Crunching through snow, squinting in bright sunshine, being battered by wind and hail and splashing through rainstorms. People often ask whether I find it a bind, but one of the unexpected highlights of dog ownership has been our daily walk.
I like the discipline of having to go out, even if I’m not in the mood. Sometimes I run, but mostly I potter, phone switched to camera. I always feel better for it.
I like the types I encounter on the way. Fellow dog owners, we swap names and ages of pets, much like I used to in my playground days. Solo runners, some of them friends, we mouth hello or morning as we cross paths. Groups of sweaty people in bibs doing press ups on the grass as a sergeant major type yells at them. Tired parents in the playground with toddlers, clutching takeaway coffees as if they’re the only thing keeping them upright. The child minder of indeterminate age, with her small charges hunting for snails or lying on their tummies on the railway bridge, squealing with excitement as trains race underneath them. The drawn, anxious mothers pushing tiny babies in prams who I want to hug and tell them it will all be OK.
And always, everyday, the dog. Sniffing, galumphing, stealing balls, bounding and leaping, playing, splashing, chasing crows and making mad dashes for the lake, which she’s not supposed to go in. It’s all good.
This post was written for The Gallery. The theme this week is the everyday.