We have two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Shih Tzu, and we walk them around the neighborhood twice each day. Most of the streets are quiet, like the one pictured above, and we have them entirely to ourselves. I should clarify that- we don’t have to worry about very many cars. Many of the streets in the residential areas of Fair Haven don’t have sidewalks, and we like it that way.
We do run into kids playing, other neighbors walking their dogs, people riding their bikes, people working on their lawns and gardens, etc. We know LOTS of people by sight (or by their dogs), and many of them know us the same way. Walking is great exercise, and you can make your trip as long or short as you’d like. We’ve measured one-mile and two-mile courses (the Golden always prefers the 2-mile course), and because most of the area is fairly flat, we’ve intentionally planned some walks with a hill or two to give us a little workout.
When you walk the same route on a daily basis, you really get to enjoy the beauty of nature all around us, and you notice the small things that change with the seasons. We still like to grab the falling leaves before they hit the ground during the fall, and with some of the leaves already starting to turn, it shouldn’t be long before we get the chance to try to catch them. It’s great to have four distinct seasons of the year, because each one of them has its special charms.
From a health and fitness standpoint, you can’t beat walking. It’s something you can enjoy regardless of your age, and you can make the pace as fast or slow as you’d like. We sometimes see neighbors wearing their heart rate monitors so they can push themselves into their optimum target zones. We often see joggers, or walkers who alternate with jogging. It’s less than a mile to downtown Fair Haven, with the library, the hardware store, the book store, the restaurants and the other little shops. There are sidewalks in the downtown area to make it easy to get around. A special treat is to grab a cup of coffee or tea and a snack, and eat al fresco while watching the world go by on River Road.
The next time you see us walking a golden (and probably carrying the Shih Tzu), be sure to say hi. Better yet, try to join us in walking around your neighborhood as often as you can. It makes you feel glad to be alive!