I’m not ashamed to admit it. After all, everyone has their flaws, right? Mine are few and far between (of course), but I do have them like anyone else. One of them finds its home in one of my very favorite activities: the walk.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a quick jaunt around the block or a hike on a beautiful mountain trail. That obedience school business of walking alongside my forever mom or dad? Forget about it. It’s just one of those things I haven’t quite mastered and I would be lying if I said I wanted to because I don’t. I like feeling (somewhat) free to smell and investigate and learn and meet new animals and their people. It’s nothing against my walker at the time. These are the things that bring a walk to life in my opinion.
But today I got to thinking about it within the psychological construct of friendship. Mom and dad and dear baby Carter left for a few hours tonight to go see some friends they haven’t seen much of since mom changed jobs a few months back. These are all good friends who my mom loves and I love by proxy. They have all come and gone as Carter was a newborn and now an infant. But time and distance has made it harder to get together recently. Until tonight.
Tonight all they got together and caught up and smiled and laughed. (I only wished I’d been there to see it (not only because I love seeing my people happy, but also because I miss these people). Instead, I heard the evening recapped upon their return home, which was (almost) as good as being there in doggie person. Because there was joy in friendship tonight.
It’s the kind of friendship French-Algerian philosopher Albert Camus wrote of when he said “don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
I’m happy for my people they have friends who walk beside them. Even when they fall behind or run ahead, they all catch up from time to time. And those are the moments that make me think. Maybe I’ve been going about the whole walk thing the wrong way. Dogs are a man’s best friend after all. It might be time to make a change. In the meantime, though, I will give thanks for friendship. From the ground up, it really is a sparkplug for joy.