If you don’t have a dog of your own then why not offer to walk a neighbour’s while they’re out at work? A dog will introduce you to many of the different aspects of the natural world you never even knew existed. Dogs are very curious creatures who have no qualms about sticking their noses into anything and everything. A dog’s curiosity is most likely compounded by the fact that they have a very strong sense of smell and sight, and can pick up on things than humans cannot, such as minute smells and very high and very low-pitched sounds. Because of this, a dog might be curious about something that a human doesn’t even realize is close by.
Unlike most humans, dogs feel an urge to explore and to gain information about the world around them … and if something is new, a dog is very likely to try to figure out what the thing is. They will push limits until they realize that something is harmful or uninteresting … and we quickly find that their curiousity is contagious because they encourage us to ‘stand and stare’ while they tiffle about in the undergrowth.
Walking out in the company of a dog gives us an added sense of purpose; a ready-made companion with whom we can discuss the current political situation, global warming, or the economic up/down turn without censure or ridicule. Dogs provide a shoulder to cry on, or make us laugh out loud at their antics; dogs introduce us to their natural world which is often a lot less stressful and a lot more meaningful than our own. They keep us out for longer, and we walk further and a lot more slowly than when we were walking alone.
Aubrey’s Dog: Power Animals in Traditional Witchcraft by Melusine Draco is published by Moon Books in their Shaman Pathways series in paperback and e-book format. ISBN: 978 1 78099 724 7 UK£4.99/US$9.95 www.moon-books.net