On a recent trip to the Netherlands, I read a sweet little Dutch novel written by my cousin, Bertien de Moor. It’s the story of Fuut Mons, recently widowed, who walks his dog Flip and meets other dog walkers in the woods. They talk and the dogs play (or fight). These humorous vignettes show how the dog gets Fuut out of the house on a regular basis and how this speeds his recovery from sadness and loss, through interactions with others.
The author captures well the therapeutic health benefits of dog walking – not only the physical exercise, but the emotional outlet of being able to interact and connect with others who are also out on the trail. Though discussions may begin with the weather or the age of the dogs, walkers often share a common bond and it is not unusual for strangers to open up and spontaneously (and candidly) share personal triumphs or woes while the dogs run and frolic. Sort of letting off steam while letting out the hound!
The stories about the people Fuut meets, are funny and heart warming, indeed a bit of fresh air. The book is written in Dutch, so if that is not your language of choice, stay tuned. I plan to translate this little gem into English.