by Gloria Carlson

I recently adopted a dog from our local Humane Society, and find, not surprisingly, that I now have a different view of many things. Things around me that I may have taken for granted before have taken on a new, special quality since Danny, my dog, entered my life.

I found that walking Danny down the hill each morning, or in Ballantine Park in the afternoon, or outside my house late in the evening, is an exercise not only of the body, but of the mind. As he noses along inhaling mysterious scents, snuffling among the grasses, and leaves, purposely engaged in his own doggy quest; I find myself looking up at the blue sky, and listening to the gurgle of Liddle Brook as we stop and go along its length. Or perhaps on another grayer day, as I gaze at the low, moisture-filled, foggy drifts caught and held by the surrounding hills, I take the time to admire their particular beauty. At night sometimes there are the stars or the moon to look upon and wonder about. Our walks give me the time and space to think. Sometimes, there are concrete plans to make, and other times I can just let my mind wander where it will.

Together, Danny and I have discovered paths in Andes that I probably never would have found otherwise. Sometimes we have adventures. One night we met a skunk, (we departed quickly). Another day, we watched from a distance as a falconer patiently tried to lure her magnificent, errant bird from its perch high above. At dusk, earlier this fall, bats often caught my attention. As Danny poked around, sniffing the ground; my eyes were looking upwards, riveted on those extraordinarily swift, darting shapes

Having a dog has meant taking time out of my day to care for this other creature’s needs: to be walked, played with, and trained to be the best he can be.

However, I have received much in return, such as Danny’s unquestioning companionship and loyalty. Our daily walks have provided me with an exercise program and the time to look anew at the beauty around me. Those walks have given me space to think, dream and plan. And above all, I can also appreciate the good fortune that has allowed me to share this bounty with Danny. ~



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