Dog Walking - Some Reflections

I’m lucky enough to live in the middle of the Army training areas on Salisbury Plain, which must be the best dog walking area in the country. On any given day (or night) you see little of the army, who are content for us to walk the open areas subject to observance of reasonable bylaws.
Here’s some reflections though;

When I’m in the middle of nowhere, I can - and do - weep loudly and shout. It does some good, but you never quite know if somebody is nearby, camouflaged or invisible in the dark. It happened once to Eileen, though she was only playfully chatting with her dog, and then saw a cammed-up Gurkha lying in a dip a few feet away. He smiled, she smiled back, it was a funny story. I think, though, that my behaviour may be thought to be that of a madman.

The dogs give me a reason to get up, go shopping, take exercise, and sometimes meet people. I can go to places where, at certain times, I know that I am likely to meet other walkers, but I will often choose to be alone (with the dogs). This isn’t always a good idea, as I find my mind churning with sad thoughts.

I was walking with friendly folk this morning, three humans and fourteen playful pooches.

We spotted a child, a little girl of about ten years, with two small dogs who understandably seemed a bit concerned at the approach of our galumping gang, and put her two on leads.
I called out to her, “What breed is your little white one ?” “Sealyham,” she replied. I then asked if it was boy or girl, got an answer, and I then asked for the dog’s name. “Bonnie” was the answer. “Oh, I have a granddaughter called Bonnie,” I said.
And that was it. Then my (female) human companion said to me, “You must be careful not to do that if you are on your own.”
Quite right, I suppose, and I was grateful for the advice, but it all left me feeling very glum. As an elderly, widowed man, am I at risk of being suspected of horrible things ?

Oh Edwin it’s such a sad reflection on where our world is today isn’t it,good and bad has been with us since this earth began,but it seems we live in the worst times where everything we say or do is suspect or scrutinised as “proper or politically correct”.It’s sad that the simpleness of life has seemed to have gone,i’m sure your companion was only looking after your welfare,but that thought would have not entered your head,if she had said nothing, please don’t feel glum about it ,there is enough in this world to feel down about,stay as you are,walk your dogs and enjoy the fresh air and speak if you wish to,we cannot go around in fear,peoples perceptions has got way out of context i think these days,i hope you are feeling a little better than this morning x

My dog has been my lifeline. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t even bother getting out of bed.
I’ve met many people in my area and the park we use. I know all the dogs by name, haven’t a clue what the names of the owners are but I know the dogs.
After my Father died and the grief finally caught up with me I went to that park, found a tree in a hidden corner and did exactly what you said, I sobbed, I screamed, I shouted, then slid down the tree in a heap. I sat there for a couple of hours until I was exhausted. Sadly for me there was wire around the bottom of the tree and as I got up it ripped not only my shorts, but my underwear too. So I had to walk home, a sobbing wreck with my bum hanging out…literally. lol That started me off again. I ended up at the crematorium where I sobbed for another 2 hours. After 4 hours of crying, screaming and shouting at the air I was done, exhausted, but done.
I don’t look at an older man and think anything like that, far from it. I chat to anyone with a dog, they have that effect. I’m more concerned as to weather they are going to try and steal my boy or not. I’d like to see them try!

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