Friday, October 27, 2006
Daily Pedicure, (aka: morning walkies)
God, in His infinite wisdom, arranged what was initially a huge inconvenience, but has turned to unexpected blessing.
Our dog, Vali, a German Shepherd mix, has always had a fenced yard in which to enjoy the freedom of her morning toilette. Moving to a wooded hilltop in PA with 2 acres of wonderful unfenced yard has presented us with the problem of what to do with a dog who would love nothing better than for us to turn her loose outside and watch as she zooms out of sight. The backyard being oh, so fascinating every time we take her out on her leash for a specific purpose, she spends that time exploring with her nose and ears all of the sensations that must thrill her to her core, but thouroughly distract her from our purpose.
So began our morning walks, (which also serve to keep her claws down- good for the wood floors). When it's time for Erin and Isaac to get to the bus stop across the street, Vali and I accompany them. After the kids get on the bus, Vali runs up the stairs for her morning treat and petting from the bus driver who is also a dog lover! Then we walk the length of our street. We live at one end and 1/2 a mile away is the last driveway at the other end. though there is still plenty of opportunity for distraction, Vali can't fight her internal biology which such a walk stimulates and our purpose is usually accomplished half-way through our walk.
Where the blessing comes in is this. Our hilltop portion of street is spectacularly beautiful this month. The noises of traffic are far away and, save in front of the new home under construction, silence reigns. But, really, silence is a relative thing. If you count the twittering of birds, it is quite the riot some mornings. Being able to hear, (no kidding) leaves falling in the woods, is amazing. The occasional acorn landing on a car roof can sound like a kettle drum. Vali's tags tinkling as she walks is enough noise to keep the deer from leaping on top of us as they dash across the road I'm sure. I have seen them getting out of our way at least once- fortunately Vali was looking the other way or I might not be musing on blessings right now.
I have so much to do between finishing painting in the dining room to unpacking, (and continuing the hunt for our alarm clock!) that even on days that I don't need to get to the store I could be busy in the house from sun-up to sundown. Vali's need has turned into the means for getting me outside to enjoy the beauty of a fall morning, which I also need. One mile is not significant exercise-wise, but the fresh, crisp air and the opportunity to detatch from the pressing business of each day has become precious to me. Talking to Vali, listening to the birds, and praying as we walk is a great way to begin each day.
Now we'll see how I feel about it once it's snow and not leaves I'm walking through!