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My dog Sophie and I really enjoy our morning walks. If it was up to her and I let her do what she wanted she would walk all over the neighborhood for who knows how long and enjoy every single minute of it. With no thought to the fact that she might get lost, or get too tired and thirsty to get home in time to satisfy those needs.
When the weather is bad or I’m not feeling good or I don’t have a lot of time I make sure we get back in plenty of time by deciding which route we take, how many blocks we go around, and how quickly we walk. This is not as pleasant for Sophie or for me but it still gives her a walk while also giving me the time I need to do things.
The best walks, though, are days when we have the time and the weather is gorgeous and we can split the difference between the other two types of walks. Sophie has loads of choice as to which side of the street she walks on, how fast she wants to walk, what direction she wants to take. I even occasionally let her lay in one of her favorite yards for several minutes as she looks around and observes everything in the surroundings.
I use gentle guidance commands and leash tugs to keep the walk from being too long or dangerous, but I mostly let her choose when to go, where to go, and how long to contemplate the universe from a fresh patch of green grass.
I think that’s the way I want to approach my life. Free will to make my choices and choose my path but I am in favor of having a little gentle guidance along the way keep me from going too far astray.