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I Let My Dog Walk Me And I Ended Up Learning A Lot

Stop and smell the (pee-soaked) roses, once in a while.

Hi, we’re Chelsea (human) and Hadley (dog).

The Rules

1. I would only go in the direction that she pulled.

2. I would try my best to keep her leash loose.

3. Obviously, I would intervene if she was pulling into a street or towards a mean dog.

Okay, so first we went to a UPS drop-off point because mama had to do an errand. But then, it was all Hadley. And she was immediately...confused.

Here are some of the things I learned during our adventure:

1. She listens to me way more than I thought.

My dog is walking me this AM + I'm learning she follows my cues more than I thought: been standing here for 10 mins

Hadley's a shiba inu, as you may have discerned, and shibas are notoriously stubborn. It's what I love about her, but honestly, I assume most of the time that she doesn't really pay attention to what I want. But this exercise showed me that she did! A lot of the time she seemed to be waiting for my signal of direction of where to go.

2. I felt so PROUD of her.

3. Letting your dog walk you will confuse other people.

4. She really forced me to slow down and appreciate small things.

5. I was calmer at work after all that slowing down.

Following Hadley's lead helped me slow down in the morning and made me feel more centered by the time I got to work. Maybe it was letting a little dog take control of my morning, maybe it was stopping to notice how nice the spring flowers are right now, maybe it was both. All I know is that I felt better.

6. Hadley knows her way home.

7. Hadley's thoughts (I assume):

Overall, I recommend doing this for at least part of your walk, even if you don't have an endless amount of time.

Listen, I get why we can't do this every single morning. Mainly, what if she takes me an hour and a half away from my apartment?

But I really want to try and incorporate this into at least half of our normal morning walks. It's nice to sit back, relax and enjoy the flowers, pee-soaked or not.


Plus, sometimes it's good not to be in charge.