Walking Without a Dog

Lucky Dog died 5 months ago this afternoon. We still miss him terribly and always will.

Lucky taught me patience and forgiveness. I used to call him “the nicest person I know.” Toward the end of his life, he taught me to question my assumption that “a little more time” is always a good thing. (A lesson emphatically underlined in 2009.)

While Lucky lived, we walked him twice each day. One of us would walk him in the morning and both of us walked with him in the evening. Most walks were about two miles. (We hiked 6-10 miles when we camped.) The pace slowed and the distance shrank those last few months. Eventually, we left him at home to walk alone, feeling guilty, at first.

Since Lucky died, Merri and I both walk more and faster than before. We usually walk twice each day, about an hour each time. We’ve been averaging more than 6 miles a day, most of that aerobic (100 steps per minute or more). Walking has been somewhat therapeutic, if not in the same way as the companionship of a dog.

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