Smaller?  I can't tell.  At least they have three sizes, so I can match the dog collar to the dog.  Of course, that's after I go look at the dog, so I can see what size collar I'll need.

I'm trying to remember breeds, but it's hard enough to remember the name of the dog!  I read the card that tells me about the dog, promptly forget the breed, the temperament, and anything else, then take off searching for the dog.  Out of 30+ dogs, it takes a bit of time.  Then, I step into the cage, wait for the dog to calm down, fiddle with the collar for 10 minutes, and we're off for a walk.

Now, I'm super worried the collar (which I try my best to adjust) will slip off the dog while I'm walking him/her around the loop.  During orientation, I learned how to do a field hitch with the leash.  Since I'm so paranoid, I use the field hitch on every dog, big or small.  On the small dogs, they kind of look like a mummy after I wrap the leash around them.  This looks ridiculous, and I've received a few looks around there.  I can totally hear you laughing at me right now as a matter of fact.  It's cool.  I don't mind.

Finally, we're off on the walk, and I'm watching the dog very carefully in case the collar magically falls off.  Halfway through the walk, I panic.  Wait!  What's the dog name?  I just looked at 30 names on cards attached to kennels.  I can't remember who this is!  What am I going to call the dog if they get loose?  Dog!  Dog!!  Dog!!!  Come back! 

Do you see where an anxiety attack might come in?  Despite me laughing at myself as I try and figure out dogs, I have a great time with them.  They get lots of hugs and gentle pats from me, along with dog treats.  And, I want to adopt Sebastian, the whippet mix.  You knew that would happen!   Isn't he cute?

My other favorite is Sassy.

Anyway, I encourage you to volunteer!  They really need volunteers on Sundays when the facility is closed, so all the dogs still get a daily walk.  20 of the dogs didn't get walked last Sunday!

See you there on Sunday!

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