One week ago I lost Storm. For the first time in 9 years there was no dog in the house.
No reason to go downstairs on waking.
No reason to take a break mid-morning to go walk.
No reason to take an afternoon break for a longer walk.
I remember that in 2007 I was at the second Automattic meetup (at Stinson Beach) and I’d done a certain amount of work and said that if I was at home I’d take the dog – then just Winston – for a walk. Matt said we should take a walk along the beach which we did. We chatted about Akismet.
Every day I have had a reason to get up and go for a walk. Peace. Quiet. Slow. Thinking time.
I felt okay just sauntering along with the dogs – or just a dog – through the village. But doing the same without them? It feels strange. Not just that they are not there but as others perceive me. In the dusk/darkness a guy with a dog means people pass closer than if you are just a guy wandering along.
Years ago as I was crossing a bridge with Winston I met a guy who stopped, fussed Winston and stood and chatted. He explained that for years he had walked his dog this route and he’d just lost his dog. But he couldn’t stop that walking. It was habit. It was comforting. I know that now. I wish I did not.