Episode 9, I sniff, therefore I am!

Episode 9,  I sniff, therefore I am!

 Hey humans! Pono here. Today Mom and I went on a most wonderful walk. Ok, so maybe I am a little biased because I think any walk with my mom is wonderful... But on this one...She started thinking about walks.. read her thoughts? Of course I can! ;) Besides her thoughts and mine are almost the same. ;)

I guess there are some folks out there that feel that a 'good' walk with their dog means the dog walks right beside them, looking up at them the whole time. To me this seems like a real pain in the neck, I mean as a human would you walk around with your nose turned toward the clouds all day? Sometimes we see dogs being walked like that and I feel so sorry for them. No chance to do any sniffing.

A word about sniffing, it is probably the most important thing to a dogs mental well being. Not being allowed to sniff is like going to a shopping mall full of enticing stores and not being allowed to go in any of them, or if someone was holding your cell phone just out of reach... you see that there are messages but you are not allow to read them or respond. What could be more maddening than that?  Oh wait, I know! They hand your phone to you and just as your start to read the messages and form a response they yank on your arm and pull you away from the phone! Makes you wanna bite somebody, doesn't it? 

I am so glad my mom lets me sniff as long as I want. She very rarely pulls me away from a sniff. And so I get to read all the messages left by other dogs and leave a message of my own. 

The next thing she thought about was choices. Who gets to make the choices on a walk? In the car, Mom makes all the choices no matter what I say, but when we go walking its a whole different story. She lets me choose most of the route, especially if I ask nicely by doing a cute sit. Mostly anyway, I can't resist going the way she asks when she calls me in that sing song way she has.

And then there is the equipment. It took years for us to figure out our favorite harness and leash. For the harness, it is the Blue9 Balance Harness with the neck buckle. It gives me so much freedom of movement its like I am not wearing anything! Now that I have worn the Blue I don't think I will ever go back.

And then there is the leash, oh we have been through so many, but what mom learned from a lady in the computer named Grisha Stewart changed our walking life for ever. (if I ever get to meet her I am gonna give her a big slobbery kiss!) Grisha taught my mom how to use something called a 'long line'. I love because it lets me easily take those few extra steps to get to all those sniffs I talked about. And mom doesn't have to leave the path, (mostly). Mom thinks I get a little more exercise because I can trot more on a long line. (my mom doesn't run a whole lot). When I stop to sniff Mom walks up ahead to almost the end of the line and waits for me to finish my sniff. She doesn't pull the leash of even put tension on it. She just turns a little toward me and waits. When I have left my message on the spot I can trot to her and up ahead to the next spot.

By the end of our walk I am so happy I got to spend time with my mom one on one, just us,and very satisfied that I got to read and send all the messages I wanted to. And I am ready for a snack and a nap!

Sometimes people tell us that old tired joke about who is walking who, Mom just smiles because she knows, We are walking each other.

Pono,The Siberian Sea Dog loving life

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