Wasn’t there a song called “Walking the Dog?” I think there was. Even though I’ve written tons of posts about Sophie and our walks, I never seem to tire of it. I’m hoping you don’t either.
Wow, look at that green grass! What a beautiful day that was. At the moment we are knee to butt deep in snow here in Minnesota. The temp is about 5 degrees above zero with a “windchill” several degrees below zero. This picture cheers me up. Back to our walks. Taking her for a walk is my refuge. I empty my pockets before we go. No keys, phone, nothing. I used to take my phone along, just in case something serious happened I could call for help, but I quit. If I fell and cracked my head on the ice Sophie would probably eat me anyway, so why worry.
While we are on our walks I am away from the computer, the phone, TV, (which I hardly ever look at anyway) and all other stimulus that assaults my brain. We are in the country which means we’re out in nature, and it’s beautiful here. Rolling hills of farmland, a lake, birds and animals and wind. Almost always wind. Everything is frozen and covered in snow this time of year but the daylight hours are getting longer and the first day of spring is only a little over 40 days away.
My wife and I tend to hibernate a little in winter. Tuesday I went to our local DFL precinct caucus and met some of our neighbors for the first time. When I told them where I live they said, “Oh sure, we see you walking your dog sometimes.” Oops, maybe I should socialize more. But then again, maybe not. I don’t know how it is for other people but for me, what with all the activity of work, the UU fellowship, and other things I do to stay busy, I really like my time alone. Two of our kids come over just about every Friday night with three of our grand kids and for a while the house is noisy and fun. But after they’ve gone home, it’s so quiet and peaceful and I really appreciate that. Our days of raising children are over, now it’s their turn. They get all the noise and chaos.
Besides being good exercise, which I need, our walks are usually peaceful and I can think about things I need to consider or I can practice “mindfulness” (see my earlier post on this). Except today. The wind is blowing pretty good and the some of the snow in the front yard has been blown away revealing dead leaves from last Fall. The leaves are blowing across the yard, which is movement, which attracts Sophie, which means that she tried to drag me across the yard to chase them. She is a Husky/Malamute cross which means she has had running and pulling bred into her genes for centuries and when she decides to chase something you better be ready. Today, luckily I was ready. I have to hold the leash with both hands and my arms bent at the elbow to prevent serious injury to my shoulder or back. She can jerk you so hard as to separate your shoulder or wrench your back. She doesn’t mean any harm, she’s just that powerful. At least I think she doesn’t mean any harm, however the way she looks at me sometimes I wonder if I don’t resemble a steak.
I highly recommend taking walks, with or without a dog. It’s peaceful stress relief, and gets you out in nature. Check out a State or local park or walking trails if you have access. And if you do get a dog, I’d recommend a smaller one.