Dog Driving

If you’ve been to Buenos Aires, you’ll have seen them: dog walkers. A man or woman walking three, six, eight, a dozen dogs. More at times, hogging a sidewalk. Even a lane of traffic. Well, here on the coast there’s a new way of taking out the dog, something I’ve come to call dog driving.

At first I thought, “No way, this can’t be.” I was out walking my dog, the traditional way, step after step. Good exercise. Well, I hear this car coming and move to the side. A white Toyota pickup comes down the sandy road in the pine forest behind the house. An American Pit Bull Terrier is running behind, its leash attached to the bumper. Past they went. Up the road and back again, whizzing by. Then they stopped, about a hundred yards away. The driver gets out. He lights up, leans against the pickup. Smokes his cigarette. The dog pants. The driver drops the butt of the cigarette on the road. Steps it out and gets back in the car and leans out. “Come on, boy.” And off they go again.

My wife doubted the veracity of my report. “No way.” Then some weeks later we’re driving on the roads behind the house. And the truck and his dog come whirring/trotting by. She turned to watch and says, “No way.”

Others must have seen because this morning I go out to walk the dog. I am step, step, stepping along and then out of the drive of a house up the road a blue Fiat backs out. Bounding behind is a Giant Schnauzer. Driver revs up. Schnauzer wags tail. Rev, wag. Rev, wag. And they’re off. They’ve done three laps of the back roads before I’ve even got there. The driver’s still in his pajamas. Looking sleepy. Sipping a coffee. Maybe next time I’ll take the dog for a spin.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • JoeBruin88 September 24, 2008, 9:47 pm

    That’s hilarious, Charles. I can see myself starting a dow-driving business, but I might be driving at 50 mph.

  • Jason Lancaster October 11, 2010, 2:22 pm

    You’ve touched on the only reason that I haven’t done this with my dog. He’s got the energy, and I’m sure we would both benefit from a short “dog drive,” but I just can’t accept what it might say about me. If I’m too lazy to walk the distance with him…I don’t know. Maybe if I was older or something.

    Good story.

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