But our house is surrounded by neighbors with dogs. Two labs on one side of us, 2 big mutts on the other side of us, and directly behind us used to be 2 little yappy terriers owned by an older widow. The yappers disappeared a few months ago, and then one day I noticed a bigger brown and white dog in her yard who appeared to love the outdoors. He would sit at the fence, watching everything with his little ears perked up, smiling and taking it all in. His whole demeanor screamed "come play with me!"
So about a month ago I went over and spoke with my neighbor. Both of her terriers had died and she was content to be dog-less, until her brother died and left her his dog. Buddy. A 6-year-old Border Collie full of energy. I offered to walk him for her (she uses a cane and doesn't get out much). She accepted.
And so now we (sort of) have a dog. LOL. The first time I took him for a walk, he kept his tail tucked between his legs and his face down and quietly walked a straight line. I was a bit perplexed.....until I found out that he had NEVER been walked on a leash before. He had lived in the country, on land with horses and sheep, and had free reign of the property. The last few years when his dad was ill, he stuck close to his side, indoors, and then when he moved to my neighborhood he stayed in the fenced yard. So he didn't really know what to do on a leash.
But it didn't take him long to realize that a walk meant getting out and exploring new things. Now he comes running and wagging when he sees me and Dave walk up the drive. Buddy is the mildest dog I have ever met. He doesn't jump on people, he sits when you tell him to, I have only heard him bark once, and he is very friendly when he meets new people. The perfect dog!
We walk him daily, for about 45 minutes, and sometimes take him into our yard to play with frisbees and balls and let him run along the fence with the neighbors' dogs. He has already shed a few pounds, and I am getting a guaranteed 45-minutes of activity every day. Win-win.
Liza recently wrote an article about the health benefits of owning a dog! I'm reaping some of those benefits with my pseudo-ownership of Buddy!!