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.
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.