My Dog Doesn’t Feel Like It

Three weeks ago, I got a dog!!!

Now that the initial excitement has subsided (well, somewhat), Harry and I are settling into our routine and getting to know each other. While he’s the most perfect, adorable dog ever, there have been some trying moments.

My name is Harry & I'm the cutest!

My name is Harry & I’m the cutest!

One thing in particular is a real challenge. Sometimes Harry doesn’t always want to walk. We’re outside with all the other dogs, he’s on his leash and I have treats. Doesn’t seem to matter. Harry plops himself down on the ground and just sits. Unmovable. Not budging for anything – even the bacon treats I bought and know he likes.

He doesn’t seem to care that it’s 95 degrees with full humidity and mommy is starting to look like a creepy, melting wax figure. He’s not particularly impressed when I try to use different tones of voice or a variety of catch phrases and key words. “Come on, Harry.” “Let’s walk.” “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DOG!”

And even when I point out to Harry that all of the other doggies like to walk with their owners, he appears indifferent. Or he licks himself. I commend his independence and strong sense of self, but sometimes mommy needs to get to work. Unless my cute little poodle mix would like to dust off his resume, get a job and help with the bills.

This not-walking has been a source of contention in our otherwise copacetic relationship. But the other night, it hit me. Harry’s not stubbornly sitting down to spite me. He’s doing it to tell me something – to send me a message.

He needs a break. Simple as that.

How often do I push myself in my writing (not to mention, in my life) when I’m tired, overwhelmed, stressed out. The writing is never good, which tends to stress me out even more. Sometimes I need a little rest.

But I must throw up a big flag of caution. Taking a breather is not the same as quitting. You can’t give up. The trick is to figure out that delicate balance between giving yourself a break and knowing when to push a little more. Let’s all be honest. It’s super easy to justify taking a break. I’ve thought about 13 different reasons why I need a break just writing this post. But I decided to forge ahead.

Now, if only I could get Harry to follow me.

I like to "help" with laundry.

I like to “help” with laundry.

17 thoughts on “My Dog Doesn’t Feel Like It

  1. I don’t think this is normal. Sorry. But I would ask someone who knows about animals why this is happening and how to fix it. And enjoy. Dogs can really be cool, and a couple of years ago I would not have believed it. Heat can influence him, I guess. Keep us posted. We care.

  2. I would like to first say, YES! We all need a little break, a time out, a breather to catch up or refresh whether we are a doggie or a person. Secondly, I would counter what Beth said above, not all doggie are good walker, and well some are a bit more chill. This does not mean your doggie is not ‘normal’. Every person as a personality and Harry, who is so darn cute btw, has his too. Keep up the good work Kerri, getting to learn more about about Harry, sharing more of yourself with him, and taking the time you need whether in writing or in life. I am sure, before long, you will both fall into step.

  3. You and Harry are both the cutest things ever. And you definitely both deserve a break from time to time. Especially a snuggles break! *snuggles*

  4. I am all for just plopping down and chilling out 😉 It’s hot, he has a lot of hair…he needs a break.

    Harry is toooo cute. And every dog has their own likes, dislikes and unique personality.

    In writing I have taken many breaks. Sometimes I just need to regroup. Or step back from something so I can see the big picture.

  5. So. Darn. Cute. Thanks for sharing the pics, Kerri! Harry is ADORABLE! And I agree. Breaks are necessary and healthy. And I think you can be more productive after you take a break, so it’s time well spent.

  6. Hmmm… I had the opposite with our last dog (may he RIP). My alarm would go off and his nose would be in my face, ready to be walked. Didn’t matter that I had to get ready for work first. No sir. I was up, so why wasn’t the leash on?

    Maybe Harry’s a night-dog and prefers a walk before bedtime. Or, maybe he just doesn’t like walking at all. If that’s the case, you might just need to tie him up outside for him to do his business.

    Harry is a cutie, though. Hope you have many, happy years with him.

  7. Harry is the cutest! Now about walking…I’m not an expert, but Boomer, who we all remember fondly and lived to be 17, never went on walks. Not that we didn’t try, he just didn’t feel like it. He also didn’t like to go outside when it was hot, raining, or windy, but did like snow. After visiting your area, I think Harry is smart not to walk when it so stinking hot there. Besides he walks a little bit and probably thinks the other dogs are dumb!!! So give yourself and Harry a break…you’re doing great.

  8. This is a normal thing for a dog who hasn’t been in the habit of being walked. It’s totally okay and you two will work it out eventually. Unfortunately for you, this will require extra time in the morning (I know, I know!) to allow for a few sit-down-protests from Harry. Being a dog-mommy helped me develop an enormous amount of patience and endless depths of kindness for others, though I haven’t yet managed to apply any of it to myself when it comes to finishing my book! When writing and revising, I often plant myself firmly in the Harry camp and then yell at myself. This doesn’t work with dogs any more than it works with people.
    Thanks for the reminder to exercise patience with myself while actively working towards my goal!

  9. Our dog didn’t go on walks, she went to patrol. She had been trained as a police dog, but flunked out. If she wanted to run, let go of the leash or kiss the pavement.

  10. Kerri,
    Oh my goodness is he cute!!! As you know I have a 65 lb Standard Poodle. Standard Poodles are extremely smart and very athletic…. however Coco hates to walk! Ever since she was a puppy she would saunter halfway down the block and then she would sit and sit and sit. No amount of coaxing could get her to go, the only way she would get up and move was if I turned and walked toward home. One day I took her to a park, unleashed her and and let her go. It was then that I realized that she would run in the park to the point of exhaustion. From that point on we drove to the park, I unleashed her and she ran till she was too tired to run anymore.The good part is Coco is incredibly obedient and will come when called so I didn’t have to worry much about her running away or greeting passers by.
    I guess, like us, dogs have their own little idiosyncrasies, and we just need to tune in to them.

  11. Kerri–I am sooo looking forward to meeting Harry. With the heat and humidity he is so smart to not want to walk. I do not want to walk when the temp is 95 and the humidity is also 95%. Just remember, I am available for dog sitting, if the need should arise.

    Best wishes to you and to Harry!

  12. Thank you to everyone for your kind words about Harry! A little background – Harry was surrendered by his owner (along with his brother and mother) to a high kill shelter. The rescue group I got him from went to SC, had him neutered and then drove him to VA the next day. I haven’t had him three weeks yet.

    I believe he’s still acclimating and I live in a very busy, but very dog-friendly, area. Lots of new smells, sounds, people, animals, etc. I think the not-walking comes from a combination of being a stubborn poodle, getting used to his new environment and it being one million degrees in VA this week. But he gets better and better each day. So I’m very proud of him.

    But I’m still recognizing the times when he needs a break. And the times I need a break too.

    Thanks again for the kind words and support!!!

  13. He is such a cuddle munckin, even with his stubborn refusal to do anything at times! I think that he is teaching all of us a lesson here – and I think I could use a Harry in my life to chill me out a bit!

  14. Kerri,
    I love his dogged determination (pun intended) to stand firm on his need for a break. Lol. God love him. Harry and I should hang out. I don’t want to take walks either–although the extra weight I’m sporting tells me that I should. We all do need breaks. I’m on a nice long one right now.
    Good luck with sweet Harry. He is a keeper! And so, so adorable.

  15. Aww, I heart Harry and Kerri 🙂 My pug likes to stop walking usually when we are on Fairfax County Parkway and oh, say, a mile away from our house. I usually just pick him up and carry him home…but next summer I’m getting him a little red wagon for those moments when he just can’t go another step. Hugs to Harry!

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