I read an article the other day that said that running errands with your dogs can be good for you. It mentioned the usual health benefits like lower blood pressure and the fact that people are happier when they’re with their dogs. I certainly can’t disagree, provided the weather isn’t dangerous or you’re going places where the dog can go inside with you. There are also safety concerns, like putting your dog in a seat belt or crate for their safety since you never know when you’ll run into a bad driver and so they aren’t a distraction for you. As long as you’ve considered those things, dogs and errands can go well together.
I was thinking about how this relates to our own lives with our dogs. I certainly enjoy having their company when I’m out and about. It makes me feel less guilty when I have them out of the house with me, instead of imagining them pining away for me at home. In reality, they’re taking naps while I’m gone, but I like to imagine they miss me. I’ve also come to realize that taking them with me usually makes my errands go faster. I hurry through stores instead of taking my time browsing through things. It often means that we get the chance to have a random little adventure together, which is a nice bonus for all of us.
The reality is sometimes different than the dream, though. We’ve all had the embarrassment of our dog having an accident somewhere they shouldn’t, almost knocking something over, taking a taste of something forbidden or just being stubborn and obstinate. I can still clearly remember how we’d walk Hawk, our second Greyhound, around and around outside before we took him in Petsmart, and darned if he didn’t leave a special in aisle six every time we took him in there. We finally came to the conclusion that Petsmart just wasn’t his happy place and quit taking him in there, and we were all a lot happier.
We don’t just take our dogs in places without some preparation. We spend time on manners and a few basic commands before we take them to most places, although pet stores are usually where we venture first. That’s a more forgiving place if something goes wrong, at least in my mind it is. If our dogs can’t handle it, we don’t put them through it. But I love having dogs who can go places with us, and I love that more places are open to the idea of them going with us. I’m also okay with there being some places they can’t go. We either don’t shop there, or we go when we’re without dogs.
I’m curious to know if our readers take their dogs on errands with them and if you feel different when you run errands with your dog as opposed to when you’re without. Dogs and errands don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but enjoying them together isn’t for everyone, either. What makes you decide whether to take your dog with you for errands or not? Does your mood affect whether you take them or not? Inquiring minds want to know.