"If I was running with Elsa and had ear plugs in; would it be rude?"  asked my son.  I stopped to listen as he further explained his question.  "It would be like she was there with me but I wasn't with her, right?"  Smiling?  Oh yes I was smiling as we discussed his question.  "Yes, it is rude, very rude to your dog," I said.  It is also a moment that you miss when you step out of it.  I told him that I had already blogged about this very subject and that not a week ago I almost ran someone's dog over as they text on their phone instead of watching their dog.  The same boy is always walking his dog; but that is all he is doing, he is not with his dog in any way.  Sadly on this day the dog didn't have a leash on either and the dog stepped out into the road right in front of me.  I jammed on my brakes and the boy got a very serious shock.  He yelled at his dog and hopefully got a lesson.

I see people disconnected when out with their dogs all the time.  My son was just asking about listening to music; he had considered that it may be rude to be zoned out when being with Elsa.  I love music just as much as anyone but when I am out with my dogs, I am out with my dogs.  When I'm at the gym I am zoned out; this is purely intentional.  I'm at the gym to workout; I do not want to have to listen to those who are there for social hour.  Many people walk up to me and start talking; I can't hear them, just the way I like it.  But with my dogs?  No, I am there, we are there together.

Let's say you decided to go running with a friend.  Would you put your ear plugs in and tune into your favorite music as you started out on your run?  No of course not, that would be rude.  Our dogs don't talk, they don't carry on a conversation but they are there with us.   Listening to music while you walk is not a bad thing but it is a missed opportunity.  What it does is take you out of your oneness with your dog.  You cannot hear their breath; the small noises that they make or anything else around you for that matter.  Our dogs deserve more than being on the end of a leash; that leash can be a connection or simply a leash.  It is a choice that you make.

"She'd look up and I'd be..........not there," he added to his pondering.  "That's right" I told him.

Our lives are very busy with the daily hustle bustle.   The time we spend with our dogs can be hugely connecting or just something more time spent on daily tasks.  When you head out for your walk, turn your phone on silent and leave the music at home.  Connect with your dog at least this one time during your busy day.  It is amazing how this one thing can open up a whole new meaning to taking your dog for a walk.  The walk can transform from a daily task to your time off together.