The down-side is I can’t use it to link to those three categories, but the up-side is it is very accurate; I can’t be bothered to re-categorise everything though; I do not plan on writing much about dogs.
When we lived in the countryside I could just put the dogs in the garden for the toilet. We could pretty much also let them roam free for exercise - the elder dog, when she was young, did once roam too far and herded some sheep through a hedgerow and across a burn and we had to curtail her roaming for a bit after that. In the city we do have a garden, but it’s a shared one so we thought it best not to let the dogs get in that habit. Fortunately there is a park nearby, but even if I do the smallest “going to the toilet” loop it’s fifteen minutes. So at the very minimum an hour out of my day that didn’t used to happen and really it’s more if I want to be a decent dog owner (I don’t actually want to be a dog owner at all) and give them a longer walk or play with them in the park.
This, as far as I can tell, must be the reason why I just don’t have time for anything any more.
Anyway, in trying to embrace the change and find the positives, I finally plucked up the courage* after about six months to join the “dog club” at the local park. This isn’t an official thing and they probably don’t even know I call it that, but I thought rather than trying to avoid the other dog owners I should let our dogs play with the others. This mostly seems to be a weekend thing although there do seem to be impromptu weekday ones, but who the hell has time for that?
Unfortunately it seems the old dog is as anti-social as me (she pretty much did live on a farm with only chickens and ponies for company for years) and is only interested in playing fetch on her own (having the time of her life in her old age though) which kind of draws me away from the other owners (whose dogs play together) so I can’t say I’ve talked to anyone much yet. Oh well. I at least know some people to say hello to in the street now.
* It wasn’t all my shyness, but also the fact that two dogs is tricker than one when it comes to being off the lead, especially one that has no road sense and one that just has no sense. I honestly didn’t know if they would come back and A would have killed me if I lost the little one.