What Dogs Have to Teach Us About Walking

Most of us give little thought to the motion of our daily lives; walking is a means to an end – heading to work or rushing between appointments.  Well, we are all missing the point.  It’s time to move beyond the pragmatic and often limited notion of destination, and embrace a journey of the possible.

On a recent walk with Foxy, our cuddly beagle, I let go of myself. For the first time in years, I walked. Trees once blindly passed appeared ethereal, their branches conducted by a symphony of wind. An azure sky welcomed me.  My breath, usually quick and hurried, became placid. The ubiquitous noise of city life faded. I came alive.

I call it pet pedagogy. Foxy teaches me to pause, admire, but most importantly, to reflect upon the beauty I often ignore while consumed by my anxiousness to go. She sniffs incessantly, each blade of grass a new discovery, or wriggles her body with glee when finding a suitable patch for rolling. Gandhi once said: “One can measure the moral greatness of a nation by how it treats its animals.” I also submit that one cannot fully recognize their own inherent greatness unless one remains open to the lessons animals teach us daily. They are there, quietly whispering; we must sit still long enough to listen.

Emelda De Coteau
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