The Water of Leith is the main river flowing through Edinburgh, from the Pentland Hills to the port of Leith, where it flows into the sea via the Firth of Forth.
Today we walked 4,250 steps to the small waterfall in Leith. It wasn’t easy going as Tango kept putting the brakes on. Maybe he’s just fed up walking down that way. Maybe he knows he can scavenge more goodies on the streets. He has a particular penchant for vomit which is more likely found on streets near pubs than on this narrow woodland path.
There are bigger and noisier waterfalls closer to town at the otherwise sleepy Dean Village.
We were here a couple of months ago when old Tang was in an “all-terrain” dog-stroller which, despite its claim, couldn’t cope with the Water of Leith path and collapsed on our return when the front wheel snapped off. If I have any hope of getting there again, I’ll have to purchase another stroller for anything over 5,000 steps. The one I had wasn’t cheap but I don’t think the manufacturers of pet strollers put as much care into their products as go into child strollers.
Well Tango’s a wee chappie and we got to the wee waterfall on our combined six legs, with his right one hurpling along as though it’s only half attached to his body. Frequently, folk go, “Awwwww!” as they pass by and some think he’s a puppy by the way he gambols, hops and totters around. A year ago, Tango was speedy gonzalez but my walks with him are no less interesting for his arthritic slow-down.
This morning I read a blog article about how some people put old dogs up for adoption because they’re “more difficult to care for”. How terribly sad and traumatic that must be for both the dog and their owner. Just because a dog ages doesn’t mean things have to be any more difficult. You just have to go with the change and adapt to a slower pace, in the same way we do when we have small children. Despite how difficult it is to find a decent stroller, I’d put that invention up there with contraception as the best invention of my lifetime. Because while Tango isn’t overweight, I am, and I need walkies even more than he does, hence the step-counter with the ultimate target of 10,000 steps.
When you see someone with a dog-stroller, please don’t snigger at how ridiculous it looks. Many of them look like child prams and people are often surprised to see a dog’s face instead of a child’s. And please don’t tut-tut about “overly-pampered” dogs in strollers. Dogs who struggle to walk still deserve fresh air and walkies and so do their owners. And sometimes, when you slow down, you observe more. Yes, it’s going to take double the time it used to, to get from A to B. But life isn’t a race to the finish line, is it? If you don’t have time in your busy life to continue to look after your dog, then drop something else – not your little loyal muckraker!