Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

imaginary social dilemma

Filed under: dogs,humility — alison @ 23:01


Yes, he is wearing a sweater.

Yes, he is wearing a sweater.

The other day I took the dogs for a walk in the Parc Regional de la Nature at Papineau and Gouin. Pepe’s stamina is not so good these days, so I tucked a baby carrier in a bag just in case. And I did end up using it, posing great, if imaginary, social difficulties. Sometimes I could completely hide him inside the carrier and I could imagine that other people assumed it was a baby. But mostly his head stuck out. Besides, pretending your dog is a baby is even creepier than just treating it like one. 

I knew that rushing up to people and explaining that YES I Let Him Walk, But He’s Thirteen With Kidney Disease And He Gets Tired, OK? was not the right thing to do. And staring people down with an I Dare You To Say Something expression was not fun for anyone either. So mostly I avoided people’s gaze, which is interesting because when I am not carrying a chihuahua in a baby carrier I’m not aware that I look people in the eye that much.

One possibility would be that I just stop taking him on these walks, and just let him walk up and down the street in front of the house. That would be the sensible thing, right?

Another would be to get a BAT CARRIER to perplex, amaze and amuse.

found on

Found on Thanks, Leanne!


  1. hahahaha!
    I think I read this somewhere already!
    The bat carrier is great, unless you worry he will be cold (or make it a fuzzy snowsuit with wings outfit and call it a WOMBAT) sorry. ha ha

    Nah, you need to suck it up and deal, like I did when I busted my ass dragging a 120 lb st bernard in a trailer behind my bike, struggling to start up again at every stop, while everyone joked HAHAHA That dog should be pulling YOU!! hahaha!! Yeah, and she’s 10 yrs old, taking antiinflammatories, glucosamine, steroids etc for hip dysplasia, arthritis etc…

    Mostly I explained it. Sometimes I ignored it. Sometimes I just smiled. And sometimes I lost it completely and shouted “for god’s sake, if your grandmother weighed more than you would you make her drag YOU around instead of helping her out? She is OLD goddammit!”


    I say… buy dark glasses. (for the dog or yourself.. your choice)

    Comment by Leanne — Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 @ 23:34

  2. So cute! Ruby loved it. I think you should go for it. What about a pit bull outfit?

    Comment by Deirdre — Thursday, October 9th, 2008 @ 09:38

  3. Awww Alison…..Just keep walking the dog and taking along the carrier. If they are dog lovers they will understand and if they aren’t….to heck with them. You love your dog and care about his health…end of discussion.

    Comment by Char — Thursday, October 9th, 2008 @ 10:15

  4. After seeing Beverly Hills Chihuahua last weekend Es determined she wanted to be one for Hallowe’en. I then got to explain to her that when I searched for “chihuahua Hallowe’en costume” on ebay I got a bunch of costumes FOR chihuahuas. We both laughed.

    Comment by ina — Thursday, October 9th, 2008 @ 14:15

  5. First Point – No one seems to wonder WHY you own a baby carrier?

    Second Point – I thought Pepe WAS a baby!

    Comment by Susan — Friday, October 10th, 2008 @ 07:12

  6. If I owned a chihuahua and a bat carrier I would wear them non-stop.

    Comment by Roz — Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 @ 23:20

  7. Leanne,
    I had been thinking that I could avoid all this ridiculousness by getting a great dane next time, but I hadn’t been thinking of the arthritic hips and dragging them around in a cart bit. I guess the point is that you can’t get out of aging pet care. This is good: that means I can stick with little dogs. I don’t think I have the discipline to be a good boss for a great dane.

    Comment by alison — Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 @ 05:57

  8. Deirdre,
    Poupoune would love a pit bull outfit. With great big shoulder pads and stilts, so she would be tall and impressive. And laser beams for eyes, yeah!

    Thank you, I think you’re right. That’s a good way to look at things.

    I took that as a challenge, you know. You’re a librarian so you are a worthy opponent to pit my search skills against. And I couldn’t find any chihuahua costumes for kids either. Touché!

    1) Ahem. I made it. The previous time we’d gone for a walk I had to carry him in the crook of my arm most of the way, which was tiring and annoying. So instead of leaving him home I made a baby carrier and hoped vainly that his stamina would reappear and that I wouldn’t have to use it in public.
    2) I wrote you a post!

    You are so cool! You may be on to something.

    Comment by alison — Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 @ 06:04

  9. I have an 11-year old pug whose back legs are slowly becoming paralyzed, so we can no longer walk him around the block. It breaks my heart! I’m pretty close to ordering him one of those wheelie carts to give him his freedom back but just haven’t yet gotten up the nerve. (Plus, they cost over $300.) Or maybe I’ll just get a stroller from babies r us …I think he’s too stocky for a baby carrier.

    Comment by Cheryl — Thursday, October 16th, 2008 @ 11:59

  10. You guys, if you’ve got dogs whose backs or back ends are seizing up due to arthritis or other skeletal problems, get your dog to a veterinary chiropractor or a human chiropractor who also treats animals. (Obviously, Alison, this isn’t Pepe’s problem.) My previous Bouvier, Caleb, had spondylosis (fusion of the spine) that started when he was five. We started taking him to a vet chiropractor then and kept him going for six years. He retained most of his mobility and was able to live a good life with his condition until he died of unrelated causes at age 11. As he got older, the vet said there was no comparison between him and her other dog-clients with similar problems whose people did not want her to do chiropractic care but who did want her to prescribe steroids or other drugs. She said she could see from the dogs’ faces when they came in that Caleb was enjoying his life while the other dogs were not happy campers. In all those years we never had to put Caleb on steroids, which suppress the immune system, or on NSAIDS which have other issues. We did have him on glucosamine and other natural supports, though.

    Recently, I adopted an 11-year-old Bouv who has seriously arthritic knees as an after-effect of having being confined as a puppy in a crate all the time so he never developed proper use of his back legs. After he was adopted by his second family at six months of age he learned to compensate amazingly well but this put stress on his back. By the time we got him, his knees had become arthritic over time and his spine was out of alignment all over the place. He couldn’t walk, trot or lope normally and has trouble getting up from the floor.

    We took him to the chiropractic vet who had helped Caleb. After just four treatments Baron is moving so much better that people who knew him in his earlier life do a double-take before they recognize him. Even we are shocked — it’s helped him so much more than we ever dreamed. Our spirited old boy has got a life again! It’s obviously never too late to start.

    Hope I haven’t taken up too much space here! I always feel like I don’t get the social rules of blogging (or of responding to blogs), if there are any! I’m just so excited about what chiropractic can do for dogs, though, and want to spread the word!

    Comment by Susan W. — Friday, October 17th, 2008 @ 06:41

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