Who DO You Walk?

man and woman walking a dogWhen I was first approached by a good friend to write this article for “how are you DOing”, I laughed.  But I wasn’t asked to write a “How are you DOing” I was asked to write “Who DO you walk?”

About 6 months ago I was doing a lot of adulting.  I was in a contract negotiation, my wife was pregnant, and we were in the process of buying a house, among other normal life stressors.  Then I ended up diagnosing my wife’s stillbirth while on call, and my world was incredibly shaken. We moved into the house within 24 hours of that, and I felt like I had no direction.  I needed to be there for my wife, and could not get time off, etc. etc...  

After about a week, my wife said she was bringing home a puppy.  We had discussed the idea, but I wasn’t sure it was the right time to make the move into getting a fur baby, but I consented.  Baxter came home with my wife about a week later.  Baxter has helped us heal and find direction in what was one of the roughest times in my life.  Baxter was the right fur friend at the right time. 

Baxter is an Airedale terrier with considerable personality, all of it good.  He enjoys walks and being outside, no matter how cold.  The walks have been good for my wife, Alena, and myself.  We often take these walks as a family.  What started as 10-15-minute walks has now become one-hour walks, for my wife and I to talk.  On days Baxter and I walk alone, he reminds me to stay off my phone, by pulling on his leash.  Baxter also knows when I work too much.  On nights I spend too long on my computer or iPad, he lets me know with a small amount of cold dog nose, applied liberally to my ear.  He has even been noted to use his dog nose to turn off the family x-box if he feels it was on too long.     

I used to be the first one home, but now I come home to Baxter.  He is always happy to see me and ready to play, no matter what kind of day I have had.  We usually play until my wife comes home, and he is equally glad to see her, which always makes me smile. 

Baxter has caused us to adjust some of our traveling arrangements.  We now need to plan for his needs and must plan our weekends away.  However, I would not change a thing.  Baxter has helped us get through a very tough time and is a great friend.  So, the answer to, “who DO I walk” is my buddy Baxter.

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