When I was growing up I lived in houses with decent back yards, so the dogs could get a reasonable amount of exercise. It wasn't until recently that I live in a house with a back yard that's roughly the size of my bathtub; so now I have dog-walking duties.
I don't mind walking the dog. It forces me to get some exercise when I might normally just become part of the sofa. And it takes some of the creepiness factor out of my walks. When I'm by myself, I'm a potential threat. With the pooch I'm just another shlub walking the dog. You never think of Jack the Ripper or The Hillside Strangler with a leash and a baggie of fresh dog crap. So as I see the neighborhood hotties walk or jog by, when I'm by myself I tend to get averted eyes and "don't look at me" postures; with the dog I get smiles.
Or I should say, I typically get smiles from moms pushing strollers. God forbid the lady has a dog of her own, because then it's Michael Vick at the corner...
The other day I was standing at a corner with my dog, waiting for the light to change. A lady jogs up next to me. She's gorgeous. I smile at her. She smiles back. My dog looks at hers, and hers is looking at mine. I'm about to say something witting and charming and
grrrrrrr — that's her dog; and mine is growling, and I'm now having to buckle my knees and lean back because my dog is in tractor mode, pulling toward the other dog —
GRRRRRROOOWWWWWLLLL — and now she's pulling her dog back, and that's when the light flicked and poof, they were gone before blood could be shed.
I've had a pleasant, but very short, shouted conversation with what may be a nifty lady across a street, as we tried to get our frothing and frantic dogs past each other. At least twice a week I cause pandemonium at a local barber shop because her dog sees mine as I walk past and we're being invaded! Must kill foreign dog!!!.
There's another lady in the neighborhood whom I'd very much like to see at closer than half-a-block distance, but as soon as one of us spots the other, we jockey for position to put as much distance and parked cars between us as possible. I know nothing about her because I can't get within 50 yards of her.
People tell me that women are attracted to cute dogs (and mine is undeniably fluffy and adorably cute); but walking the dog is like having a Jane Doe restraining order.