In early September, we adopted Cooper, a vivacious Chihuahua mix. I knew there would be a lot to learn in having a dog in our life, but I was not prepared for one thing in particular: neighborhood hospitality and community. Walking Cooper around our neighborhood has opened a whole new world to us.
It’s curious to me. We’ve lived in our neighborhood for six years. I often walk our local sidewalks, as a form of exercise. My husband and I are regularly out on the sidewalks with our 11-year-old grandson, watching him ride any number of different wheeled vehicles.
So it’s not like we’ve been holed up in our house over the last six years. But there’s something definitely different about walking a dog. It’s as if community-making magic is contained in that 17.3 pounds of Chihuahua mix!
We all know that walking is a great form of exercise. Studies show that there’s a loneliness epidemic that is a threat to public health. Having a pet carries with it some health benefits. Put those three things together and what do they suggest? Get a dog and get walking!
This message is excerpted from a Women of the ELCA blog by Linda Post Bushkofsky. Read it here.
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