Monday, April 5, 2021

Our Adventures Together

I have been letting Tucker into the building’s corridor outside my apartment, and he has been enjoying himself. He walks with his tail well up, curiously examining everything. But he is cautious, too. He keeps looking up at me, to make sure I am with him. And that started me thinking.

Tucker always looks up at my face. He doesn’t watch my feet moving beside him; he knows I am walking, keeping pace with him. He doesn’t care so much about that; he is looking at my face. He wants to see if I am paying attention to him. I usually am, because, by observing him, I can judge his mood, determine whether he is excited, scared, anxious, etc. I still must keep an eye on our surroundings, making sure I see doors open, people appear, making sure I hear voices behind doors warning me that someone may be coming out. But mostly, I am watching Tucker. I think he likes that.

This made me think further. I see many people walking their dogs outside. Most of the humans are piddling about with their cellular telephones as they walk. The dog is trotting along, enjoying his time in what he considers nature, seeing the sights, smelling the smells. Their people seem rarely to pay attention to them. They aren’t taking their dogs for walks, they are taking their dogs with them while they play on their phones. It strikes me as worse when the case involves children, whether walking with their parents or sitting in strollers. These are prime times for learning, for being a family, and sending someone a text about what was watched on tv the previous night often appears to take precedence.

When I walked outside with Parker, I walked with Parker. I talked to him - and he talked to me - asking him what he was sniffing, telling him where I saw people coming out of their houses, commenting on the birds we heard. When he stopped at some interesting scent, I asked him what he scented. When he was tired and lie down, I might suggest a better spot, and then sat with him.

Taking into account distinctive conditions, I do the same with Tucker. I do it even more so with him, because he is more timid, and is assured more by my presence and words. My urging him on makes him feel bolder, and my warnings stop him. In between, we discuss what is going on in this tiny extension of his tiny world. When I walk with Tucker, I walk with Tucker.

Some day, I won’t be able to take him on these little excursions. Some day, he will be too weak, or sick, or he will have died. I don’t want such times with my cats to be remembered for my second-rate wit in a text message. These are our adventures. These are our adventures together.


  1. There are a lot of dogs in my neighborhood, so when I'm out for my morning exercise, I see a lot of them being walked. There's one guy in particular who disturbs me. When he walks his dog, he always has his face buried in his phone. The only time he acknowledges the dog's existence is when the animal tries to go in a different direction. Then, the guy just yanks at the leash without even looking at the poor dog.

    It gives me the creeps. I just hope the guy is a hired dogwalker rather than the pet's owner.

  2. Excellent post, John. You are in the Present Moment with Tucker.

    I do see a lot of (mostly mature) people walking their dogs in our area, and some are on their phones, but many others are *with* their dogs. The same can be observed with parents of human children, or simply in general human-to-human interaction. Such is the effect of our 2021 technology coupled with our un-evolved brains.

  3. I'll admit it; sometimes I see folks walking their dogs, and want to reach over, take the lead, and say, "I'll do it!" And I don't even have a dog, but I know I'd make the experience interesting for both of us. And the doggos that I see only behind fenced yards; I hope that their humans realize that walking is important, despite time spent outside.

  4. Fun to see Tucker enjoying "hall" time with you. You are so right
    about humans and those appendages they call cell phones. Tucker
    deserves your attention and you enjoy it as much as he does. Continue
    doing as long as you both get the opportunity. He looks good with
    the tail up and investigating everything, even in a sparse corridor.

  5. You hit the nail on the head, John. Being a retired pediatric nurse as well as an animal lover, it bugs the heck out of me when I see people who are more interested in their electronics than they are in their kids or animals. No wonder people today don't know how to relate to others and are so self-centered. But that said, I love the top picture of Tucker with his tail up. He's having a great time exploring the hall.

  6. I'm sure Tucker is having a big time getting to explore the other side of the door.

  7. Well said John. I often have discussions with my daughter about the amount of time she spends on her cell when I think she ought to pay attention to Eli. She's definitely gotten better but it might because he knows how to get her attention. :)

    Tucker looks like he's enjoying his little excursions. It's fun to see how they react to being out of their normal area.

    Thanks for your kind words regarding D's accident. Take care, stay well.

  8. Yup....yet another reason I do NOT have a smart phone!

    When our pups get walked, I am as curious about the things we see/encounter as they are. I have a cell, but it stays in my pocket for emergency the time I fell...
    I sometimes take my camera along, then i can make a record of what we see that is interesting, birds, flowers, critters, or other dogs and even cats!
    If I walk by myself on occasion, I still keep my phone hidden...but the camera might be engaged!

  9. God Bless Ya John! God Bless ya!
    Your a diamond..! :)

  10. I do agree with you. Tucker looks very happy with his tail held up. When I walked the boys around are fields we would sometimes be out for up to 2 hours, and I would talk to them all the time they were beside me. They would walk on and do their own thing, but when they came back it would be announced with a chirp or a trill. Even though I could see them all of the time, when they came back I would ask them where they had been and what they had seen. It just seemed the natural thing to do.

  11. You make some good points. I also think people are too connected to their phones when they should be interacting with thsir pets.
    Tucket no doube really enjoyed his time with you and you talking to him :)

  12. You are the pet parent all pet owners should be, but sadly... are not. Everyone here just about has mentioned seeing people with their dogs who are engaged with their phones and not the dogs. I can't take Katie out- as I got her too late to acclimate her to the idea of a harness and I haven't the patience to start small and work my way up. But she does get talked to and with. She's a member of the family and her opinion is asked for...her days is asked about and her family of five, Donkey, Floppy Mousie, White Mousie etc etc are cared for by her and overseen by me. Our fur family deserve our personal attention, as well as our bodily care. You do it just right.

  13. That is so well said and is a true commentary on our society today that is all too consumed with the screen rather than life. Timmy also always looks at my face and I try my best to show him my smiles and will give him my eye blink of contentment. So true we have to always remember that our dear friends lives are shorter than ours and our memories will someday be what carries us through. Thanks

  14. PS Tucker is having such a good time just look at that tail in the air! Like an exploring kitten. Cats never lose the wonder of each second!