Do you live like a dog on a leash?

Another walk in the woods today with Pixie. Another lesson learned. Or at least well illustrated.

Generally I dislike bloggers who post cute stories about their pets – how Fluffy changed their life in some way. Nonetheless, here I go…

We went into the park with the kids today. Pixie and I have a nice little routine, a short walk into the park and home – about 30 minutes in the redwoods with the joggers and hikers and bikers and stray crazed pick-up driver trying to wipe everyone out on their way down the one lane fire road.

Pixie thinks she is one of the 3 puppies in the family – Miss M. and Mr. T being the other two, of course. So, when you have her on the retractable dental floss leash and the kids on their bikes taking off in front of us it’s really not a pretty sight. Thankfully she weighs about 7 pounds so the dental floss leash will hold her back. But she still strains against it with all her mosquito might – pulling and pulling while cutting off her oxygen intake and wheezing while she tries to gain traction against the road.

It’s really pathetic.

And once the kids get out of sight – yes, even with all the possible dangers out there I let my kids out of my sight – she really freaks out. This is made more tortuous because my kids are loud, first of all. You can hear them a quarter mile away. Second, they love to get up the hill on the other side of the deep redwood forested ravine and yell “Hi Mom!”

This really drives the dog batty.

I was tempted to let the mutt off the leash to see how long it would take her to bound through the brambles and poison oak and old growth and small creek to get up the other side to her litter mates. But I refrained.

It was a tiring walk. Not the relaxing jaunt the mutt and I have been having lately, when it’s just us. You know, listening to the water drop from the branches overhead, counting the banana slugs, enjoying the scent of forest as we walk through the fallen leaves and feel of the moist, soft soil underfoot.

So, you know, on the way back it occurred to me that we are often like Pixie. We set our sights on something, or someone, and just go after it no matter what. No matter that we are cutting off our flow of oxygen, wearing our tender feet down running futilely after something that just wants to taunt us and go on it’s merry way.

And the real bummer, aside from looking completely bonkers, ridiculous and even pathetic, is that you miss all the really cool stuff. You are straining, wheezing, crying out for attention and you miss all the natural goodness that is right there, all around you.

You miss the stroll. The sound of the rain. The give of the path. The birdsong. The breeze. The space to think and daydream. The perfect place to poop.

As I write Pixie is passed out in her little mutt bed next to a raging fire, her litter mates tucked in their human beds, dreaming of sugarplums. All of them soothed by the rain outside.

All is well again. But my advice to you? Be the mellow dog, not the frantic, pathetic one.

Woof,
Jessica

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