A few years ago my landlord, Doug – of the most delicious bbq in town – had this ageing dog named Lul[a]. Auburn hide, taught over lipoma masses, grey around her muzzle, she was a quivering mass of energy. Prone to head-butting for pets and awkward crotch nuzzling.
He invited me to take her along when going for walks.
She was terrible on a leash.
It was always a battle and we were both frequently frustrated.
I, bound up in the leash. She, straining, one leg kicking awkwardly from it being wrapped in her armpit.
Both growling under our breath.
Then, one day, we were far enough out and fed enough up.
We had a heart to heart.
I unhooked the leash.
Suddenly, all was well in the world. She scampered and sniffed and usually came when called (unless whatever she had found merited inspection by the whole pack). Turns out, she knew the trails behind our house better than I.
Turns out, it was never I taking her for a walk; rather, we wandered together.