5 Life Lessons From Walking the Dog

I had a bit of an epiphany during the morning dog walk. The act of walking is good for the dogs, good for me, but it represents much more.

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Like most things in life, if we rush through the walk to get it over with to cross off an item on the never-fricking-ending-to-do list, we’re missing something good. That one walk, the one this morning, cannot be repeated. There is no do-over, you’ve got one shot at it, so make it count.

We can learn a few things from the walking the dogs, valuable life lessons.

  1. Make the walk a habit. It’s a way to get going, (get off Facebook) and clear your mind for everything you have on your plate today. You don’t have to think about all that stuff while you walk, but the act of walking the dogs somehow sorts out the list of crap and makes it less daunting.
  2. Keep your head up. We miss so much rushing through our busy days of work, school, childcare and before you know it – it’s over and you’ve missed out on the important parts of life. Regrets are born. Keep your head up and enjoy what’s going on around you. Take a cue from your dog and live in the moment.
  3. Focus ahead. When you’re walking the dogs, the only thing that matters is the path ahead. Everything behind you – the past, doesn’t matter. The past has no power over where this walk goes, only you control the walk. The dogs don’t care what’s lurking back there, they’re looking at the new adventures ahead and so should you.
  4. Maintain a decent pace. The walk isn’t a uncontrolled romp where you pee on all the bushes along the way. (And I mean the dogs, not the human because that can get you in all kinds of trouble) Keep moving and don’t get bogged down in all the distractions along the way.
  5. Pick up after yourself. Occasionally, one of the dogs will succumb to the call of nature and leave a deposit on the sidewalk or on someone’s lawn. Don’t be that guy who looks to see if anyone is watching before to you attempt to clean up after your dog. It’s your mess, take care of it. It’s no one else’s responsibility to bag and tag.

If you take another look at the list and substitute another task for walking, say writing, or work, or relationships, the principles of the dog walk still apply. So, go walk your dog…

image by angel hsu via flickr creative commons

image by angel hsu via flickr creative commons

Remember no peeing in the bushes.



  1. I tried walking the cat….not a good idea!

    1. Actually, the neighbor’s cat walks with us when we go around the subdivision.

  2. Lately it’s been too hot in my neck of the woods and the air quality is so bad that it feels unhealthy! I agree about those idiots who look around to see if anyone’s watching before they clean up their dog’s doo-doo. We should be able to make citizen arrests!

    1. I will have to check the air quality tomorrow morning because we have a fire going to the south. Lots of smoke and it’s miles away. The poop offenders, on the other hand, you just want to go and dump it on the lawn…

  3. Poop, we have to poop. As long as its green, I’m in.


    1. Ralph, you can poop in the nice green places. Your human is there to assist you in the process. Good boy!

  4. Best lessons in life seem to be dog related. 🙂 Woof! Woof!

    1. Ain’t that the truth! Thanks Charli!

  5. Mya’s also a big fan of sitting on the deck and watching the sun go down while we reflect on the day…kind of makes a full circle. But sunup or sundown, dogs are the BEST. KB

  6. It is always such a good time to clear one’s mind, while walking. Now and again I have my sister’s little Jack Russell to stay and really enjoy the extra head space she seems to give me.

    I like your line about the ‘path ahead’. How true.


    1. It really helps me clear the clutter from the attic. A simple walk with the dogs puts everything into perspective…most of the clutter falls away for what it is, dust and cobwebs.

  7. Love these all. Especially #2. (I know…but it wasn’t supposed to be a joke. Really.) We need to keep our heads up to notice more.

    1. You’re absolutely right, Sarah! life can pass you by as you wiz by in the fast lane.

  8. Reblogged this on James L'Etoile and commented:

    This post, 5 Life Lessons From Walking the Dogs, was republished by ilovecorgis.net It still rings true. So go out there and sniff around. Just no peeing in the neighbor’s hedges. Some people are strangely offended at the slightes things…

  9. Delores · · Reply

    I have 2 herding dogs and we try to get out every morning, very early when it is hot, so they can get their high energy under control early in the day (hopefully saving the sprinkler system from another round of destruction). On those few days that I don’t get out with them I find the day just doesn’t seem to flow as well for me so I’m certain there is a lot of truth to your post. Thanks for another great one.

    1. Thank you! I do miss it on those days where I don’t get out.

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