I took a long walk last Saturday morning around Bibury and the River Coln, one of my favourite walks in the area. The views are spectacular, the route is straightforward, and it’s got just the right amount of hills to keep things interesting without being overly challenging.
This was the first walk I’ve been on in recent memories where I didn’t take the dog. Since adopting Jay, I’ve felt this obligation to take the dog with me whenever I go for a walk, despite Jay’s current inability to walk calming on the leash, come when called, and accomplish other such feats of obedience that are still way beyond his capacity.
But this time, I left the dog at home, and took Tim along instead.
I had no idea how much I needed this until I found myself bounding along at a good clip talking a mile a minute about things on my mind – it’s amazing what spills out when I’m not too busy trying to keep the dog under control! I barely took notice of the near-perfect weather and stunning countryside, though I’m sure both contributed in their own way to the immense satisfaction I felt when the walk was over.
Walking is one of my favourite things, and I’ve totally let it slide. I thought the dog would be a walking companion, but I’ve got to give up on that idea until he’s trained. In the meantime, I’ll take time out for me, to walk for my own enjoyment.
I’ve also go to know when it’s time to throw in the towel. I’ve decided I’m giving myself until the end of this year with Jay – if by then he’s still completely out of control, then I’ve got to accept that Jay and I just aren’t right for each other. It pains me to think about Jay that way, but it also gives me a bit of drive to really master his training. Hopefully we’ll learn to understand each other so he can come along and enjoy some of these glorious days with me.