Walk your own dog!

Lots of things have fascinated me about Joburg over the past three months. Nobody knowing how a traffic circle works, the ardent socialising, the near-perfect weather, the ginormous potholes… But nothing prepared me for dog-walking in the leafy suburbs.

For some reason, the middle and upper classes don’t walk their own dogs – they get their “staff” to do it.

Driving around Parktown North, Houghton, Sandton and Saxonwold, I’ll often witness a young guy in overalls being dragged along by two Golden Retrievers and a Jack Russell. 29 years in Cape Town and I’d never seen this before.

It blows my mind. Half the pleasure of having a dog is in exercising with them. It’s not like this is New York, where you need professional dogwalkers because you live in a 30th floor apartment. Even my grandparents, who lived in typical colonial Rhodesia, never asked their gardener to walk the dogs.

Even Justin Timberlake walks his own dog

It’s like the women who take their maids grocery shopping with them – another Joburg quirk that leaves me speechless. I mean, how lazy can you be?

I’m starting to love this city in many ways, but this is not one of them. Walk your own dogs people, seriously.


  • November 3, 2010 - 11:22 am | Permalink

    Completely agreed. I’ve got 2 pitbulls and I won’t let anyone else walk them, bar my other half or a close doggy pal. I’m their mum so I have a responsibility to them, they are my kids but then again, SA mums do the same thing with their kids. After 4 years in SA, I still don’t understand putting your kid in a creche at 5 months old or having a maid look after it. Same with dogs. If you can’t mother your dog (or kid) don’t have one. As for the Joburg things: I’ve seen a few maids being dragged around the streets of Camps Bay where I live, however.

  • November 4, 2010 - 9:22 am | Permalink

    So true. I often see it in Cape Town’s far south, from Noordhoek to Kalk Bay, from thoroughbred gun dogs to scruffy little lapdogs. Oh, and dogs should be walked by your male domestic employee, who, preferably, is a Malawian.

  • November 10, 2010 - 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I am a fan. Just. It takes an ‘outsider’ to see what’s going on. I see this ‘walkies’ regularly in our area – due south – and have never given it a 2nd thought. But that is the joy of having a dog – to walk him or her oneself. My H would squeal his little sausage pelt off if one of my ‘helpers’ tried to drag him around our leafless woonbuurt.
    Keep socking it to us, Amanda. Found you on M&G.

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