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wisdom of dogs, Issue #015 -- Year of mindfulness
June 09, 2021

Mindful Dog Walking

Walking a beagle requires full attention. That makes it a great mindfulness practice. I must stay in the moment. I must be fully present.

I see people at the park with their well-behaved dogs who never pull or randomly stop to examine a smell. The dog trots along beside the human who is usually scrolling through their phone. I envy these people with their busy social lives. They are getting messages from very important people. They don’t have time to pay attention to their dogs or their neighbors or the flowers or well anything not on that tiny screen.

Okay that’s sarcasm and I don’t envy them.

I think it is sad.

Walks with my dogs have always been about companionship. It is a way for us to bond and strengthen our pack. Every walk is a journey undertaken by the pack at the direction of the alpha (that’s me.) My dogs follow my directions (mostly.) They offer their opinions about which trail to take or which spots to avoid. Ultimately I decide. That’s my job.

It’s sad to see a dog following her human, being a good pack member but getting nothing back.

They don’t get to socialize with other dogs or people, which is fine. Not all alphas want their pack to do that.

But these alphas aren’t giving their dog any attention either. The dog is pretty much alone on the walk, but without the autonomy to go where they please. They get no reward for being a loyal pack member, no encouragement to keep being that loyal follower.

The humans are missing out too. They ignore their dog and miss out on the love and admiration their dog might have for them.

What matters to me.

Walking Sandy keeps me on my toes. I have to scan for hazards: snakes, ground bees, and fire ants. Even more I watch for smelly looking things that might make Sandy think “I should roll in that.”

My dog is not the best behaved dog at the park. And I may not be the best alpha according to some trainers. But we are having fun and we are doing it together.

That’s what counts.

Here's what Sandy has to say about our walks: walking_a_beagle.html

Now get outside and walk your dog - mindfully!

Happy Tail Wags,

Suzanne inspiration-and-entertainment-blog.html

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