I miss my walks with Abby. I thought about that a lot this weekend every time I saw someone walking with their dog, enjoying the day. She and I used to put on many miles together when her legs were good and she was healthy. We had such memorable and wonderful times out and about...enjoying the fresh air and thinking of nothing but how nice it was just to be together.
I have been reading a great book called, "Dog Years" a memoir by Mark Doty. It's a very moving book about a man's relationship to his dogs and what they taught him about love, life and loss. Mark is also a Poet and you can tell that when you read his luminous words. Below is an excerpt from the book about him walking his dogs and how joyous and spiritually uplifting it always was for him. It reminded me of all those walks with Abby and how everything felt right in the world when we were out enjoying a good long stroll together. Whenever I was feeling depressed or sad...a walk with Abby would always pull me to a different, better place. She will always have a place on the path next to me.
"Walking is an affirmation of physical life. We're in the world, we're breathing, we're together. I move in a straight line, more or less, along the paths, and sometimes the dogs are right in front of me or beside me, but more often, they are threading around the path, padding in the woods or thickets or marsh on either side of me. I begin to conceive of us as one extended consciousness, reaching out in different directions, sensing, our bodies making a braided trail but our awareness overlapping. That helps, just now, when a self seems fragile, erasable. With the two of them, I'm joined to something else, perception expanded, not just stuck there in the world in my own bereft, perishable, limited body."