We recently adopted a new younger dog who is very athletic, and the upside is that a dedicated portion the day needs to be spent walking him in the neighborhood. Even better are the days when scheduling allows exploring the local parks available in the area.
As a person who has had dogs for years I thought I know many of the cool places to walk and hike nearby, but I have found that I am now searching for new places to visit with him, and not only allow him plenty of time to absorb new sounds and smell, but to also allow me to have a bit of Radio Silence, and re-connect with nature. This also is great during the Summer when the heat can be challenging, and you can get near grass as opposed to pavement, water as opposed to not, and let yourself be observant of not only your surroundings, but how you interact with your dog.
Today I visited Alltrails to pick a new spot and decided we would try Wheaton Regional Park which is a great family venue but also has two wonderfully maintained trails which loop back to the main parking area, and you can make as easy or difficult as you have time for. During our walk we found a pond which has been designed to help clear stormwater runoff and provide a haven for turtles, and a railroad crossing for the train which makes regular loops throughout the park with kids and their families.
By the end of the trail I had a happy and tired Pooka who was looking forward to a drink and a ride home.
I try to remember that no matter whether you are tooling around the neighborhood or taking a longer excursion out in nature, putting down the phone or just using it to monitor miles is so much better with a pup in tow and time when we can communicate with each other and just listen.
I believe this makes for a better dog and a better human. Time is the one thing you can’t re-capture, and drinking in your surroundings is good for the Soul.