- Quality of Life & Wellness
Walking the Dog Through the Seasons
My 17-year-old daughter has a dog. She’s a sweet thing that she rescued from the Humane Society. She’s part terrier and looks like a huge Chihuahua to me. When we first got her, of course, the agreement was that my daughter would totally take care of her, especially the feeding and the walking. But that was before I actually realized how much fun walking the dog could be. And what a health benefit it is as well. My daughter sometimes reminds me about how walking is good for the heart, and also to keep me healthy in the weight department. At least once a day, and always at night, I take my turn walking the dog. Sometimes I will even do it more often because on a snowy Winter evening, or a nice Spring afternoon, I get the urge to take off with the dog and do some exploring. And she’s quite a good companion.
We first got her in the Fall. Although I don’t like to stop and sniff everything as much as she does, I do enjoy the smell of a campfire or smoke from someone’s fireplace in the air. I loved to look at the color of the leaves as they changed color on the trees. The Fall makes me realize how grateful I am to live in a state that has four seasons. The smell of the leaves in Fall is a warm and homey scent to me. Sometimes, the dog and I would walk by grape vines with ripened grapes on them. I could smell them from the road. Fall is full of orange, which is my favorite color. We saw a lot of orange on our walks in the Fall. From orange leaves to orange pumpkins, to orange flames in the outdoor fire pit of our neighbor as he built fires and sat around them with friends at night.
I walked her in Winter next. I do also enjoy the fresh, clean scent as the snow falls. The air so crisp and clean, and the snow falling so quietly you can hardly hear anything because the snow blankets the ground and muffles most sounds. It is so very peaceful. It would make me sad not to be able to share the beautiful flakes falling on the white carpeted lawns and trees, except I have the dog to share these beautiful moments with. And that makes those moments twice as good. I have noticed, from walking the dog, that Winter is full of white and blue. White as the snow blankets the earth and the blue of the sky after the snow falls and the sun comes out to sparkle on the snow, bringing out the whiteness of it so strongly that one needs sunglasses just to be able to handle it.
Now it is Spring, and the birds are out, and the squirrels are hopping around. She tries to chase them, being part terrier. She runs after them as they scamper up a tree, wagging her tail as she stands on her hind legs looking up at where she last saw them. We live near woods, and if we walk up the road about five minutes, past a few houses, we come to the woods on either side of the road. There is a stream overflowing with water now that the ice is melting. It’s beautiful, and I love to hear the water as it rushes over the rocks. We have startled deer in these woods, and seen more squirrels and a few rabbits. I love catching sight of Spring flowers, daffodils and crocuses pushing their way up through the Spring soil. Spring is full of yellow and purple, and the green of new grass.
On our walks at night sometimes the moon is so big and bright that when I walk out the front door with my faithful walking companion, it looks as though someone turned on a large flashlight and is shining it on our front lawn. Those are the nights when the stars seem extra bright and beautiful. It’s hard not to feel happy inside when there is this much beauty around us.
The next season we will be walking in is Summer. Since we just got her in the Fall, I haven't had the pleasure of exploring our surroundings in the Summer yet. But I am sure it will be an adventure, full of sights and sounds and colors of its own.
The dog spends our walks sniffing and snorting scents she has picked up. Her head shoots up when she catches a scent of some animal or hears the rustling of a bird or animal in the bushes. Her ears stick straight up at attention, listening for all creature sounds. I spend my time scanning the woods for glimpses of wildlife that I feel would be a privilege to be able to catch a glimpse of. The dog, of course, wants to run after all the wildlife. I am not sure what she would do with it if she actually caught it. I prefer to admire the sight of it from afar so as not to disturb it in its natural habitat. Sometimes I call her over to me, and I sit down on a rock. She sits next to me, ears up, back straight, looking around so as not to miss anything exciting. I pet her, and we sit there quietly for awhile, two quiet companions enjoying some of God’s most beautiful creations together. I love these walks with the dog.
What is Your Favorite Season to Walk in?
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