The walks I take with my dog, Emmie, do not involve as much walking as one would think. They are sniffing events. We take a few steps, and then she has to sniff that blade of grass. And not just a quick sniff. It is the type of sniffing that tells her how many animals and people have passed by in the last 50 years. Or so it seems. I stand there waiting, sometimes (okay, most times), impatiently for her to decide to move on.
On one-afternoon sniffing adventure, I watched her sniff her way across a parking lot. Head down, nose to the ground so intent on the smells. She is more Bloodhound than Greyhound in those moments. She is so intensely sniffing that my presence surprises her, which makes me laugh. She gives me such a look of reproach, which causes me to laugh even more.
There is no “forcing” her to stop sniffing. Even if there was, I wouldn’t. If her only adventure is smelling the same blade of grass for five minutes, then so be it. There are worse things in life. I do wonder what she learns. Maybe sniffing is like her binge smelling some wildlife adventures? It’s like Netflix for the nose. If it is, I don’t want to take that away from her. So I take a breath and enjoy the moment. I notice how much more green there is on the trees. I watch the blue herons fly over the lake. I see a lot more of the world around me on these sniffing stops.