The Gift of Dog Walks at Night
A great many people spend a great deal of money looking for a bit of rest – rest for the spirit, rest for the mind… rest for the soul – when sometimes it’s as easy as a walk around the block.
In today’s post, I’m going to incite you to steal. That’s right, you heard correctly… to steal.
Are you surprised?
Oh don’t be overly alarmed, this isn’t the kind of stealing that will land you in trouble with the authorities, in fact it’s a rather healthy kind of stealing, as you’ll see.
A Busy Day
Sunday was a busy day.
Following the morning church service, in which our whole family is involved, we’d planned a few extra things in the afternoon.
My daughter had been having a friend stay with us for the weekend and it was the beginning of school vacation for the boys, indeed for all school children in our region. So to kick vacation off with a bang, we had the young people back to our house for a bite to eat before going bowling in the afternoon at a games-center roughly 30min away (our town is delightfully small but at the price of being unable to support a dedicated bowling alley).
After two strings of bowling (where I impressed my kids by bowling four strikes in a row; Believe in miracles!), the drive home and a stop at McDonald’s for milkshakes, I was more ready for a break than the kids were.
(If you have any introverted tendencies at all, you’ll understand well that after the fun of being together, there is a need to retreat and recharge.)
Not Quite Done Yet…
Upon arrival back home my precious wife had supper ready and then I had to make a visit to the hospital where one of our parishioners has been laid up for several weeks. Her family lives far away so she is appreciative of any and all visits.
On top of this (and by no means in order of increasing importance), the dog would soon need to be walked.
The kids had walked him in the morning and Liz did so while we were out in the afternoon, leaving only one family member who had not yet taken part in the daily ritual of walking the dog.
(Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about stealing… I’m coming to it)
Preparing for the Heist
On my way out to the hospital, I had a brilliant idea.
You know how it’s much easier to “stay out and add one more thing to the list” than it is to “come home and then have to go back out to do something more”? I would “steal away” in between my hospital visit and my return back to the house.
Pollux, our rescued Tibetan Terrier mix, loves to go for rides in the car. When he knows we’re going out –and that he’s to come with us- he will tear out the door and race to the car, rippling the doormat in his wake. So I rattled his leash and headed to the car (he beat me there). I would make my visit to the hospital and then afterward, we’d take a walk down by the river before returning home.
To the hospital we departed.
Patiently he waited in the car.
Diligently we prayed with our patient.
Then down to the river we went.
Dusk to Dark & Digital Photography
As light quickly faded to darkness, the already few people on the streets retreated to their supper tables, leaving Pollux and I completely alone on for most of our walk.
We did the loop that we often did downtown; across the Henry IV Bridge, up the river back to the Camilles de Hogues Bridge then back down the other bank to the parked car.
It gave me time to take pictures, something I love to do.
Time to think and talk to the Lord about the day.
Time to stop and praise Pollux for having abandoned the formerly incessant tugging on the leash.
And yes… time to pick up, in plastic bag, what he would otherwise have left behind to mark his passage. 🙂
It’s amazing what stealing away for an hour can do to calm and revive the spirit. Some steal away for a run, others steal away to a back corner of the garden to tend a small plot that’s been needing attention, and some walk dogs.
When it all boils down… choosing to steal away is really a gift. We must initiate it, but the Lord meets us, quiets our spirit and recharges us to start all over again, but with fresh perspective and a fresh energy.
So I encourage you… find a few spare moments and steal away today.
Mike Long is a Canadian pastor who currently walks his dog “Pollux” in France and who blogs over at AIMLong.ca. He loves God, his family, small backyard animals, travel and mobile photography.
His travel guide:
Paris 3 Days No Stress
launches March 31st but is available for pre-order via Amazon.
He is grateful for the opportunity to guest-post for Maria here on Health from one Heart to Another