Dog checking out the historic district

My mom likes to take me for walks in the historic alleys. There’s less traffic, she says, and people are more dog-friendly.

She’s especially fond of Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously occupied residential street in the US. She talks about the historic homes and tries to educate me about brick work, fan lights and architecture. Since she is a volunteer AIA guide she knows a lot about Philadelphia history so we keep stopping to view a particularly quaint structure from 200 years ago.

As a dog, my attitude is, “Who cares?” But I insist on taking time to stop and sniff the history of each post on the street.

“I wonder if people tied up their horses there 200 years ago,” my mom muses. I have more recent activities in mind.

Dog Training: Leave the books, go with a trainer

Yesterday my mom read me a story about a family who got a dog from a breeder. Read the story here.

The author, Jill Abramson, said the family watched the Cesar Milan tapes and bought the book by the Monks of New Skete.

I would just advise this family not to buy too many dog manuals or watch TV shows. (Why are you indoors watching television anyway? You should be out with the dog.) Instead, invest in a good trainer and learn modern techniques.

Some training tips are just plain cruel. My mom read about books that tell owners to stick dogs’ noses in water to cure them of digging. Yuk.

My mom has been training me to walk politely on my leash. She points out that I can hurt her when I pull too hard. Yeah, right. Just in case, she now carries a spray bottle with water and a pocket full of treats. When I pull on the leash, I get squirted very gently. (She has the setting on mist and can’t figure out how to change it. An unmechanical mom can be a blessing to a dog.)

And when I’m walking along, I get treats. “Treat!” my mom calls and I stop what I’m doing.

Who wants atired old chicken bone when you can have a fresh baked biscuit? Well, most of the time, anyway. Gotta keep the mom on her toes.

Dog Walking: The Perfect Profession

My mom just read me a story about a banker who lost her job. She couldn’t find a corporate position so she started walking dogs. You can read the story here.

Here’s what she wrote: “…I get so much gratification from walking dogs. They’re so appreciative of the simplest things you do for them. No matter how bad my day may be going, when I walk into a home and the dog is so happy to see me and gives me kisses, it puts a different spin on the day.”

I know just what she means. When my Aunt Sara comes to take me for a trip to Magnuson Park, I jump up and  down. Aunt Sara tells me to sit so she can put my leash on but I am so excited! Dog walkers are saints in my book.

More people should be dog walkers. My mom says we need cat groomers even more than dog walkers. She was hoping to find a mobile unit to groom Ophelia. Finally she gave up and just ordered a new comb. She’s become quite the do-it-yourselfer these days.

My paws get tired…

With the beautiful weather we’re having, my mom decided we should walk to her gym in the evening. Actually, she walks to the gym. I get dropped off at Downtown Dog Lounge to sit on the couch and hang out with my friend Summer and all the other dogs.

We walk about a mile and a half. Yesterday we were running late so my mom insisted we walk fast. No time for sniffing, she said. And besides, she added proudly, walking fast is better exercise.

Well, I sure don’t need to lose weight. I am in great shape. Maybe my mom could stand to drop a few inches here and here, but why do I have to go along with the program?

Cathy is very sensitive about weight, though, so I’m not saying a word. She holds the keys to my treats.