2 summers ago, my neighbor and teddy and i walked the trails every week day. teddy was such a sweetie- he was a bit of a clown, always happy. it was a fine way to start the day, with ted and a good friend enjoying the beauty of the foothills. that december, at 10 years old, a week after i brought halle home, he died suddenly.
since halle couldn't go far until she was much older i started looking for another exercise companion. i found echo a year ago in march. both echo and halle are great motivation. last year, i would go 3 miles with him & take her back out for a mile. she is big enough to join us now. in the process, i have lost 20 lbs, and echo has lost 8.
it's not just about exercise. it's about starting the day with something bigger than i am. watching the progression of wildflowers, hearing coyote yips and bullfrogs; red winged blackbirds, meadowlarks and doves; ducks taking off and landing; seeing fox, coyote, skunk and deer. watching the dogs check out messages, cock their heads to listen or run down the trail in a burst of speed- not chasing anything, just running to run. the dogs help me slow down and pay attention. they add to my experience and i do my best to not let them detract from anyone else's.
it isn't the same when they're leashed. it just isn't.
for a lot of us, running/hiking/biking with our dogs fills a need beyond the physical. it's hard to articulate, and that may be why this is such an emotional issue. it's easy for people who don't share the same frame of reference to negate its importance to the rest of us, but that is not going to lead to a workable solution.
anyway- enough babble- another beautiful day-