What Dogs Really Want from Humans

Brought to you by Gatsby the Weimaraner:

Kyle makes some interesting points in his post “City Dog v Country Dog” but I must disagree with him on a few points.  As you continue to read his posts, you will notice that he enjoys making grand generalizations, but don’t worry because I will always get the tail to stop wagging the dog for you.

I must first inquire, where exactly is this countryside to which Kyle refers because it sounds like the most isolated place on earth? Seriously.  When I visited Kyle’s human family last November in Pennsylvania I clearly recall taking in the scent of several other canines.  In fact, there was a very loud one who resided across the street from where we were staying.  Kyle makes it sound as if a country dog never sees other dogs.  Oh silly Kyle, don’t you recall the other dogs we encountered while walking with your nephews to the river?  Although I may see more dogs on a daily basis in the city, I also value quality more than quantity.

Kyle also states:

…a city dog can enjoy countless unique experiences with his owner like shopping on Michigan Avenue, scarfing up popcorn from the floor at dog-friendly bars, and shopping at multiple pet stores in a single day.  My childhood dog, Solomon, only ever visited the vet and the groomer.

I must first extend my deepest sympathy to poor Solomon for being limited to such a sheltered life, especially since he was surrounded by so many acres of beautiful countryside to explore.  That limited experience was in no way related to where Solomon resided, it was instead a result of young Kyle’s ignorance to true canine desire.  I’m thankful to report that he has greatly improved in that area in his adult life, and it’s because of Kyle that I experience a life fulfilling enough to provide me with content for my own blog.

Kyle called attention to several urban activities a city dog can enjoy, and I do love the people who like to feed me popcorn at bars like River Shannon.  Perhaps my favorite part is making fun of Kyle’s reactions while he cleans up after my “accidents” the following day…silly humans and their plastic bags.  Sadly, Kyle failed to mention one of my favorite activities in his list of experiences: a trip to the Dog Exercise Areas at the  Lake County Forest Preserves.  This activity is by no means something that the typical city dweller gets to enjoy, but I can assure you that it should be on every pooch’s bucket list regardless of where he calls home.  Five unique areas spread across Lake County provide me with opportunities to show off my strong swimming skills to all the sexy ladies before challenging the boys to a foot race across wide-open grassy clearings – which I always win of course.  Then Kyle and I connect with nature as we stroll along the wooded paths.  Granted, Kyle gives me a fair amount of freedom on our city walks, but it’s so much more exhilarating when I am able to completely let loose on these country adventures without having to worry about hiding my desire to chase all the pesky squirrels and birds who cross my path just because some member of PETA may chase me down.  In the city I am a gentleman, but in the country I get to be a savage! (Note from Kyle: Gatsby has never injured an animal of any kind.  He just likes to pretend he’s a tough guy from time to time.)

I will go into more details about each of the dog exercise areas in future posts, but you should visit them immediately.  That way you’ll be able to better relate to my entertaining anecdotal tales about all the tail wagging fun.

For now I want you to focus on this:

Life for a city dog is not more rewarding than life for a country dog; it’s just different.  The quality of life for a dog is not created by his location but rather by the humans and canines in his life.  It is up to every human to make sure his dog is well exercised, treated with respect, given clear consistent directions, and most importantly allowed to be a dog.  If you follow these guidelines and take some time to learn our simple language, we won’t bark out of turn, chew your favorite shoes or drag you down the street.  We just want to spend time with you, and whether we live in Chicago where there are dog-friendly activities on every corner or in Highville, PA where you might need to take us on more car rides to find new adventures, we will always be grateful to you for allowing us to co-exist in your world rather than working to transform us from canines to humans.  We walk on four legs, and you walk on two so it’s natural that we should see the world differently, but when we bring together our two perspectives we become our very own version of Lassie and Timmy.


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  • Gatsby, you would LOVE the dog exercise area in Mundelein as well (Rt. 176 and Fairfield) ... much better than the Lake Forest area on muddy days because it's on higher ground. Happy exploring! Sue

  • Thanks Sue! Now that Kyle is feeling better and the weather's so nice, I'll be sure to demand he takes me to Mundelein this weekend.

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