As Bunny mentioned yesterday, we went hiking for the first time in a while this weekend. It’s something I love to do, but it can also bring its frustrations, as well. As we were walking along on the trail, it occurred to me that we were The Fast, The Slow and The Beautiful as we made our trek.
When we go hiking, it’s to unwind and enjoy ourselves. It’s a chance to unplug from the technological world and plug into each other. At least, that’s my reasoning. There are times when I find myself getting really irritated with my other half on the trails, though. To be honest with all of you, I suggested to my husband that we take Küster and Flattery, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to take the Greyhounds and against my better judgement, I went along with it. I reasoned that Bunny needed something to write about and that Farmdale Park is the easiest hiking there is around here.
I am pretty sure my husband nixed taking Küster for two reasons. One, he’d taken the stuff out of both cars to clean them and the crate wasn’t back in the car yet. It takes a little work to get things set back up after the crate comes out of the car. The other reason is that Küs is not a laid back kind of guy. A walk or hike with him is a high intensity work out because he’s a high energy guy. No doubt I’ll hear differently if that’s not the reason, but I will say that walking Flattery is a dream in comparison to walking Küster. She keeps pace, keeps her nose mostly out of things and doesn’t pull like a sled dog on steroids.
The thing is, whenever we hike, I am walking Bunny. If she goes, there’s nothing doing than she’s walking with me. It’s just an understood fact. I love her to bits and I wouldn’t dream of making her unhappy by sending her off with Mr. Taleteller. She’ll walk with him in an emergency, but I’d better be nearby. Walking Bunny means that I am not walking fast on the trail. She’s almost eleven years old and she is not going to be rushed. Bunny’s pace is whatever Bunny decides it’s going to be and no amount of coaxing, cajoling or bribery is going to get her moving any faster.
So, when we’re out on the trail, I often find myself watching the back of my husband and Flattery as they get farther and farther away. I go out thinking we’re going to be hiking together only to realize that if I pass out, I’m just going to be left there until my husband finally looks back. It’s frustrating for me not to be able to walk with them, and annoying that the person who can’t keep up with me when we’re shopping in the local grocery store can manage to be five miles ahead of me in the forest. No matter how many times I remind him that I’m walking a senior dog, he can’t seem to remember that we’re not going to be on the fast pace of that he is.
After a while, though, I resign myself to the fact that we are just going to go as fast as we’re going to go. Once I do, I can relax and enjoy the company of my best girl. Her happiness and enthusiasm for the trail usually helps me to enjoy it more, too. And there’s also the fact that the slower pace allows me to see things out on the trail that I would probably miss if I were moving at a faster pace. The whole point of going on a hike is to enjoy the beautiful sights that Mother Nature has in her jewel box, anyway. We’re still getting exercise, just not burning quite as many calories as we would be if we were moving faster. Sometimes, there are benefits to taking the trails with an older dog, and I’m glad I get to enjoy them.