Hey, just thinking…we really don’t need much, you know. Us dogs. A little food, water, warm place to sleep…not much to ask.
But you want to know a secret? One thing we really like…we really like to please you. Please remember that. Please remember to tell us what you want us to do. Not just what we’re doing wrong. It’s called training. We can’t do it right if we don’t know what right is. We’re smart, we learn really good at all ages, but we’re really impressionable (big word, I know) when we’re little. Please remember that. Please give us the time to show you. It’s an investment you’ll be happy you made. For life. We promise. Cross all four paws…just not at the same time.
Other things we like…to hear that relief in your voice when we don’t chase the ball into the street, when we don’t jump up on the little girl down the block…the praise in your voice when you get home late from work and we were soooo gooood. No chewing, no going through the garbage, no messes— but please let us out NOW! All you see when you get home is the indentation, the warm place on our bed where we were sleeping, dreaming of the minute when you would come through the door. We missed you. We always miss you when you’re gone. Even five minutes. Scout’s honor.
You know that’s what we do during the day…dream about you. OK, yeah, we might watch the squirrels chase each other around the backyard, maybe let out a warning “woof” when we hear the mailman’s truck pull up, reminisce about the liver treat you gave us last night when you were eating that delicious looking bowl of ice cream. Thanks, by the way. We don’t like Vanilla Swiss Almond anyway! Right.
But a recurring dream we have? You guessed it. That we’re taking a walk. Just you and me. Remember? Like last Saturday when you found the time? We wish you could find it—the time—every day. I think you might want to check under the bed…But we’ll take what we can get. Even if it’s just a short stroll around the block or a long walk through the park. Doesn’t matter. We’ve got all the time in the world.
Remember what we saw on our walk? EVERYTHING! It was such a nice day, on Saturday…but you want to know a secret? I’ll go even in the rain. On Tuesday. You can even wake me up at 2am when you can’t sleep because it’s full moon and you just had to have that espresso after dinner. Hey, I’ll go. I’m game. And I won’t ever complain that it’s too late, or too early. I promise.
Oh, our walks…just the two of us. The things we’ve seen! Remember the ducks crossing the street? I wanted sooo bad to chase them but I learned an important difference between me and ducks: They have wings! Remember the cardinal singing so high in the tree that we couldn’t see it? But we both stopped to look anyway? You smiled. A warm smile. I remember. I knew it made you feel good. His pretty song. I could feel it, too. Remember walking by the lake and the sound the waves made against those rocks we sometimes sit on? Slap, swoosh, slap. And then we stopped for a minute to admire that pretty yard. Where the lady lives who sometimes asks if she can pet me? She’s nice. I wonder if she has any treats in her cupboard? Wanna ask next time?
Hey, thanks for getting me out of the house. Thanks for showing me how to walk by your side. I remember when I was little. All I wanted to do was pull, pull, pull. But you were patient. OK, sometimes not so patient. But I learned. You were the boss. If I wanted to walk, I needed to walk by your side. I know, you were right, it’s a better experience for both of us that way.
You know what? Not only do I love to walk by your side. I love just being next to you. Being with you. I’m so happy to be out there with you. You’ve seen how high I hold my head with my tail so straight, right? So proud. So fancy. It doesn’t matter if the day’s gray, bright blue sky, windy…it doesn’t matter if you’re sad and need a little cheering up. A walk ALWAYS makes us both feel better. You know it’s true. C’mon, admit it. Let’s go…please? I remember where you put the leash. It’s right next to the “time.”
Can’t walk today? OK. I know that sometimes life gets in the way. Someone has to buy the treats. Like I said, it’s about being by your side. Being “your” dog. Making YOU happy. I love you, you know? And it’s not because of the treats (OK, maybe a little) or the fancy leather leash or the collar with the faux diamonds (hey, I know the difference) or my squeaky porcupine or the 12th tennis ball I somehow lost again under the back deck…
I love you because of the one thing you can’t buy me. I love you because…you love me. Simple, right? We need each other, you know? Thank you for caring, for showing me your love. Thank you for brushing me when I don’t really need it, for the walks when you don’t really feel like it, for going back into the store when we’re already a block away because you forgot to buy me treats, for remembering that quick pet even though you’re running late for work, for talking to me with that voice you only use for me.
Thank you for being my best friend. See my tail? It’s wagging for you. See my eyes, they’re looking at you. Feel my kisses? Yep, all for you. I love you, too. Maybe more than you know. I’ll never stop. Loving you. I promise.
~The Walk was inspired by my many walks with Sophie