Since I moved and more specifically since we moved back into the apartment, I’ve had to adjust my habits with my little dog Maggie. Before this, I had always lived in a house that had a yard and the last place I lived even had a bonafide pet door. Ah, those were the good ol’ days. If the little mutt had to go I didn’t need to know about it and frankly, she didn’t tell me either. I had absolutely no attention on how many times she pee’d or pooped or how many times she’d gone out or even how many hours it had been since her last outting. It was all kind of automatic and I didn’t need to bother about it.
Well, now that we live in an apartment complex and not on the ground floor and not in a garden apartment there is this new routine in my life known as walking the dog. Don’t get me wrong, I always walked the dog before but mostly for the exercise and to qualm her cabin fever and to provide some fresh air for me. Now, not so much. Now, it’s about protecting the carpet and preventing an exploding bladder with the little pupster.
Sometimes the man takes her out – they like to go to the park and wander around and develop bad habits – like running wild without benefit of leash and sometimes charging other dogs or joggers easily ten times Maggie’s size. But really this post isn’t about that. And as usual, I digress…It’s about synchronization.
It seems that no matter when I take out the dog, day or night, rain or shine, early or late that other pet owners in the building take their dogs out too. Well naturally, you might think, since I am obviously not the only pet owner in a building that houses over 400 people. But here’s the eerie thing, it’s always the same people and the same dogs with the same result. Their dogs are nice and sweet and well mannered and very socialized, mine is like Rocky Balboa on catnip with a little coffee thrown in there for good measure. If I were not as strong as I am I would have lost her dozen of times for all the charging she tries to do.
Again I digress – back to the dog-dar – it’s as though there is some sort of apartment dweller sychronization going on here, almost like a pod-people walking their dogs kind of thing and it freaks me out just a little. I mean, seriously, I honest to God do not have a regular time when I take her out – I just take her when she gets that anxious, bug-eyed little dog look that says “I gotta go.” Yet, whenever I do the ‘others’ are out there. Always out there. I’m starting to feel like I live in a Stephen King novel. Where the podpeople dog walkers are secretly using their dog-dar on me. Surely they must have jobs (unlike me) and places to go, people to meet, how is it they are always there? And too, why is it they never really look at you or speak to you – not even to sneer? They just stiff leg down the street, letting their dogs take them hither and yon. It’s just weird and creepy, you know? Oops, gotta go…I feel a strong, undeniable urge to walk my dog – like a magnet is pulling me outside, outside, outside….