Leash Walks or Yard Time? Ask Your Dog.

Leash Walks or Yard Time? Ask Your Dog.

I’m waiting. I sniff the air; nothing yet. The sun still needs to go behind the tree before they come past. I dose off, but I catch a scent and am up and barking. Two of my kind, but with shorter legs, walk past in front of their person. They are tethered, but seem free and happy. I am not tethered, but I can go nowhere. “Take me! Take me with you!” I shout, but they keep going. One of the dogs barks loudly in my direction, a rebuke. I bark back, now angry. They hurry past and are out of sight. I wait again.

Leash Walks or Yard Time? Ask Your Dog.

Leash walks are truly essential for any dog’s enjoyment. Dogs like to travel, especially with their people. Just try picking up your dog’s leash and see the joyful reaction you get from your faithful pal. Time in the yard is OK, but unless you are out there playing with him, your dog will get bored. Then, he will get frustrated. He may even assign himself a job to keep busy, like digging a labyrinth of holes only a gopher would love. He could also become territorial, seeing activity on the street as a threat.

I am dozing in the hole I made. I am trying to catch the small animal that lives below. I had a dream that it invited me below the ground where it lives, but I was too big to fit. I jerk awake when my human opens the door to the yard and yells at me. I crouch and try to slide past her into the house, but she slips a leash and collar on me. I jump for joy and lick her hands and face as many times as I can. We both rush to the door. Then I’m out, walking in front of my person past the empty lot where the squirrels live and the house where the cats glare from the porch. New smells greet me around every corner. I hold my head high now and let the other yard dogs bark at me. I don’t bark back at them. I know how they feel.

By Amy Robinson