Grit Blogs > Waking up in Kansas

Weekends Are Better with Dogs

By K.C. Compton

Tags: CP, Bob Dog, dog, morning walks,

I look forward to the weekend because I get to play. Not that we don't have plenty of fun at our actual weekday, paying gig – putting out GRIT and our other magazines – and I am eternally grateful for work I love that pays the bills. But weekend play is different. For one thing, I get to play music – at a couple of jam sessions that have been going on for years, and also in practice with my band, which has also been going on for years.

Bob Dog by the pond

But my best weekend time is getting to play with my Little Guys, which these days include Bob Dog (above), Cutie-Patootie (CP, below) and the Ace of Kittens. I never intentionally set out to have an all-male pet herd, but right now, I'm surrounded by boy-ohs.

CP ready for his closeup

It's a bit annoying that they don't have the distinction "weekend" and insist that 5:30 a.m. is still a great time to get me out of the sack. I'm often able to bribe them with an early morning feeding and get an extra hour or so of shut-eye, but basically, with the boys, the day starts early.

And once I've had coffee, their noses take us all for a walk. They HAVE to get out and smell the world, in vivid detail, and for some reason, it all goes better with me walking along beside them. I sometimes throw them out the front door and growl, like a character from Dickens, "PLAY, dammit," but they just circle the door hopefully until I start putting on my outside shoes and getting my jacket. Then we're off and running.

This morning the weather was chilly but delightful, and they coaxed me into a walk around the entire perimeter of the place, which worked out to about 40 minutes at a good clip. When we got back, I gave them rawhide chews, which CP is much more interested in having me throw than in him actually chewing. So we played toss and find for several minutes. Then the cat decided that he needed to jump in the middle of things and he and CP went at it for a while, tearing around the house in hot pursuit of each other. I sat beside Bob Dog, who is very elderly and can neither see nor hear very well. Everything comes as a surprise to him these days, and a bullet-train encounter with a cat and a 30 lb. cockerdoodle is just no fun for anyone. So I took the opportunity to sit and brush him and deflect the worst of the rambunctiousness, and we had a nice visit while they went at it.

I ended up spending nearly two hours playing with the boys, including making their food for the week. I suppose some people might think all this is time wasted. But on several occasions during our morning romp, they made me laugh out loud, and during the whole time, I didn't think about bailouts or bombardments or investments gone bad. And that's very, very good.

On my way to work Friday, I found another sweet dog by the side of the road (a few weeks ago, it was a little schnauzer mix who who ended up in a "forever home" with two of my good friends at work). This week's find didn't have such a happy ending: Someone had just put this dog (an older yellow Lab) out, apparently because she was too ill or expensive or too much of a hassle to take care of anymore. My vet said there really wasn't much that could be done for her, so we mutually agreed that euthanizing her was the only humane choice.

I wonder this morning as I remember her sweet, confused face looking up at me from that ditch, if she ever brought anyone even a fraction of the pleasure and sweetness my guys bring me on a daily basis. And I wonder how someone could repay such sweetness with such harshness.  I sure hope life is kinder to whoever left her there than they were to her.

And I am even more grateful than usual for my sweet, exuberant buddies, who always get my body moving and my heart going again.

1/14/2009 7:15:23 AM

Wow! What a story. Thanks for the comment. If I could have three wishes, one of them would most certainly be directed at caring for animals. Having been raised with beloved pets, I simply cannot imagine -- like, really, I don't have the capacity to think that way -- treating them as inanimate objects. But it's all around me, so I know that attitude is pervasive. How do you like La Paz? How long have you lived there? --KC

1/13/2009 6:14:27 PM

i so enjoyed the article "weekends are better w/dogs". i live in the country in la paz mexico and currently have 3 dogs and 1 pup. the pup we just acquired a week ago, was dumped out here, along w/her dead mother. the buzzards and the puppy fed on the carcass. this kept her alive. spaying and neutering isn't routinely practiced here so this is not the 1st time we have dealt w/someones cast off. you can't save them all, so you do your best to help those out that you can. so for now, i enjoy our early morning/evening walks in the desert w/the california girl and the 3 rescues. having a dog door...they can go out and do their duties early in the mornings if i don't feel like getting up as early...but then they are all back on the bed, w/those longing eyes...when are we going, when are we going!!!! for them, our walks are always an adventure. for me, it's a time to reflect on the things i enjoy in my life.

1/13/2009 5:42:19 PM

i enjoyed so much reading "weekends are better with dogs". i live in la paz mexico and now have 3 dogs and 1 pup...newly acquired. 3 are from here and 1 moved down w/us. there is just something special about going for a walk in the mornings y evenings w/my little pack. living out of town allows me to walk freely w/the dogs in the desert w/o worrying about traffic. it gives them ample opportunity to explore and dig then head home for breakfast or dinner. our new little acquistion was only found a week ago. someone dumped her off along w/her dead mother. she as well as the buzzards had been feasting on the carcass. sad but this sight happens so frequently here. but you can't save them just do your best to help those you can. since we have a dog door...our dogs can let themselves out to do their duties until i get up. they all wait patiently until i rise and slip into my clothes....then is's a free for all to get out the gate for the walk. but something i look forward to every day.