Presence - More on the Human-Dog Relationship

Over the past year, I've come to discover another aspect of the Human-Dog relationship that I am excited to explore through the on-leash walk: presence.

Too often while I'm walking, I seem to get lost in thought. So much so that once I come back to the present moment, I have no memory of walking the past couple of blocks - never mind what my dog has been up to or what interactions we've had! Now when I walk, I try to be aware of the present moment: the sounds, the smells, how my feet feel in my shoes, the dogs around me, etc. I find that this exercise helps calm myself as well as the dogs. I feel much more connected to them and they seem much more responsive to me.

Try this at home:

When you walk your dog later today (right!), try focusing on one of the following things for a portion of your walk. Report back with anything you notice in yourself or your dog!

1. Focus on your breath. Feel the air come in and out through your nose or mouth.

2. Feel the sensations of the outdoors on your skin. This could be the wind, heat from the sun, or the cold air.

3. Watch your dog's gait (if you can see them without bending over) and take in every detail of how they move. If you can't see them, try to be aware of their movement and where they are in relation to you.

4. Listen to the sounds your dog makes while he's walking: paws on pavement, tags jingling, panting etc.

In closing, I'd like to thank every single member of the Silver Jet Pack for always pushing me to learn and discover.

As always, happy trails

Holly, Duke and Jax