I walked my dog today. It was the same walk we’d taken for five years, since she came to live with us. It was a similar path that we take often and it was a Friday morning of no particular meaning. Except today was a very special Friday morning. You see, I haven’t walked a dog in over four months. I have been walking dogs, my own personal dogs for twenty years, last week, as a matter of fact. Because of a pretty major health issue, I have not been able to walk my dogs since before Christmas. So today’s walk was a big deal, actually it was huge.
The first thing I noticed was the sun. It was brighter than ever. It was one of those beloved “Chicago blue skies”, that I talk about often. Sometimes the colder it is the more deep the blue. It doesn’t always have to be cold to be so blue and today the sun warmed us nicely. I LOVE it when the sky is deep blue, and even a little deeper with sunglasses. It feeds my soul. A small wonder I see almost every day, only today it was exquisite. Something to be so grateful for.
I noticed my little fuzzy best friend walking next to me. When we first brought her home several years ago she was a terror of a terrier to walk. She had been in a shelter a long time and she was rearing to go. She was VERY interested, to say the least, when she saw any form of wildlife. Here it’s birds, squirrels, some white-tailed deer and a few bunnies who cross our path. I thought back to those days and how we worked with her every day. Now she is my first choice of three dogs to walk, who won’t yank my recovering body around, not even once. I knew that before we left today and it is an absolute comfort knowing she won’t hurt me with her pulling. All of a sudden it dawned on me once again, this simple task of training her made this spectacular day possible. I am so grateful for my dog who walks well on leash today.
We went to our baseball field in the sun. If you’ve read Pat Miller’s book “Play With Your Dog” you’ll recognize that we (me and my fuzzy dog) always stop at the baseball field and run the bases. Today on our first walk it was no different. We walked over to home plate and walked instead of ran the bases. It was slow, but we made sure as we always do that we touched every base and then then slapped home plate with a big “touch” to score the winning run. Or in this case, the “click and treat”. It was beautiful rounding those bases today, it wasn’t Wrigley Field, but today it was better. I am so grateful for being on a baseball field today with my best friend.
My dogs and I have walked oceans for miles. Most of my dogs have swam in both the Atlantic and Pacific. We have hiked through beautiful forests, and farmland. We have been to Cooperstown and Canon Beach and everywhere in between, but no walk was better than today and no place was ever better than my home town today. The sky was so blue, it took my breath away.
We spend a lot of time in our lives sweating the small stuff. But today I learned a valuable lesson. The small stuff is to be rejoiced, celebrated. To be able to be so grateful for just being. We are here to be able to take our dog for a walk, to touch a loved one, or look at the blue sky and have it take your breath away. If we insist on sweating the small stuff, and often we do, don’t we also owe it to ourselves to rejoice the small stuff? Gratitude doesn’t have to start with winning the lottery. If you’re mindful, it can be just a small dog, a small walk, and a look at the sky,