We had a couple of dogs in my family over the years, both amazing pets, and walks in all weathers was the norm.

It dawned on me today how similar a dog walk is to walking your toddler.

You know, seeing their unbridled joy at being set free from their restraints (a lead or, in this case a buggy), the fascination with the flora and fauna, or how they just shit wherever they want.

On arrival at the park this morning, M was too excited – almost dislocating her arm, and mine, in an attempt to go and chase some pigeons.

It’s all going well. She’s running free. We’re out in the fresh air. It’s all good.  That is until when you need to head in a particular direction. Or at least just not further away from where you’re trying to get to.

Every stick and twig, every stone, in fact every single thing on the grass is suddenly fascinating. You find yourself stopping every 3 or 4 centimetres, which isn’t as fun as you might think.

“Come on M!” I say…over, and over, and over again, each request becoming more desperate.

It turns into a struggle as M stops abruptly and tugs back my left arm, to look at a piece of wood chip on the ground, while I try to push the buggy and hold my coffee without spilling it down my right sleeve.

If M wasn’t dirty enough already, every puddle has to be stamped in. Over and over and over again.

Then…a stand off.

A toddler is spotted.

Just as dogs do, they approach each other with caution.

M is holding a stick, which the boy takes an interest in…a quick snatch, and it’s all over.

M is in tears and runs back to her owner/Dad, and we head home, M with her tail between her legs, so to speak.

Thankfully, this will all be forgotten by the next time we hit the park for walkies!

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