There is nothing that Atlantans love quite so much as walking their dogs in public (except, perhaps, drinking beer at festivals or patios, as a concept). And so it was not surprising that on the near-enough-to-room-temperature-so-we’ll-take-it Saint Patrick’s Day that we had this year, everyone and their mother’s great Dane was out walking the Chattahoochee trails with my friend and me.

The dogs came in all shapes in sizes. There were little terriers which were trotting along, and a few robust rottweilers, and 800 labby labs (“Are you a person? I love you!”) walking along with us.

But my favorite dogs were probably the paired set that I saw rounding the back of a muddy trail. As my friend and I were walking this side trail, we saw a couple with two dogs–one, a Great Pyrenees, and the other, a Bernese Mountain Dog.

For those of you who do not creep on dog breeds as a stress-reducing hobby, that’s basically 200 pounds of giant, fluffy dog. That’s a sofa’s worth of dog. They were completely great to see out and about.

Some weird part of me is, I think, fond of big dogs because I enjoy the fact that we as a species of ape have trained another species to walk on strings that we hold and be totally into it. I mean, really now: if those dogs had decided to peace out, they could have with ease. They are basically black bears, on leashes.

But they didn’t, because they’re excellent dogs. (I mean, look at this video of a Great Pyrenees letting goats walk on it. Or this one of a Great Pyrenees being friends with a horse.) We have bred giant, mellow, leash-bears to live in our homes and act as goat furniture and horse friends (horses, of course, being animals that we bred to carry us like moving couches). Really thinking about animal domestication blows my mind, a little bit, because seriously: leash bears.

So that is how I spent my final undergraduate spring break: hanging out with leash-bears. (I mean, that’s not all. I also got an Indian milk shake, which was excellent, and bought an orchid. Because it is a non stop party up in here.) Part of me feels like I should have gone whole hog and really done up the Cancun trip, for once in my life. But that feeling passes as soon as I realize that I hate beaches, and most crowds of my peers, and the sun.

Two more months until graduation. Then: the future!

8 thoughts on “Leash-bears

  1. I love your blogs. I remember when I thought people older than me were so cool and did fun things and I wanted to be their friends. Now I look at younger people like you, and think the same thing. Its so weird.

  2. I am a friend of your grandmother, Erin. I live in Pine Lake, Ga. (Atlanta suburb) and walk my West Highland Terrier (seriously diminished bear) twice a day. A frequent visitor to Pine Lake walks two dogs:, A Bernese Mountain Dog and a Great Pyrenees. Beautiful animals, and I wonder if they’re the same pair you saw. Enjoyed the blog, forwarded to me by Erin.

  3. Hmmm… I have seen people “walking” bunnies on a leash and pigs on a leash (all at the greatest melting pot in the city, Piedmont Park) and BTW I also saw a two great danes this past weekend

  4. Pingback: Making Myself Useful | Dances With Nerds

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