I Miss Walking My Dog

May 10, 2013

The title of this must seem callous! It should read,"I Miss my Dog".

Of course I miss my dog. When she died a few months ago I was bereft. Buffy was my constant companion and friend, as she was to my husband before his passing. So, inherent in her dying, is what all of us have experienced when we have lost a beloved pet; loneliness and grief.

But there is another piece to this loss as well-one of physical wellness and social contact.

You do not need a dog to take a walk. You may belong to a walking club, have friends and neighbours who like to regularly 'stride it out', or are disciplined enough to routinely take a good walk on your own daily.

I am not one of those people. I have always walked with my dog and old habits die hard. Having had a dog all my life, this is an ingrained routine. As well, you can't decide not to go. Rain, snow, sleet or hail, the dog needs to walk.

Besides getting me moving, walking gets me out into the neighbourhood, meeting new neighbours, enjoying fun conversations with the 'regulars' who walk their dogs, and just appreciating the changes in seasons in a more intimate way.

Buffy was a great walking companion, just perfect for me. She was 13 so not too spritely, and really friendly, so we made many stops to chat with people who wanted to pet her and ask what breed she was. By the way, we never knew as she was as rescue dog we found wandering down the middle of a busy road.

You gain so much when you bring a loving animal in your life, but now that she is gone I need to dig a little deeper to hit the pavement. No excuses today for as Mr. Rogers would sing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood".