Oregon’s summers are the BEST. This week’s highs were in the 70s and the lows were in the 50s. It is the perfect weather for a walk.
Tonight my walking partner was Dice. Unlike the other GSD in our home, Dice is relaxed. My walking pace is about 3 miles per hour. The other GSD’s pace is about 30 miles per hour. When Dice walks with me, we stroll at a leisurely 2 miles per hour. He is the perfect dog to teach me to slow down and enjoy all that surrounds me.
Dice stops to smell the flowers, dirt, branches, streams, grass, and anything else he can find. The way he buries his nose into something and inhales deeply reminds me of wine tasting with a wine lover. Wine tasting is big in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. We are famous for Pinot Noir (as I reflect on my day I’m enjoying a lovely glass from Cooper Mountain Vineyard). One of my more thoughtful wine buddies sticks her nose in the glass and inhales deeply before she tilts her head back, eyes closed and smiles while sighing in delight. She makes me feel appreciative and relaxed just by being with her. A walk in the woods with Dice is similar. He delights in every small note of fragrance he picks up. His excited snorts or thoughtful sniffs with eyes closed and neck outstretched just make me feel happy.
Dice knows his people. His most beloved person, my son, is seldom still. We went to the hardware store earlier in the week and I had to run after him to keep up. I included a video to show you how fast he does something as low key as shopping. When Dice walks with him, he keeps his eyes fixed on my son. Dice adores him and will do whatever he is told just because he loves my son so very much. He has no problem keeping up and thrives on pleasing his boy.
Dice may know that I’m trying to be more mindful. When he walks with me, he seems to delight in showing me how beautiful our own backyard is and how much life and magic are right there for us to enjoy. Between sniffs, he smiles at me as if it say, “God’s creation is pretty cool!”
Though it’s not exercise that brings a sweat, my walks with Dice are so rewarding and I’m always amazed by how much better I feel following our outings. This calm, peaceful time is like an appetite suppressant and mood enhancer. I wish everyone had a dog like Dice to walk on a summer night.
On Day 8 of my GSD 90X Challenge* I can celebrate a shift in attitude about taking walks throughout the day. Since our GSD guest has joined us, we’ve taken a lot of walks and the extra movement is definitely improving my fitness level. Walking with the other GSD has reminded me that I can choose the pace and enjoy the small details of the surrounding beauty.
**GSD 90X Challenge is German Shepherd Dog 90X (the x should be up a little like an exponent because every thing with GSD can seem exponentially harder). A family I love needed me to foster their dog for 90 days while they find a home that allows dogs (including German Shepherds) before school starts. One side effect having Bailey has been more movement, less time to eat, and more mindfulness.