Walking 2 Dogs and Writing by Stephen

Stephen W. BuehlerThis Blog by Stephen W. Buehler

Seymour and Spumoni

Seymour and Spumoni

For thee next two weeks my dog Seymour and I will be enjoying of the company of a friend’s dog, Spumoni. I never had a pet, not even as a child, until five years ago when I adopted Seymour. Since then I’ve learned about responsibility and getting outside of my own head. I spend too much time in there, as a writer and as a person who lives alone. Seymour and I typically take three walks a day, every day, every week, every year for the past five years. With Spumoni visiting we take at least three walks, usually four. It’s a routine and I have to live with it.

Me and Seymour - we each had a haircut that day.

Me and Seymour – we each had a haircut that day.

I love the walks, I hate the walks. On some days I’m impatient and can’t wait for it to end and other days I like to keep walking and search out unexplored parts of the neighborhood. It’s the same with writing. Some days I hate it, other days I love it. Sometimes I sit and wait and wait and nothing comes, while on good days it just pours out of me. On those days it’s like walking Spumoni. She loves to keep moving forward, sniff the next patch of grass, eyes a dog in the distance and can’t wait to meet it. She’s fearless and undaunting which is how I wish I was more often.

Seymour longing for a walk.

Seymour longing for a walk.

On the other hand, Seymour likes to stop often, explore, sit down and look around. When he sees a dog in the distance his nose twitches, trying to capture of the scent of the nearby canine before he’ll go near it. He’ll wait for the dog to come to him. I applaud his tendency for checking everything out along the walk, for being careful and literary, for stopping to smell the roses, but those walks can take forever. I feel like I almost have to pull him along. I can become impatient and frustrated. And once again, it can be like my writing experience. I have an idea but it takes forever to find the right structure, then to get myself to sit down, then write it, then rewrite it and rewrite it again. I just want it finished and out there to be read.

While walking these two dogs, sometimes one is way out front and the other is lagging behind. My arms are completely outstretched and I feel I’m being pulled apart, right down the middle. I just have to be patient until they both find the same walking speed and then my universe is in harmony again.

One of the best byproducts of these walks is that my subconscious goes into overdrive and either comes up with original ideas or solves problems that I’m working on. If I put a thought in my head like, “How can I make this character appear to be guilty when he’s not?” most likely I’ll have the solution by the time I take Seymour’s leash off.

On Seymour's down time he likes to read.

On Seymour’s down time he likes to read.

There’s good and bad to be said for Spumoni’s and Seymour’s walking styles. And that’s how life goes. Sometimes the dog/muse pulls you along by the leash and the walk is quick and efficient. Other days the dog/muse lags behind, getting the job done but not at the speed you hope for. But you write anyway. And then take your dog for another walk.

(Though they didn’t actually type any of this, Seymour and Spumoni helped me write this blog.)

Do your pets help or hinder your creativity?

After a long walk, relaxing by the pool.

After a long walk, relaxing by the pool.

Stephen W. Buehler Join Stephen on Stephen Buehler

Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. His story, Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and was a Derringer Finalist. A Job’s a Job was published in Believe Me or Not An Unreliable Anthology. His is seeking a home for his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician, psychics and of course, murder. He is also currently shopping around his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. By day he is also a script/story consultant, magician and a nice guy.  www.stephenbuehler.com

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22 Responses to Walking 2 Dogs and Writing by Stephen

  1. Mike Staton says:

    I’ve always had cats. Kind of hard to take cats on walks. Lol. But friends have had dogs, and at times I’ve walked with them as they walked their dog. I’ve noticed how a dog, especially a big one, can drag their human along when the doggie takes off at a fast clip. My former roommate Deb had a Pomeranian, Max, who went crazy when the leash came out of the drawer. Boy, he loved walks as well as rides in her car.

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    • Thanks Mike,
      Seymour is a rescue, but like I’m pretty sure he’s part Pomeranian- like your ex-roommate’s dog, The ears and tail gives it away. Spumoni goes crazy when the leash comes out, Seymour is more laid back.

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  2. Craig Faustus Buck says:

    Interesting question, Stephen, and good blog. I’ve always had big dogs. The last two were Rhodesian ridgebacks. I’m dogless now, but when I found the ridgebacks to be excellent writing dogs because they don’t demand a lot of attention, but the like to be near. So my dog would lie by my side as i wrote and provide companionship to what is otherwise a lonely job. He was content to just be there, so I was able to give my full attention to my work, but when I needed a fix of otherness, I could reach over and give the dog a few pats. I’m not sure I can say he affected my creativity one way or another, but he did make the work more pleasant.

