Story over a cup: Adventures in dog walking

Published 12:39 am Sunday, December 16, 2018

By Michael Cole

I am not sure what possessed me that day.

Maybe I was feeling adventurous.

Maybe I just wanted to take care of a walk in one fell swoop.

My wife thinks that I had just finally gone nuts.

Either way, this particular afternoon I decided that I would walk all four of my dogs.

Now, for those of you that know me, my four dogs have minds of their own. Walking one is a chore; walking two of them at the same time is an adventure.

Walking all four, well let’s just say that this is a balancing act of wills.

But, for whatever reason I decided to, I was going to do it.

I realized that no matter what, that I would need nerves of steel and keep them disciplined.

We keep the dogs somewhat separate. In one part of the house, the living room and kitchen we give the boys the run of the house.

In the back of the house, we keep their mother. This is done for our sanity as much as for her.

Now, the boys are named Bernie, Roswell, and Bill. Believe me, they are aptly named. Their mother is named Jada.


We got Jada back in mid-2007.  She was abandoned, and I wanted to adopt her. The wife said, no.

Then she said yes, but Jada had to stay outside.

After a night of whining, my wife said she could stay inside, but had to stay in the Living Room.

The next night, after more whining, the wife relented, and Jada could stay in the bedroom but had to sleep on the floor.

These days we just hope that she leaves us enough bed space to sleep.

Well, back in 2015 she got out, and when we found her, apparently, she had a bit too much fun, and she gave birth to the boys in February. I was running for Congress, and it was a Presidential election year.

So, when it came to naming them, we decided to go a little political. Franchesca was a Sanders supporter (I was rooting for O’Malley). We agreed a boy would be named Bernie and a girl Hillary.

Well, the first one was born, a tan butterball, my wife immediately named him Bernie.



The next boy born was called Roswell. Why, you ask? When I was a kid, I wanted a Golden Retriever, and for whatever reason, I wanted to call him Roswell.


Her third and final puppy was a black and white criminal in the making. Since it was a boy and the last puppy, Hillary was out.

We named him Bill.


All three were perfectly named. Bernie is a big heart with the looks of a Pitbull, and is brave, except in the case of the blender. Or paper bags. Or plastic bags. Or loud noises.

Well, he has a big heart.

Bill, he takes after his namesake. He has stolen and hidden at least a dozen spoons and forks. He rarely gets caught in his mischief. And, he believes himself to be a ‘lady’s man’.

Then there is Roswell. Friendly, flighty, erratic, curious. He looks like he is just convinced that the Illuminati or the deep state is after him.

Well, anyway, back to this fun day.

So, it was a disaster. From the moment I opened the door, it went from a dog walking mission to a survival mission.


A large truck drove by as I opened the door and all of them scattered with me being dragged with them.

So, picture this: I am trying desperately to hold onto three of the leashes while they go into different directions.

Roswell is standing in the doorway barking like a maniac, peering out every few seconds before retreating to the safety of the living room.

The other three are dragging me. Finally, I am able to stop them from going after the truck (which has long since gone).

But I am on the ground, my prosthetic foot has loosened.

Well, one of the reasons that we keep the boys separated from Jada, is the fact that she really can be anti-social with them.

So Bill and Bernie are trying to play and explore. All the while, when one bumps into her, she growls and barks at them.

Which they take as an invitation to play and start barking back.

Then they start trying to wrestle with her, which does not go over too well.

Which means we all are dragged along a few more feet.

All while Roswell barks at us from the safety of the house.

Imagine the sight that was to the neighbors or a passersby.

Three dogs going around and around, while a guy with a foot that seems to be going off in a weird direction is crawling back to the porch.

Happy bark. Growl. Playful Bark. Another Growl and angry bark. Adult male cussing at the three dogs as he tries to get back inside.

And then the paranoid barks from the front door that sound like “Quick! Before the Deep state catches you! Or aliens abduct you!”

Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

This goes on for what I thought was hours, but in reality, was about 5 minutes before I had everyone inside.

All of us are covered in mud. There are paw prints all over the living room floor. There is a jumbled mess of three dogs tangled up in leashes and their mother trying to get to the back.

So then and there, I decide that walking all four on that particular day was a disaster and will never happen again.

Yeah, right. I am finishing this up, so I can walk all four before it gets any colder or starts to rain.

Pray for me.

Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at