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The Benefits of Dog Walking

The Benefits of Dog Walking

The Benefits of Dog Walking

man walking dogs in snow



I kid you not, I've had some of the greatest thoughts in the history of the universe while walking my dog. If only I could remember any, even just one, you can be sure it would blow your mind. But alas, I have the memory of a goldfish, six seconds - seven when my wife prompts me with a pictograph, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

(Although I wouldn't).

I thought about recording my great thoughts on my iPhone, but I'd feel like an idiot talking at a phone while picking up poop. Actually, that was one of my great thoughts: You look like an idiot talking at a cell phone in public, particularly in the gym.

There - I've salvaged at least one great thought and that's just the tip of the iceberg, speaking of which: I read that the average iceberg weighs about 150,000 tons. Who did the weighing? Can you order such a scale on Amazon Prime? If so, do you still get free shipping?

When I walk the dog my mental faculties go ape - swinging, leaping, jamming, watching, listening, smelling - soaking it all in, soaking, soaking.

Like the clear, down-slurred, two-parted song of the cardinal, the beauty of its scarlet red feathers, black-masked face and regal peeked head. When the cardinal calls, I freeze in my tracks.

The glory of it all, the glory of it all.

Everybody chant: Hallelujah!

I said, Everybody chant, Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

One mo' time now.

To be alive, to take it all in, to revel in the mundane.

To walk the dog, to cleanse the steady stream of banal junk cleaving to the neurons, clinging like cobwebs on my mind.

To walk the dog: a meditation that stimulates the mind instead of emptying it, a voyage into Creation instead of the Void - a celebration of life, a jubilee of the small, the discreet, the precious.

Like the garden snail trudging along the sidewalk, oblivious to its precarious existence. I pick up the shelled gastropod and place it back in the garden. Lucky slug, I think, born with a home on its back and no mortgage. No wonder they can afford to have thousands of kids.

Looking down at the street, I spot a bus pass floating in a murky roadside puddle. I pluck the card from the mucky puddle, wipe it clean, read the name and address, study the photo ID. Holy moly, it’s Roly Poly Morrie Mecklebaum’s card, my son’s math tutor. I drop the student’s card back into his mailbox.

You caught a break, Morrie, saved yourself eighty bucks and a bucket of grief, but fear thee not young lad, for I keep watch over the neighbourhood.

I am the dog-walker and I got your back in this neighborhood, the canvass of my life.

And though I may never visit any of the Eight Wonders of the world, climb Everest or swim the English Channel, I will have feasted on all that Life has to offer - most of it anyways.

Okay, enough of it at least, it's not like I'm Moses or Churchill or even Coco Laboy, the former Expos third baseman who tied for second place with Al Oliver for the 1969 National League Rookie of the Year. Can we just say I've had a good nosh of life and move on?

Can we?

Anyhow, you get my point. It's all there my friend, no matter where you are, no matter what you are, from the snail to the cardinal and everything in between, even Coco Laboy.

I know this to be true.

Because I walk a dog around the neighborhood where wonder is abound.