On one recent morning, I realized that Kunga and I have entirely different ideas about our daily walks. I think of this time primarily as exercise for the big guy. Like all Danes, he’s a couch potato and sleeps as much as possible. I like to get him up and out and move those big muscles around; of course for showing I want him in condition as well. If this stimulates his mind, all to the good, but for me, the walk is about the movement.
Kunga has a decidedly different take on the walk. For him, it’s partly entertainment and partly reading the paper: he loves to amble and sniff and watch the rabbits and see who else might be out. He especially likes new routes or those we haven’t taken for a while. It’s his Facebook. He investigates who’s been there before and pees copiously and frequently in place of the “comment” or “like” button. He’s giving his come hither to the girls in the only way he can, and declaring himself to the boys at the same time.
One thing that surprises us both is the bond we forge as we walk together. I learn his body language, and mostly indulge his fun. He learns that I really mean it when I say, c’mon, let’s go. It’s a continuing negotiation, a kind of conversation about what he wants and what I need from him. Without words, we have a very complete understanding. I pity the people who talk on their cell phones and check their texts while they walk their dogs. I think they’re missing out on the chance to have a very compelling connection with another being.