It seems at the moment my favourite time of day is a walk with Shiloh at the dog park. Having said that, sometimes I still need to convince myself to go. I liken that to drinking a green smoothie or doing some meditation ; you know it’s good for you and you know you will be glad you did it – hey – you may even really enjoy it BUT you still need some convincing to start. Such is the constant battle of making self care a priority.
When it’s walk time and its just Shiloh and me, there is the beginning of something wonderful; Shiloh is becoming my sunny shadow. Whilst it’s true he is more independent (not quite the fragile puppy that he was) the irony is that he is more dependant on me in a different way. Before he was unconsciously dependant. Now he is consciously so. He looks around to see where I am and doubles back when he goes too far. And he does this adorable thing…. When he wanders off far in search of a doggy interaction I open my arms and say
He turns on his heel and races back to me. Perhaps, it is only those who have experienced a loved dog sprinting with total abandon back towards them who can fully appreciate how wonderful it feels.
Shiloh’s love spills over.
Shiloh has opened up a whole world for me personally. Not only has he offered me the opportunity to meet other likeminded dog owners, he has encouraged me out of my four walls and into the wide open spaces of Linklater Reserve. I discover that having a dog is a natural ice breaker – and every dog owner relishes opportunity to speak about their dog! (including me)
There have been times I have wondered if getting Shiloh had been a good idea. The work involved has been immense and I have felt the responsibility of being a good dog owner more than I thought I would.
Whilst I have learned much about dogs……… my biggest learning is about myself.
When Shiloh was only 4 months old I felt the loss of being alone. I wondered what I had done. I was afraid I had made an error of judgement and that the lone walks I so relished were over. And then – within 6 weeks of those worried thoughts, Shiloh became my little shadow of sunshine.
He didn’t need watching and attending to as much (his recall is superb! – just sayin!). And suddenly I could feel alone but not alone. I could feel ‘in my thoughts’ but ‘with’ Shiloh. Suddenly that warm little shadow was encompassing comfort; ethereal cocooning. Alone but not alone. Two but one. A merging somehow of the comfort we felt in each other.
Me and Shiloh. Shiloh and me.
Shiloh may be a way off being a Therapy dog yet – but he is therapy indeed for this counsellor.