Forest Walk With The Dogs


O ften times the best adventures are shared with good friends. When exploring the woods behind my house, every day is an adventure when I am with my dogs. From the moment the door opens and the cool morning breeze rushes in, I revel in watching my dogs make every moment a new adventure. They shoot out the door, gravel from the path flying back at my feet while they launch themselves over the wall and down the hill. Shrubs and leaves hide their whole bodies, with only the shimmy of leaves and tips of tails indicating where they are blazing their own trail.
  As I step out and take a deep breath of the humid air still dripping from the grass and low leaves, I can’t help but smile as I think about the vigor with which the dogs great every day. A moment of existential quandary passes over me, as I consider why my own morning routine isn’t quite as exuberant; but soon I have my attention back to trampling down the path to watch them explore - and explore with them - whatever changes the forest has in store since the day before.
  Today, there is quite a surprise. A large tree has fallen down, with branches and debris strewn across our normal path. Soon, the dogs have traversed every centimeter of the ground surround the whole 15-meter length of the felled log, committing to memory the smell of the trunk, the branches, the now-exposed roots, and the freshly churned earth below the new landmark.
  Once the new tree has been thoroughly examined, we all move on to find the right stick to chew for the day, a trail of deer prints in the mud to follow, and a few quick pauses to simply enjoy the sunshine on our faces in the clearing at the bottom of the hill.
  With a hike back to the house in store, we all turn back up the hill with the dogs leading the way effortlessly. Back inside we all enjoy our breakfasts. While I settle into a day of work, the dogs drift off to sleep and dream of the new tree, the deer, and - with a small yip and some twitching paws - what I can only assume is that mysterious rabbit who seems to appear only on the best of days.