These days, you’ll hear plenty about how today’s parents are so obsessed with their careers, their social lives, and their Pilates that they are paying less attention to their children. That’s often cited as one reason for things like childhood obesity, video game addiction, and the disappearance of “family” dinners.
Now I have no research to support this, but my guess is that there are other, even more silent victims of our oh-so-busy schedules. And that should give us pause. Or, paws. That’s right – our dogs. We just get so busy sometimes that we just don’t have time to take that critter who lives with us for the one thing she dreams about all day long.
If you’ve ever taken an eager dog for a walk, you KNOW how much it means to them. Trotting alongside you, sticking a wet nose into bushes, following scents, disappearing into the high weeds along the roadside just “checking things out.” Can that 20 minutes possibly mean more to anyone else in your life? Will your boss lick your face if you stay a little later?
I’ll spare the pontification about how it does us good, too. That’s obvious. But even if there’s nothing involved here but guilt, fine. If you have shortchanged your dog lately with the excuse of your busy schedule, you should feel guilty. If you say you love your dog, and you want to be a responsible pet owner, GO GET THE LEASH!
I know right now if I looked toward my dog and simply asked “walk?” she would jerk her head around to stare at me…give it a second to sink in…then gallop over and jump up on my lap, with her nose about an inch from mine. Her answer couldn’t be more clear if she spoke the king’s English.
With that much joy at stake, don’t let your day-to-day preoccupations become more important. A few years down the line when you’re taking that friend to the vet for the last time, you’d give anything for one more walk. And so would she.