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Why I Hate Walking When It’s Sunny (30 #oneaday)

February 18, 2010

sun snow

A rare empty path on a sunny winter's day

I hate walking when the sun is out. It’s not that I don’t like the feeling of sun on my skin, because I do. (Although I hate that start of summer OMG my winter flab is not covered by enough clothes feeling but I digress…). I like the ability to be able to walk in shorts and walking boots. I like not having to hose the dog off. All of the above is good.

I also really hate mud, which i’m aware for a horsey, dog owner is kind of ridiculous. Inevitably the more sun the less mud. This even applies in the middle of winter, when more sun means freezing ground and thus no mud. This is brilliant.

I’m not such a big fan of the crowds. The stupid, slow, fair weather walkers who only venture out when the sun is out, and usually with a child of some sort.

I actually have nothing against children; it’s their behaviour around my irrationally highly strung, hyperactive dog that I take offense to. They run and scream and stamp. On one memorable occasion I was watching my friend in one of her insanely long triathlon race things, Rory was on his lead (complete with halti), and a five year old girl was repeatedly hitting him on his back leg with a stick. The dog did not appreciate this much.

For some reason there is never a solo child with parents either. The sun comes out and they travel in increasingly large packs, up to ten people or more, sometimes with a dog or even a few. This confuses matters. Do I leave Rory offlead and let him play and risk child knocking over? Do I call him back and potentially get pulled over as he tries to greet their canine companions? Will putting him on the lead mean that they grab their children and dogs in panic thinking, wrongly, that I am containing some wild and dangerous beast, only just preventing attack and death? Will he even listen to me once he has the dog(s) in his sights? Noone knows!

And then we recover, and we are past the group, with varying amounts of chaos behind us. And, around the corner, there is another group. And in the distance I can see another and another. Dog thinks it’s Christmas. I think I am in hell.

If i’m really unlucky we might then meet a surprise runner, one of those slow, it’s a nice day i’ll go for a run, ones. If they come up behind me, or Rory sees them first then i’m likely to be in for a tirade of anger that he has run up to them. If I do spot them, and they are far enough away, then I can get him back with relatively little stress (and only slight embarrassment). Then we wait, for five hours, with me trying to maintain the dog in a voluntary sit, while the runner pounds the paths towards me. Usually uphill.

By the time we reach the car both me and the dog are exhausted and thirsty, because of course I didn’t think to carry any water. I can’t feel my arms from grabbing the lead. My voice is raspy and sore. If it’s winter I can’t feel my fingers or toes: if it’s summer I am so hot I think I might collapse and die. The people milling about with their prams and dogs and toddling children ensure that it takes me a fair amount of time to persuade the dog he wants to get in the car. I don’t want to yell at him in front of an audience, and he wants to look at EVERYTHING.

I’m over it. I drive home promising myself to never walk the dog on a nice day again, except I know I will. Because he is a hyper Labradoodle and needs lots of walking (approx. two hours off lead per day).

And that is why I hate walking when it is sunny. Give me a wet rainy walk any day. Or my own private parkland. I’d settle for that.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2010 11:58 pm

    Totally with you here – the hassles, trials and tribulations of walking with a dog when it is busy are immense. Add to the equation my dog, who is deemed by some as a “dangerous” breed (parents will move their children to the other side of them to protect them from the “nasty dog”), and that that she is dominant and is quite assertive towards other (female) dogs – in reality this is non-harmful, but try telling that to the aforementioned people who assume that she, as a “dangerous” breed, is “killing” their poor pooch. All I can do is keep her on the lead and move to one side whilst my dog does her best to demonstrate how nasty people think her breed is by snarling out of the frustration of not being able to go a greet the other dog. *sigh*

    This is why I like walking routes put together from random footpaths found on the map. Certainly in Northamptonshire, I can go a whole day without seeing anyone else (other than within a field of each village), and anyone I do see tend to be nice fellow hikers with no children and no dogs!

    • sorayaleila permalink*
      February 19, 2010 8:39 am

      I’m glad to hear i’m not alone! My preferred person to come across is one person and a dog, preferably a fairly large one. When walking on local common land I find it’s usually safe. Usually a few dog walkers, and proper “doggy” people frequent these areas. Worst by far is Forestry Commission land. At least on National Trust land the dog is usually on lead.

      I put in the hours walking in the rain, snow and dark, I totally deserve these places to myself when it’s sunny! 😉


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