Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Walk-hoppin' the dog

Dusty doesn't just walk - he walk-hops. It's a new verb, describing the action a 3-legged dog does when on a leash, goin' down the road. He's discovered the joys of walk-hoppin', and now looks expectantly at me whenever I come in from work. The first time we went for a walk-hop (I waited until his incision was completely healed before taking this on), he was very suspicious of my intentions, in that every other time he's been on a leash he's ended up at the vets - getting something cut off. I think I'd be a little wary, my own self. After only one walk-hop experience, however, he knows that the leash/harness means we're cruisin' down the hill.

Now, Dusty goes really fast for the first half of the walk-hop - he stays way ahead of me, at the very end of the leash length. Every now and then, he'll stop and look back at me as if to say, "hurry up - many things to sniff up ahead!" He pees on just about everything (more about style points later). Sometimes, he stops to roll around in an invisible something - interesting smelling to him alone. On the way back (which, by the way, is mostly uphill), Dusty goes a little more slowly. He tries to cover it up, acting as if he's being kind to an old lady and waiting for me to catch up with him. Actually, he's sneaking in a few rest periods on the uphills. By the time we get to the final 'big' hill of the driveway, I'm actually leading the way. Walk-hopping is hard work, evidently.

Peeing is an interesting endeavor for a 3-legged dog. I never knew that male dogs dressed right or left, but I think they must. When we're on the right side of the road (opposite of left, as opposed to correct or Republican), Dusty simply stops and pees. No leg to lift, no fuss. If we're on the left side of the road, he doesn't turn around to have easy access - he kinda torques his body around so that he can pee around his left hind leg. Hard to describe, but it looks a little uncomfortable. Sometimes, he actually lifts his back left leg to pee, doing a sort of doggie handstand for a few seconds. Very acrobatic! He also tries to scratch afterward, y'know how some dogs act like they're chuffing up some dirt to cover what they've just done? Well, Dusty tries to do this, with pretty comical effect. He ends up looking very silly and awkward. I laugh at him, and I think it hurts his feelings. He gets over it quickly though, and keeps trying to kick dirt over his business.

Walk-hoppin'...good stuff.

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