I meet the nicest people, and sometimes my closest friends, when I’m walking or hiking with the dogs. From the start, you’ve already got something in common: sharing a passion for the great outdoors with canine companions.

We met Sylvie and her beagle Mona last Spring, by chance on our usual forest walk, Sentier de Truites (The Trout Trail). She and Mona were off the path into the trees, Mona probably scouring the forest floor for something disgusting to eat. Loki and Juno alerted calmly and as we passed. I mentioned that my dogs were friendly and wouldn’t bother her dog, so she didn’t have to divert Mona’s food-finding mission. Little did I know, brazen petite Mona can handle herself against anything 4 times her size. Sylvie noticed my horrible accent and struck up a conversation,which centered around our biggest passion: dogs. Mona, generally a loner and not much of a dog-pal to other dogs, instantly took a liking to the cracker. Dog knows why! From there it was love. How could we keep these two apart? Since then, we’ve been forced to endure many long hikes together in Switzerland’s beautiful landscape.

I’ve always had dogs (my late dingo mix, Maggie and now Juno) who’ve enjoyed long hikes in a variety of places–not just the trot around the ‘hood.  Sylvie and Mona share that same passion, so it was easy to start a weekly walking routine with them. It’s funny what a shared dog walk can teach you about others. The way a person handles and treats her dog on a walk can tell you so much about core values. Even the length of the walk and location choice can say a lot about a person’s interests. Sometimes walking styles fit so easily that common interests reveal themselves and a true friendship begins.

But you never know until you take that first walk together.

A Bittersweet Harvest
What's a Little Rumble Among Strangers?

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