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  3. Great post, Stephen. I love how you relate it to writing and it’s so true. I too get so impatient with Hana. She used to zoom around the neighborhood and that’s definitely more my speed. But now that she’s older, she takes her sweet time and I have to remind myself that I can’t rush her. It’d be like hurrying a 90-year-old woman on a walk. But I swear she’d spend all day on some lawns or plants sniffing them if I let her. Here’s to our fur babies and how they inspire us as well as frustrate us, just like our writing.

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  4. I have cats and Boots hinders me. I finally sit down to write and she stands in front of the monitor or lays across the keyboard. If I put her on the floor she jumps up again. Then the cats take turn wanting to come inside (I have to open the door for them) and go out. I tells ya, I get no respect!

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  5. Neva Bodin says:

    I like your analogies. And your understanding of your furry friends. I find when painting or writing and everything pulls me along, like Spumoni, I do my best work, and in a fast and efficient manner. Pulling myself (or a Seymour) along, does get frustrating. Love the picture of the dog reading.

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    • Thanks Neva,
      I didn’t put the connection of walking a dog and writing until I had to walk both dogs and saw the yin and yang of the situation. Every once in a great while Seymour and I have the “perfect” walk, where he kept to my side and I felt like he wasn’t there. We were completely in sync.
      – Stephen

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  6. I don’t have any pets, although I like cats and dogs. After caring for my late husband for six years, I’m still not ready to care for another living thing, even though it has been two years, and even though cats and dogs don’t require nearly as much care as people partially paralyzed by two strokes. Although the responsibility for caring for a pet would definitely take time away from my writing, but a pet could enhance my creativity. Who knows?

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  7. Abbie,
    One other thing I like about having Seymour around, I can talk to myself and nobody thinks I crazy.
    Thanks for the comment.
    – Stephen

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Our dogs might not be my muses, but they sure are my yoga instructors, my drill sergeants, and my spiritual advisers. They get me off my rear to do a little exercise every now and then and drag me around the block and give me unconditional love. And I guess they do clear my mind of clutter so I can continue writing. Thanks for explaining this, Stephen.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Travis says:

    This blogs is going to the dogs! Great post, Stephen. I especially like that line about being pulled both ways. Great job relating dog walks and writing. My wife and I have 2 turtles that don’t require too much. I’ve wanted to have a dog for several years, but now that I got a baby, I think I’ll have to wait a little longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Doris says:

    Writing and walking are the same for me. Well said. Doris

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  11. Nancy Jardine says:

    I don’t have any dogs and never have, Stephen, but I do have two young grandkids who pull me in both directions regularly. My writing is equally pulled forwards and backwards when regular childminding intervenes with the limited creativity I’ve managed for the last couple of years! No matter… becasue the walking is very good for me regardless! 🙂

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  12. Wranglers says:

    I love animals of any kind. I have a great little dog right now, she’s perfect for us. She doesn’t demand a lot of attention, but she’s willing to do whatever we want. If we want to give her more attention, she’ll gladly lap it up. I think dogs are calming and exciting at the same time, and the walks do give you time to think, and I’m with you, at least people won’t think I’m talking to myself. Great photos. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  13. katewyland says:

    Love your dog/muse analogy. I have a cat familiar who likes to be with me when I’m writing, but I can’t say I’ve ever noticed any inspiration from her. On the other hand, riding my horse on the trails is a great way to free up my mind and come up with ideas. I miss my time with her (she’s 30 and mostly blind, so our riding days are over).

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  14. wyoauthor1 says:

    LOVED YOUR POST, STEPHEN! Since I write about dogs, I do find them quite inspiring, and I’m grateful to be able to share lessons I’ve learned from my dogs and turn those into inspirational writings. Walking a dog can be a great challenge but also, as you said, provide ample opportunity to mull things over and be creative once you return home. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post and the great photos with us!

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  15. Joe Stephens says:

    Because of my living situation, I don’t have a dog for about the first time in my adult life and I find that, although I didn’t always want to do it, I really miss taking them for walks. I loved wandering around the yard exploring places I may not even notice if it hadn’t been for their stopping to smell. Thanks for the memories. 🙂

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