Who walks the dog in your family?
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Macclesfield man Peter Munday wants to know who walks the dog in your house
The bond between a man and his dog is ingrained in history – almost as long as the rest of the family have handed over the walks to dad. Read Peter Munday’s latest column for Cheshire Life
The bond between a man and his dog is ingrained in history – almost as long as the rest of the family have handed over the walks to dad While I am not the bravest individual, I have never had any fear of dogs. I was once in a beer garden where people were cowering away from an enormous Neapolitan mastiff (they used to fight lions in the Coliseum), with a bark so deep and loud that you’d expect Hagrid to be on the other end of the lead. Somehow it took a shine to me and after that, getting a dog at some stage was probably inevitable.
One weekend we went to meet (as they say) some gorgeous border collie puppies on a farm in Rainow, and that was how Oscar came into our life. At first, the family competed to take him out walking up to four times a day. Three months later, Oscar knew precisely whose footsteps to dog, and the morning trot has been pretty much my job for the past eight years or so.
Dog walkers are nearly all nice people. We greet each other and, in the dog-walking community, a puppy is as revered as a new-born child. There are, of course, the weirdos: one owner blamed his dog’s aggression on the brown cords I was wearing. Another time, Oscar, as a puppy, was set upon in a stream by a huge dog, with the owner saying it was Oscar’s fault for carrying a stick in his mouth.
While Alderley Edge is great for celebrity dog spotting and Tegg’s Nose is a wonderful walk, the Bollin Valley Country Park in Tytherington is the favourite place to go. In the final field, before the woods in Prestbury, there is even an oxbow lake that is a popular swimming hole for dogs.
A man’s best friend is his dog, so the saying goes, and it is also his oldest friend by a long chalk. Domesticated horses go back a mere 5,000 years in human history, but there are skeletal remains of a dog entwined with its owner going back at least 20,000 years, according to archaeological records.
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It got me wondering: if you’ve been out for a bit of a drinking session during the day and come back worse for wear, you might be a bit of a pariah to the family. But never to the dog.
I wonder whether that caveman had been down the Flintstones Arms for one too many, and his wife had clubbed him – and the dog – to death?