A dog walk is not simply a one dimensional, functional activity. That is what little Schnauzer Sofi reminded me this morning on our business like walk around the block. Sofi lives in Dubai and her hood is sandy, concretey and hot. I am used to walking dogs in the English countryside; watching them bound through bracken or swim splashily through sparkly water and so initially I felt a little sorry for Sofi. Until I observed her, closely.
She dons her lead like a badge of office and assumes the pose: ' I am now on official business' her whole demeanour declares to the world. Head raised, chest puffed out and she is off with the confidence of a Crufts winner. As the lift pings its arrival, Sofi noses the doors open and strides in. She has timed her sweep of smells to the second - with huge efficiency - to end on the second ping, when she bursts out to the lobby and after a cursory schmooz at the guard, she greets and analyses the outside air,standing squarely into the breeze, quivering slighlty, one paw raised.
She then moves speedily into action, lead gently taut but never tight, her little legs pedalling on the sandy ground, yet effortlessly gliding. No smell is left unsmellt. she utilises every hair on her chizzled muzzle to funnel and waft smell-messages to her busy brain. Each dull looking bush is a prayer flag dispenser, a treasure trove of canine gossip. She not only sniffs each bush, but each branch of each bush and each leaf of each branch. Sometimes her whole head disappears into the bush and becomes an erect sensory machine, ears cocked, a paw raised, docked tail erect.
I cannot begin to imagine the importance of Sofi's walks to her whole being...and were I to drag her on from yet another boring bush, it surely would be like someone whipping your social media screen from under your nose. Sofi lives in the here and now, relishes the moment with every cell in her body and a tiny part of her enjoyment and relish has rubbed off on me.