Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 8:36 am | Fair 47º


Captain’s Log: Put the Dog In Charge of the Walk

Our canine companions tend to be much more, er, observant

I had a really good chuckle while sitting at a traffic light one recent morning. It made me think that many times we should put the dog in charge of the walk.

Capt. David Bacon
Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

Ever notice how observant dogs are? How instinctive and reactive? There’s a reason for that. Adult dogs — unlike some adult people — tend to pay attention to what is around them. Sometimes we humans just don’t get it, and that’s when the dog should be in charge. Here is an illustrative story that had me cracking up.

While waiting for a green arrow at an intersection, I watched a couple who were walking a dog amble up to the corner and stop. Somehow the dog looked like the intelligent and observant one in that group. I soon learned I was right on the mark.

The couple were talking incessantly and not paying attention to anyone or anything. The dog halted at the base of the traffic light post, looked up at the pedestrian push-button, looked over at the couple, back at the push-button, back at the couple (repeatedly). I could just hear that dog thinking, “So, you gonna push the button or just stand their jabbering? I can’t reach it, ya know!”

The light changed, but they didn’t get their “Walk” signal (because they hadn’t pushed the button — a factor the dog was painfully aware of, though the people were still blathering and oblivious).

That poor, frustrated dog just sat down, lowered its head, drooped its ears and watched me wistfully as I drove by. From its look I could again hear that dog thinking, “See? This is what I put up with every day of my life.”

Yep, I thought. You should indeed be at the command end of that leash.

I drove on laughing so hard I nearly cried. I felt for that dog!

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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