Slower Times

By the time we moved to Colorado in 2014, Mindy T. Dog (RIP 2018) was an elderly dog with bad hips. Bad hips and being unable to keep up NEVER stopped her interest in a good walk but she was s—l—o—w. Dusty and I would walk at our usual pace and then wait for Mindy to catch up. She wanted the whole walk. She didn’t like it when we turned around before she’d seen everything. Toward the end, the inevitable “last walk” (that’s not a euphemism) occurred. She wanted to go but the alley was her limit. She turned around on her own. You can read about Mindy’s adventures here, in the great Saga, “Princess Mindy and the Vast Monster of Snow.”

I have learned the wonders of a slow walk during the last few years. For a long time, walking 4 mph or faster in the back country, I joyed in the motion. I still saw a lot of things and would stop for many of them (a bobcat crossing the trail, a group of deer in the distance, hawks in the sky — the list is long and I don’t want to bore you [further]). But when I was not able to walk well at all and a mile took an hour, I learned to savor the whole thing. The result is that my big livestock guardian dog, Bear, as a puppy, learned to walk that way. When we’re OUT there, she thinks we should stop often. We don’t hurry and we DO stop often, but now a normal Bear walk is twice as fast. Still slow, but there’s a chance we’ll finish before the end of time.

I learned from the slow walks that 1) there’s really no place to go and 2) every place to BE. I’d like to go faster, but it’s really not important as it was 20 years ago. And, I never would have witnessed monarch butterflies copulating 20 years ago…or stopped long enough to get shredded by a horsefly.

18 thoughts on “Slower Times

  1. I’m glad you can now pick up the pace and Bear will go along with that — but how great it is that you can see the intimate details of nature in a slower walk!

    • Yep, even if by some miracle (it would take one) I can again hike fast, I don’t think I ever will again. I learned a lot from the slow and painful times. I learned about the immense pain-killing power of beauty.

  2. I love your phrase, no place to go and every place to BE…beautiful. Our elderly Golden Retriever recently passed and for the last few years he was SLOW….and allowed to sniff everything, to take his own sweet time and set the pace for us. It was a calming meditation after walking our young Border Collie (who looks just like your Mindy).

    • Mindy was an Australian shepherd (if the photo showed her back end, it would be more obvious). Where I live now border collies are extremely popular (lots of sheep, goats and cattle) and Australian cattle dogs — not so many Aussies. I have a mini-Aussie now who looks like a mini-Mindy and he’s a bundle of puppy energy. I think a Border Collie would be too smart for me but he might read me stories at night 😉

  3. I reckon the world is slowly coming round to the benefits of taking things at a slower pace. Over here, we even occasionally have something called ‘Slow TV’ or ‘Slow Radio’, when a long programme covers very little action. Last Christmas we had a long TV programme just following some reindeer pulling a sledge through the snowy forest. That was it. But it was very popular.

    When I was in Wales we did walk briskly most of the time, but then we did have a very large area to cover. But I enjoy a slow amble at times, too. 🙂

    • I loved your Wales walk so much, but if Bear and I had been with you, you’d have needed at LEAST three days to get from one castle to the next no matter HOW far apart they were. I fell in love with the name, “Snowdonia.”

      I’d love to see that reindeer show!!!!

  4. I would have loved walking with Mindy (RIP, sweet girl). I am a journey kinda gal. The destination, for me, is almost the anti-climax.

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