I've been doing a lot of pet sitting lately and loving it. Pet sitting is s fun for a while because I get to love and cuddle with some great animals without the long term responsibility of ownership.
Tumnus, a golden retreiver, is the dog I have watched the most. He was my first nephew, in a sense, and is my sweet buddy. When caring for a dog, there is of course more activity involved. They need more attention than most cats, and especially like to go for walks. When pet sitting for a dog, I know I will need to set aside at least some time in my schedule to walk the dog.
The walk is the dogs time. It's something I do for the dog; yet I kind of have had my own agenda: We're going to go this direction, move at this pace, and for goodness sake we are not going to keep STOPPING all the time. I call Tumnus: "Sir Sniffs A Lot" because he smells EVERYTHING, seemingly even more-so than other dogs. The last couple of times I've watched Tumnus, I challenged myself to let the walk be his time and to let him sniff, stop and even choose the direction we go when it is safe.
Today I was thinking about how the whole joy and purpose, even destination of his walk is to stop and smell everything. He learns about his environment, greets passers by (usually making someone smile), and finds tasty morsels along the way. So many times I am so propelled by my destination that I miss so much. Even on days that my destination is rest and enjoyment; I still blast past people, places and opportunities because I "have somewhere to be". Today, I am challenged to be a little more like Tumnus and to smell the everything on the way to getting where I'm going... and sometimes let that be the destination.