Walking Dogs While Smoking a Cigar

June 30, 2011 · Posted in Cigar 101, The Perfect Draw 

Theoretically smoking a cigar while walking the dogs always goes so smoothly and is a wonderful joy for all involved. I am at the park smoking a good cigar and the dogs are galloping around and not getting muddy from the tip of the their noses to the end of their tales. Alas, that never happens.

My first problem is that it’s inevitably windy at the park and it wrecks havoc on the lighting of my cigar. I have to crouch in a ball and say a prayer to get my cigar lit well enough. When I do this I must look a lot like a gigantic armadillo in the presence of a predator. Then, once it’s lit the burn line will almost always give me problems. It burns a little to fast on this side and on the other side it doesn’t burn fast enough. Rotating doesn’t work because it seems like the winds can sense me turning my cigar and will shift itself accordingly.

But that isn’t where my problems end, oh no. The taste of the cigar is off too. It’s not like the cigar is waste, it still tastes good, but it’s different. Whether it be to the smells of the park, the walking around or thanks to the helping hand my friend the wind has given me the cigar always seems to lack as much flavor as when I’m smoking it sitting down.

There’s more. Now that I have my cigar lit and have started to walk my dogs, two chocolate labs weighing 75 and 95 pounds, have already sprinted off to make sure their scent is still on that tree and the thousand others at the park. No bother, I say to myself, no one else is here! And that is usually the case except for when it’s not.

Sometimes other people will show up at the park and sometimes they will have the gall to bring their dogs as well. And then sometimes they will have the temerity to ask me to leash my dogs. Well, I think you can see the beginnings of a problem here since I have two dogs and three things to hold: my cigar, with its misbehaving burn line, and my two substantial dogs with enough energy to run for miles. Oh, and the bag I have to carry that holds leashes, water bowl and an Epipen since the more substantial dog is deathly allergic to bees and wasps.

So what choices do I have? I can either throw the cigar away, which is a cheaper cigar but it’s still a cigar, or I can sling the bag under my left arm, hold both of the leashes in my left hand and continue smoking. More often than not I choose the latter option because I’m stubborn.

That’s usually the worst that happens when I’m walking my dogs with a cigar. Occasionally things are worse. As was the case the other day when within a couple of minutes of getting to the park my boys find a girl dog in heat. And I’m smoking a cigar. And all the dogs are off leash. So here I am pulling 170 lbs of dog away from the thing they most want in this world with a cigar in my mouth.

Once I have finally separated them from the female dog I am dumb enough to let go of them for a minute so that I can get leashes on them. As you may have guessed, that was stupid of me so I had to do my best impression of history and repeat myself. But this time the leashes were ready and the cigar was safely resting on a picnic table not made out of wood (the likelihood of starting a fire if I had put my cigar on a wooden table is basically zero but still not worth it).

In the end I just let the cigar go out and walked my horny dogs on leash for the remainder of the walk. I was somewhat angry with them at the time but that was pretty dumb because they are dogs and I don’t think they could have stopped themselves from doing it like they do it on the Discovery Channel if they had tried. And it’s not like either of them was about to try that Herculean task of self restraint either.

One of the other negative situations I am faced with while smoking a cigar while taking my dogs on a walk is when my dog walking friends are also at the park. They aren’t the kind of people who will complain about dogs being off leash since their dogs are also off leash but some of them are the kinds of people who will overtly hint at their disgust of cigar smoke.

For a while I would just politely let my cigars go out whenever a nonsmoker dog walker would pop by but then I realized that I just don’t like some of these people. Fortunately, the ones I like are also smokers, mostly cigarette smokers, but they will at least not pretend to need to cough when they get within a country mile of cigar smoke. So, for this situation at least, there is an ancillary benefit to smoking a cigar while walking my dogs.

Oh, I almost forgot about the one thing that unites, or at least should unite, all dog walkers: the poop bag. For whatever reason, my dogs have decided that the park is the best place to take a crap. Actually, they usually take many craps down there. So I have to hold the cigar in my mouth, take out the blue plastic bag, open it up and turn it inside out with my hand inside, take the cigar out of my mouth so that when I bend over to pick up the poop I don’t choke on the smoke and pass out into my dog’s feces, pick up the poop, stand up and put the cigar back in my mouth, tie the poop back together so that it won’t smell so bad in the trash can and then throw it away in the trash can. Yes, it’s a complicated process but it’s the right thing to do. I always hated stepping in crap when I was a kid at the park.

I guess now is as good a time as any to make your reading of this post of dog walker angst worth your while. So here are some tips if you too want to smoke a cigar while walking your dogs:

  • Bring one of your cheaper cigars along since it won’t be as good as it would be if you were sitting down.
  • Bring a cigar with a little extra body to it because mild cigars will end up tasting like nothing at the park.
  • Know your dogs, if they are going to be a pain in your butt most of the time then don’t smoke that cigar.
  • Light your cigar in the car so that you can mitigate the wind’s interference.
  • Keep your lighter on you because you will probably need to do some burn line maintenance along the way.
  • Watch out for other people with dogs because if your dogs are anything like mine they will get more unruly around other dogs.
  • Go at a time when the park will be almost completely empty like early morning, the afternoon or at night.

Do you have any dog walking stories?


One Response to “Walking Dogs While Smoking a Cigar”

  1. trimarkc on July 1st, 2011 9:15 am

    Lots to complain about! And I can’t disagree, either, having had all the same issues (except for the other dog in heat :-)

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