A couple of afternoons each week, Juliette and I get a window of time to ourselves. Sometimes we visit her beloved dog park, but I often walk her along the sidewalks, logging at least half an hour so I can get in my exercise quota.
She’s won the Doggy Lottery because it’s pretty much all dog park now. She was diagnosed with arthritis a month ago and the vet explained that shorter walks would be much better for her.
So we stroll the four blocks to the park and I let her loose to sniff to her heart’s glorious content. It’s truly bliss for her. She’s been going to the park for seven years now and she considers it HER park. Like an extension of her own backyard, although with many more trees and squirrels to harass.
On the nicer days, I’ve begun taking my camera along with us. She sniffs. I snap. I’d honestly never really considered the park a very photographic place. It’s mostly wide-open, sunny space, with one row of large trees, smaller trees scattered about, four picnic tables and a softball field.
Yet lately, with the quiet of her companionship, I’ve taken more time to really look at what’s there. The simple things, of course. That’s where real beauty lies.
To combat my lost exercise opportunity, I hike around the perimeter, canine following at her own snail-like pace, and aim my lens at nature. Or sometimes at my foot.
I can never match her super-crazy, unbridled, almost-fall-down-the-stairs excitement when she knows I’m about to grab her leash, but I’m really coming to treasure our little solo walks.