verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dog Walker Tip #3

Wear the right shoes.  But now just hold on a minute.  Before you go looking for your beat up 1974 Bean gumshoes or your smelly old sneakers, consider your dog.  Your dog is down there near your feet. Your dog has to look at your feet.  Your choice of shoes carries huge psychological, emotional,  and physical implications. After all, your feet connect you to the earth.  They ground you.  Your head may be up in the clouds, but it's your feet that carry you forward.  What you think might be sensational, but it's your feet that get you there. Our entire cultural progress may quite possibly be carried forward in your feet.  Simply put, your shoes matter.

My random surveys and the empirical evidence indicate that contrary to public opinion, the attitude of the shoe has a greater impact on the quality of the walk than the actual physical make up of the shoe.  Just pause a second and  absorb that idea: attitude over practitude.  My theory is this:  dog walkers know they must be assertive and in command.  Dogs want this.  It gives them a sense of calm to know you move the pack. One of the ways we convey our alpha-ness is in our walk.  Thoreau sauntered; we strut. Every trail, sidewalk and roadway is your runway.  And you can't strut if you're wearing shoes that say hunched-over garden mulcher, dazed grocery shopper, or lazy bum.  And that, my friend, trickles down to poor Spot.  He'll slump, he'll drag, he'll look away. Worse yet, his tail will droop. Remember, Spot has been waiting all day to see you get out of your chair and take the leash in hand.  He's patiently waited while you've emptied the garbage, checked your email, snoozed in front of the game. At last, this is your moment together--a dance atop the surface of the earth that only you two share.  Dress it up!  Be stylin'! Leave a trail! Make him proud!

I suggest cowboy boots, black patent leathers, or gold-toed flats.  Try purple suede clogs. Wear shoes that go clickety-click down the street.  If you're a hot ticket, your dog becomes a hot ticket. Watch and see.  And when other dogs approach, notice as his head is held a little higher and he is especially well-heeled.  When your shoes have the right attitude, your head will follow.  And wherever your head is, so goes your dog's.  Do it for you.  Do it for your dog.  Do it for the world.

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