A Day In The Life Of My Dogs | Falling Leaves

I got the chance to take my little dude, Wes, to the yellowing woods yesterday for a little bit.

There is nothing like standing underneath the canopy as it falls down from it’s branches in transition of the changing season. That sound of a million falling leaves is mesmerizing.

And the glow, paralyzing.

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I can’t actually take both the dogs out together in the woods off leash because they get crazy trying to compete with one another- who’s faster, quicker, jump higher, who is in the lead…

Next thing you know my dogs are gone, 2 counties over. They are funny like that. Separated, however, and they are more in tune with my commands, where I am at and have a much better pace and proximity to me. They are German Shorthair Pointers, a hunting breed, and I find that when separated they are able to focus on the environment and key into the lineage of instincts bred into them. All of the sudden, they become hunters. Together though, they are a hot mess.

Poor Wes get’s easily turned around in the thick ferns and understory. When you spend a lot of time with your pets, you are able to read them pretty well. And it’s really important to be able to read a hunting dog well because it’s those subtle clues that tell you if he is on a bird, picked up deer scent, or giving a chipmunk a heart attack. It indicates to you whether a grouse will be busting out of the thick cover, or you need to get ready to grab your dog before he covers all 9,000 acres in pursuit of a rodent. ¬†And I can tell from his body language when he has stopped hunting and when panic begins to set in because he has no idea where I am. And calling for him doesn’t seem to help too much, I think because the sound is hard to tell where it is coming from in the woods like that. So I end up having to move and shake saplings to help him locate me. I love the sense of relief in his body language when he finds me and knows all is well.

Nothing is quite like the bond with your dog.

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I need wilderness therapy. Even if it’s only a 9,000 acre tract of forest- it’s still healing. I can tell when it has been too long since my last emersion- there begins to be an internal pulling, my mind begins to unravel and lose focus, and everything is just a bit off tilt in my world. Maybe it’s like an addict in withdrawl.

Sometimes I am so busy and wrapped up in everything though that the thought of putting it all aside, pausing, and heading to the woods feels more like a chore. Requires too much energy.

It’s never really true though. It doesn’t require energy, it’s not a chore. And as soon as I step foot on crunchy leaves, snap a twig or two, and breath in an air that seems worlds apart from life…

It is a massive release.

The kind that deep down I knew I needed, yet for some unexplicable reason was avoiding.
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Fall is happening. Make time to experience it. And I’m not talking about the pumpkin spice everythings, apple picking, and the mad rush to make sure family photos are taken and pumpkins carved and oh crap Christmas is coming.

I am talking about the still, brisk, quieting. The parts of it where you can actually hear the leaves falling.

Happy Weekending, friends.

K

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