I define perfect moments as those times in which I suddenly become aware, if even for just a moment, and sometimes in the most innocuous of circumstances, that everything is aligned perfectly and I almost feel like bursting with joy. Just as suddenly the next moment might tank, but I do savor those golden tinged moments often. And I feel blessed to have them regularly.
It’s winter here in Cleveland, OH, and we just got our first substantial snowstorm of the season this past weekend. My body still aches a wee bit from the nearly 3 hours I spent painstakingly shoveling out my driveway, front walk and steps the past few days. But I’m grateful my body still can shovel snow! The dogs might have missed their beloved walks, but all 3 had lots of opportunity to frolic in the snow and explore the winter wonderland. And I made it up to them today.
In my walks of late, I have gravitated mostly to the large and charismatic mansions and estates just south of my much more modest abode. In one such enclave I had many many many times passed what I have recently slowed down to discover as a thicket of woods. While no judge of acreage, the woodsy area is certainly large enough to get deeply ensconced in, and has all the requisite elements of real woods hiking — lots of trees, a creek that winds through, deep in places, steep traverses that require careful navigation and the use of tree limbs and roots to navigate successfully, and depth enough to lose sight of dogs for long periods of time.
Training reliable recalls are key to happiness for all in these off leash romps in the woods, and it’s certainly easier to manage during the depths of winter both because there is no foliage of any merit to hide behind, and now, with all the snow, little effort to see the contrast of a dog either possessing its own coat with colors easy to see in the snow, or in my case, my Har-Vest wearing canines. Not to mention at least today it’s bloody cold and the probability of eloping in the cold is greatly reduced!
Today’s perfect moment was this: I came out from in the woods and walked along the side of the street. I knew the dogs were parallel to me but because of a ridge, they were not visible to me, nor I to them. But I knew the foundation skills (the six things all dogs should know reliably) were in all 3 dogs, even though they had never run freely through this patch of woods before, and that made it a perfect moment. That knowledge, confidence and trust. I knew they were safe, that the trio were having a big fun time, and it was a beautiful winter day and my life allowed for long walks in the woods on a Monday morning.
Sure enough, they returned back to me with big ol’ grins and have been happily snoozing away the rest of the day. Which makes for a very productive and peaceful beginning to the week. Dogs happy doing something fun, dogs happy doing nothing!
So get out there, practice your recalls (even if it’s warmer and sunny where you are) and have some perfect moments of your own!