Being present when pack walking- your fur kid will thank you.
Although multi-tasking seems to be the necessity and the norm of our lives these days, there are still some activities that benefit from our undivided attention. Being present when pack walking with our fur kid is one such activity. Both us, the human and our fur kid, will benefit.
It is tempting when walking our fur kid to use the time to also either call up our BFF to get caught up on each other’s lives or to text back the people we didn’t get to during the day. However, when we are busy doing these, we are not present in our lives and we consequently miss a lot.
First, we miss the simple things like taking this down-time to just breathe and to just be, to clear our minds and relax. We also miss the scenery that we pass while walking. How many of us notice the colors of a sunrise, the landscaping of our neighborhood, or the changes in our community? Do we see the funny things our fur kids do, the joy they get from exploring, or the grace of their movements? Take this time to look, feel, and appreciate.
Second, being present when we walk benefits our fur kid. There are many potentially harmful things that they can encounter if we are not on the lookout for them. Disease for instance, from poop not picked up, or from the carcasses of dead animals, or from rotting discarded food. It takes but a second for our fur kid to swoop and devour. Wouldn’t you rather see it in advance to avoid it, than to pry it out of their mouth after the fact?
There are dangerous things like broken glass and small foreign objects like caps, screws, and pieces of metal that fur kids either swallow and/or step on. There are also seemingly innocent things like sidewalk chalk, a spilled coffee, or a dropped piece of chocolate, that can really upset tummies. Then there’s the stuff they step in that we need to be aware of to wipe off immediately so they don’t ingest by licking, like road salt, tar, paint, or fertilizer. And finally, when we are present during our pack walk, we sidestep problems like a loose fur kid fast approaching, a car not seeing us crossing the road, our fur kid getting dehydrated, or our fur kid slipping out of his/her collar.
Last, the purpose of the pack walk is to re-affirm our leadership role in the relationship. If we are distracted and not fully present, our fur kid does not get a decisive and distinct leader, and make no mistake, our fur kid knows the difference. Pack animals do not follow inconsistent (unstable) or weak leadership. Take the time to be that calm and assertive leader for your fur kid by being present during pack walks. We will get a confident and well-adjusted fur kid who respects and trusts us as their leader as thanks.