I was analyzing the way John and I walk and came to the conclusion that we take turns being the dog. We don’t wear collars or leads, but we shift as conditions change. If there are no cars in sight, John is always one or two steps ahead of me. He says he lets me set the pace. That means he slows down if he doesn’t hear my panting to keep up with him. I must look like an obedient dog, walking at his heels.
He is chivalrous, letting me walk on the edge of the road. When we hear a car approaching, he slows and steps behind me to walk in single file. Pedestrians are vulnerable. There is no way we want to tangle with a vehicle. If I hear a car and don’t know that he is aware of it, I call out, “Car!” The pitch and firm tone would most certainly translate to a dog as the command, “Heel!”
We’re telling the neighbors if they see us walking on the road, they’ll have time to decide which of us is the dog.