Walking the dog — what it did for me and my bond with my family.
Walking and running is something Simba(pictured) really enjoys. It wasn’t until recently that I started to really enjoy it as well. My fiancée and I have been together almost a year now and her amazing personal habits have rubbed off on me immensely, however, we won’t focus on any other thing now except for walking the dog. I’ll do my best to narrow it down to five ways that it has strengthened me, my bond with our dog Simba, and the positive benefits it has had on our relationship.
- Bonding Time
Walking Simba has been so great for our doggy-daddy relationship. He views me as a superior, he listens WAY better to commands when I give them instead of only listening to mom, he’s beginning to look at me for direction as well, and we’ve learned to really trust each other.
- Energy Release
Like some people, my mind never slows down (could be un-diagnosed ADHD mixed with a splash of anxious tendencies, but we’ll touch on that another time). How I’ve learned to slow down, thanks to my fiancée Jenna and our wonderful energetic woolly Husky, Simba, is to expel our energy in a positive way. For us, that looks like a short walk in the morning, and a longer (about half hour) walk in the evening as the sun sets. This allows us two different times to “get our jitters out” and work on our cardio in a way that is fun, healthy, constructive, and benefits all three of us.
- Quality Time With My Family
These 45 sometimes 60 minutes a day that we spend traversing the wild concrete/asphalt terrain of our neighborhood really brings us together. If you’re anything like us, you like to be productive and pack as many things as possible into a 14 hour day. Aside from breakfast in the morning and the hour or so catching up on our Hulu series at night, Jenna and I don’t have a ton of time to catch up on important happenings. We’ve made it a thing to take this time and catch each other up on our family happenings, how we feel about certain things, our plans for the day/week, and even reminisce on happy memories we’ve made in 2020. We come home feeling refreshed, knowing we’re partaking in something invaluable for our relationship: communication.
- Personal Development
Some of the issues I have personally make it very hard for me to focus. All day, my mind shoots ideas, memories and issues back and forth like a pin ball. This hour out of my day, usually the days I walk Simba alone, allow for a ton of self reflection, which is CRUCIAL to your self worth and well-being. This permits me to think without much distraction (only to listen for incoming cars), and because I’m less likely to be distracted, I’m more apt to pay attention to myself; something most of you will relate to. It’s been great; I’m organizing my thoughts, creating a more productive schedule for myself, keeping my short and long-term goals at the forefront of my mind, and overall giving myself more mental space for oomph and motivation.
- Connecting With Myself, Nature And My Community
This covid19 thing really has everyone out of whack. I miss having parties, having my neighbors over for cookouts, and meeting people at the dog park for play time. BUT, it has been a blessing in disguise. Because of the mandates, my family and I have spent soo much time outdoors! We’re just tired of being all cooped up. We’ve traveled to different state parks, found new trails, are learning about nature, find new small business and small communities we weren’t aware about before (or too busy in the hustle&bustle of pre-covid life to pay attention to), Jenna even started a small garden which our neighbors adore. We have a new-found fondness for our neighborhood, an appreciation we, previously, were lacking. It’s important to like your neighborhood and be a friend and positive force in your community.
Walking helps, and your significant other, yourself, and your dog(s) will love you more for doing it. Take the extra time to find new trails, give extra pats when you come in to dry off their paws, have human and doggy treats ready for when you get back.
Thanks for reading!