No, not those funnels. Rather the type that invaded our house last Tuesday. Hard, plastic, evil funnels attached to cute, cuddly puppies. Better known as Elizabethan collars, they are really torture devices for both master and pet; they bruise legs, mark up walls, and have turned both the dogs and monkeys into intolerant, impatient, crabby, crazy creatures. When in her kennel, Jasmine now barks incessantly, her high pitched, “I need attention and now” bark. Unless, she is tired or asleep. Sweet, lovable, “all I want to be is a good dog” Kona has converted into an instigator. The problem? They are prohibited from the rough and tumble play that only canine siblings can appreciate.
People suggested alternatives. They mean well, but anything less would be toast and rendered useless as we attempted to stop a frustrated dog from ripping open a suture. Consider that within the first twenty-four hours, we had reinforced the evil funnels with generous amounts of duct tape.
So we walk to manage the chaos. Walking is both good mental and physical exercise. My parents walk for hours at a time. They have walked all over the world for more than fifty years. I have meant to ask what their most interesting walk has been. Christian tugs the girls along on separate jaunts around our neighborhood each morning. Our evening routine once again involves a walk. We reconnect, which is important. It makes us better parents. Even time away from the pups includes walking; our tour of national parks and monuments this summer will involve hiking.
Kona and Jasmine are now genetic cul-de-sacs. Ken says one day they will thank us for this. But not anytime in the immediate future.