- It means that I am not being torn in two by Paddy racing ahead and Jake 'hoovering' every inch of the ground in ever decreasing circles.
- I get twice the exercise, which has got to have some benefits some time - hopefully.
Paddy has been a challenge to walk ever since we got him. It starts before I open the front door, with me requiring him to sit and him reluctantly complying with a heartfelt groan. (Have you ever heard a dog groan? Nor me, till we got him!) I open the door and then we have the tussle over how long it's going to take for him to sit and wait for me to go out first and then allow him to follow.
The next potential problem happens if we see a squirrel, rabbit or cat, which sets his mood for the walk and means that it's a struggle all the way. When he is in a pulling mood, there is constant stopping, waiting for him to focus again before continuing the walk and then repeating the process a little further on until he eventually gets the message - "We're not going to get very far unless I get my act together and start walking properly."
If we meet another dog, I've found that it usually helps if I pull him to the side and wait until the other one has passed. Otherwise, the chances are that he'll think it's playtime, which doesn't always go down well with the other dog's owner.
Jake, on the other hand, is a breeze. Ignores cats and all other forms of life met along the way. He's far more interested in all the fascinating smells, which does tend to slow us down rather as he insists on hoovering up every single one. His delight in all these olfactory stimuli is palpable. If I meet any other dog owner with him in tow, I need take no evasive action, I can pass the time of day or stop and chat if the occasion demands it, secure in the knowledge that Jake will wait patiently, nose to the ground, until all the nearby smells are tucked away in his little brain.
Back home, however, the drill is the same for both - out for the count!