Tag Archives: city

A tour guide dog

15 Feb

First of all I would like to thank the lovely Apprentice, Never Master for awarding me with the Liebster Award. I’m flattered and it’s a great encouragement for me, given that I’m just starting here. I’m looking forward to filling the questionaire but – since I’m quite new to the whole blogging business, I decided to take some time to get a grasp as to what I’m doing here and whose blogs I really enjoy.

And now – the post.

Zzzzzzzzzzz

“Go ahead, I’m already bored”

Being a dog owner has many advantages. Having a dog will lower your blood pressure (unless you find them gnawing on your favourite pair of loafers or eating the whole bunch of hot dogs straight from the grill), they force you to maintain your daily excercise routine (getting up at 7AM on a cold, dark, snowy Sunday to go on a walk is truly a blessing), they keep you safe (only valid if you don’t own a Golden Retriever, a Golden Retriever would sell your ass to a random stranger for some belly rubs and an “awww, who’s a pwetty doggy?!”). But there’s one thing about it that often gets overlooked.

Having to take a dog for a walk makes you visit places you would have absolutely no business visiting otherwise, because “hey! we have to go there! I can smell half a broken plate burrowed in the ground 3 blocks away, I absolutely have to find it!” (true story).

Why would anybody throw out a perfectly good stick?

“Oh what’s that? It looks good… smells good… hey, it’s a tree!, I found a tree!”

If you have a dog you will also find yourself talking to seemingly random people whom you’d never meet if it wasn’t for your dog’s ability to look like a happy, smiling pile of fluff (or, in some cases, if he didn’t just happily jump on them and tackled them to the ground leaving you with an angry passer-by and a huge dry cleaning bill). There are not many things in life that will make you go outside three or four times a day and explore the neighbourhood and let’s be honest – as much as we may love going out and see things, we love staying in our Internet-connected caves even more.

So what can you find when strolling around with your four-pawed friend? Well.. sometimes it’s just an update on what’s been going on in the past few days, like fallen trees or giant puddles on the lawn after a particulary bad storm.

20121031_155719 (1)

“It was like that when I got here, I swear!”

Other times it’s just a dead rat. Or a half eaten sparrow. Not a neat sight, but if you embrace the circle of life you may find it interesting. But there are so many other things – old buildings covered in ivy, hidden somewhere in the back alley completely out of place. An old shop. A cozy little cafe or a new pizza place. An ugly building transformed to look like an old ship (I’m absolutely serious, I found one by accident). You may also encounter some rather interesting individuals – painters, novice jugglers, bartenders practising with bottles. Or an old, scared, lonely woman who just needs to tell you her story. Or if you’re really… lucky, like I once happened to be – a strangely dressed man trying to hypnotize you with his gold ruby ring so that you loosen your dogs collar (it wasn’t to tight, rest assured).

I must admit that my sister happens to live in one of the more interesting parts of Warsaw, with  beautiful old buildings (not a lot of those survived the WW2), dozens of embassies, a few parks in a few minutes walk, hundreds of shops – modern ones as well as old fashioned workshops and so on – so our little trips are particulary interesting. Not everyone gets to walk their dog next to a 200 year old mansion (currently a seat of the Warsaw Music Society)

sniff sniff

“Mansion? What mansion?”

or an allegedly haunted house.

I can tell that Sancho loves these trips even more than he loves his regular visits to the park – he gets super excited every time we take an unusual turn, his tail wagging, his nose wiggling, his ears pricked up. So many new places to sniff! New people, sometimes even new dogs! I guess we’re just both exploring, him – with his nose close to the ground, me – with my eyes on the buildings and signboards.

So if you’re new to a neighbourhood or you feel like you don’t know yours well enough – get a dog. Let him/her take you for a walk. Wander around, visit the little alleys (don’t do that at night, especially not with a Golden Retriever), take little peeks at random backyards. You will be amazed how many new and unexpected things you may see.

And with that thought it’s time to say good night. Or have a good day/afternoon/evening (choose one).

“Exploring? More like snoring!”

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