Tuesday 27 September 2016

5 lessons from walking the dog

I seem to be the one who walks the dog these days. Douglas tried for awhile, but had problems with her pulling away from him and hurting herself. And Steve works (which seems an adequate excuse in his eyes, even on his days off.) So I walk her, morning and night.
It has meant getting back into the habit of waking early (no mean feat when my bed companion often wakes, nixing our morning walk), having comfortable runners, and learning to control a dog, who may only weigh in at 26kg, but when she uses all those muscles to run could easily pull me off my feet!

But as the days get warmer (meaning no early morning scramble to find my jumper again), and it's light before I even get out of bed, I've been pondering the lessons of walking the dog over the last few days. Because there really are lessons to be found in every activity we partake in, we just need to notice them.

I have learnt patience I know this sounds strange, because I have a three year old who can tap dance on patience some days, but Daisy still considers our neighbourhood full of new smells (I follow the same path every day, so I'm not too far from the kids if Steve is at work), and I've had to learn to slow down and let her sniff them out, otherwise she can make the walk harder by pulling against me. A quick sniff often has her moving on again quickly, but she'll drag it out if I don't let her check it out.

There is quiet in the solitude In a house full of kids, finding quiet is really hard. Even when I listen to music in the evenings, there is still quiet from the noise. I often come back from a walk refreshed and ready to face whatever onslaught of "can I haves" they want to throw at me.
The neighbourhood is always changing If we walk at 6am, we rarely see cars or movement (although that house over on the right has a light on from 5am most days), but at 7am cars head out as people head to work for the day. Most Saturday evenings are quiet (we are not a party neighbourhood since the kids moved out of the party house), and we rarely meet any of the neighbourhood dogs outside their fences.

I have learnt to breathe Yep, another obvious one, because everyone breathes, but it only occurred to me a couple of days ago that I was breathing without panting or gasping for air. Sure, that's a sign that I'm getting fitter, but it's also a sign that I'm noticing my breath, and breathing to full capacity, instead of holding my breath as I walk (which I know I used to do)

My jeans fit again I have lived in jeans my whole life (I've even been known to wear them in summer), but about a year ago I had to stop wearing them because they had really become uncomfortable, digging into my weird-shaped after-kids-tummy. But about three weeks ago I just pulled them out from under the floordrobe pile and tried them on, and they fit perfectly. They still sometimes do a weird slip down the tummy thing, but as the tummy is disappearing, the jeans are staying up.

I'm sure this won't be the end of the lessons we take from having Daisy in our life, she seems to be teaching us new things every day (although I'd really love it if children would learn to put drink bottles up high!)

linking with Kylie Purtell for #IBOT



  1. We've had a lovely dog staying with us for a few days and she brings so many positive things to our family - I'm in love and it's going to be hard to part with her! Sounds like these walks are doing you the world of good :).

  2. I'd love a dog. Great reason to get walking!

  3. I love walking the dog for all those reasons too!

  4. Oh great points and I love the side benefits. I went for a walk yesterday and was reminded of when I used to walk regularly and - as you say - I'd notice the things around me more... the way things changed and it made me feel more grounded. It's something I want to continue to do again.


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