If your friends have a dog, you can share the fun without the responsibility. And I have friends with a dog. The aforementioned Guy and Kate have a young border collie called Pi*. He's lovely! He started out so fluffy he was spherical. Now he's grown up so much he is dog-shaped. And he needs dog walks.
Guy used to have an office right next to the lab; I would bump into him all the time when I was doing lab work. But he has moved to a distant corner of our mini-campus, and now I don't see him anymore. I figured I might join him walking the dog, so we could catch up! And I wouldn't complain about then reconnecting with the dog as well. And Guy was up for it. And I went in at the deep end: the morning walk! I don't normally get up before seven on a Saturday; to be honest, I rarely get up before eight on a Saturday. But now I would. And I would have to spend most of the rest of the day doing chores; there was a lot waiting for me. If you get up early the day is longer!
Guy picked me up at seven. Kate had a cold and didn't join. And it was a beautiful morning! We went to where my good-weather-morning-run goes. I might try to meet them on my actual runs; I now know their route. It's easy to see why it appealed to them too, with its lovely woods-by-the-sea views. And throwing a stick for Pi (even if it looks like a sex toy - I think they got him that strange ballistic object because he's still teething) is always nice. It was indeed a great start of the day! And by eight I was back home and could start on the chores. And by 4PM I had made such progress I allowed myself the afternoon walk too. That one lead to the beach (the one we take students to). I'm glad it's Guy and Kate who have the responsibility for this silly youngster but I'm really happy I can share the fun! And if Pi gets used to me, I might one day walk him if Guy and Kate themselves are either away, ill or otherwise not able to fulfill their duties. I owe them one!
Pi on the beach
*And two cats, but I think they lost their prominence in said household...