I would go hiking with my dog
Every spring, the same puzzle starts all over again: finding who to entrust my dog to for a week’s walk at the beginning of July. So, this year, I plan to take him. The more I think about it, the more I like it. My friends joke and warn me. They already see me in the film Antoinette in the Cévennes! Georges, my labrador, is young, he likes to exercise, I don’t have too many worries about that. And I tell myself that walking with an animal will change me. But is this a bad idea? Virginia, 47 years old
THE VIEWPOINT OF BLANCHE DE RICHEMONT, TRAVEL WRITER
If you walk, dear Virginie, it is undoubtedly to explore another way of being in the world, in the heart of nature, and to venture. So don’t listen to jokes, but to your heart. Leaving with your dog opens up another dimension of the journey, a sharing where you will constantly have to take care of someone other than yourself. You will surpass yourself together. You will cast off the moorings less, but you will deepen the marvelous bond between a master and his animal. Your path will be nourished by his gaze. You will then be able to discover another journey, just as initiatory and strong. Find out about the possibilities of being housed with an animal, evaluate how to feed it and carry its kibble. Will you be able to sleep under the stars with him if the situation calls for it? Can he walk 20 to 30 kilometers a day? Will you be able to heal his wounds if necessary? Once these logistical questions are settled, just ask yourself: what is most important to me? Don’t take Georges with you so you don’t have to look for someone to entrust him to; but because you feel that with him, despite the constraints, the walk will have an extra soul.
The ideal companion – Never without my dog: this should be the motto of every pilgrim. A dog adapts to everything, rain or shine, cold or wind. He is jovial without shade and, supreme advantage, he constitutes an inexhaustible subject of conversations with strangers. Whether it is to go around the village or to pilgrimage to Compostela, you need good shoes, a stick and a dog. We can do without the stick, not the dog! Jeans
Animal-friendly lodgings – I did part of the Camino de Santiago with my dog. Everything went well. To be calm, I had booked the evening stages, because not all the lodgings welcome animals. I kept my dog’s pads well hydrated, and he was able to walk on all terrains. As it was hot, we left at sunrise. And on rainy days he wore a raincoat, because wet dogs are not welcomed! Martina