Took Brody out for a walk earlier. The day was calling for rain but it was unseasonably warm out, so I wanted to at least give him a chance of enjoying it a bit before the rain started. I got us semi-bundled up and we headed out.
I kind of let him choose the direction we went in, because it’s usually just a quick jaunt along one end of our street or the other. Once he’d decided, though, I felt we could probably get away with cutting across to another block and continue on a route we haven’t taken in quite some time. I knew he’d like it and have the chance to investigate all the smells along the way.
The thing is, we got going, and the clouds broke apart and floated away. The sun came out, and it got even warmer. I ended up taking his jacket off, and decided we should just keep walking. I think we went further than our usual long route, even! And he was awesome. He seemed to be in a great mood, and in no hurry, but not stopping for long at any point. Just sniffing and peeing and trotting along the way he does. It was so quiet and relaxing and we met other dogs and people – it was just really really nice.
i even thanked him for it when we were riding back up to the apartment in the elevator!
Obvious harm to our planet’s environment aside, it was really nice to just hang out with the puppy and explore our neighbourhood a bit and not be in any kind of rush, or have a goal in mind.
I’d never have done anything like that before living with a dog. He has definitely changed my life – and me – in our short time together so far. I actually have a lot of anxiety in terms of leaving my apartment, let alone interacting with others once I do so. And in the beginning, if I saw people coming along the sidewalk Brody and I were on, I’d have mini panic attacks and brace for the possibility that I would have to acknowledge them in some way. It was sometimes a bit better if the other people had dogs, too, but I soon learned you never really know how THAT’S going to go, either, so I started stressing about that, too.
And while Brody hasn’t turned me into a social butterfly who loves going out to roam around, he has made significant changes in how I relate to my immediate world. For one, I actually know some of my neighbours, both in the building and in the area. We greet one another whether there are dogs with any of us, or not. I still have anxiety leaving the apartment and encountering others along the way, but it’s not nearly as bad. Sometimes I barely even notice it. Walking with Brody has taught me a new level of patience, both with the speed (or lack thereof) in which we walk, and the number of times we stop, mixed with the duration of those stops.
Brody slows me down and teaches me how to just wander and explore without any goal in mind. I’m not just going to the store, or the subway to get to work. On days like today, we go for a walk. I catch myself taking in the trees and sounds and air around us. And also taking a crazy number of pictures because I actually live in a pretty nice area, and while Brody doesn’t seem to love the park as much as I do, we both still get a lot of peace from just roaming the quiet little residential streets, as well.
I don’t think I’d ever go out on my own, or anything, but I sure do love going for long lazy walks with this cute silly puppy dog, and that’s a HUGE difference for me!