The Art of the Walk
My husband is from Chile. Chile is a beautiful country and I’ve had the privilege of visiting twice. Both times I’ve been blown away by the large population of street dogs. These dogs roam the city streets of Santiago, scavenging for food, searching for water, and a warm place to sleep. They come in all shapes and sizes, and represent every personality type, from shy to bold and everything in between.
What strikes me most about these packs of Chilean street dogs is the harmony. They simply get along and operate as a unit. It’s classic pack mentality. There’s a clear leader, and the others follow suit. They each assume a role that is designated and communicated in a language we’ll never truly understand. And if positions and roles are challenged, they simply duke it out until a dog submits.
But in all honesty, what I believe is the main source of harmony, is the walking. These packs are moving in a forward direction, using all of their senses, expending energy, and fulfilling their instinctual needs constantly. It sounds so basic while a write, but walking and roaming leads to the fulfillment of every need a dog has, water, food and shelter.
In today’s day and age, we’ve gotten away from the simple act of walking our dog, and our dogs are suffering because of it. Fenced in yards, dog parks and daycare have taken the place of the walk, but aren’t meeting our dog’s needs, and our dog’s behavior is the true indicator. Barking, digging, chasing, excessive neck biting, mounting, anxiety, poor obedience, are all examples of pent up energy that needs to be released.
So do your dog a favor, and improve your own health in the process; Take your dog on a walk!