There is nothing quite like being up and out at sunrise. Growing up, I lived in a very busy, noisy household. With two brothers and multiple foster siblings, and my Mom running a home day care, quiet time was practically non-existent. Early mornings were the only part of day I could find some quiet time to myself. I would wake at 5:30am each morning and sneak downstairs to watch Pink Panther cartoons. The time to myself felt sacred, and energized me for the day ahead.
I carried this habit into adulthood, usually getting up early to work or take a run. After adopting my first rescue dog Tiko, I began walking for an hour and a half every morning before work. I had lived in Aurora for about five years before Tiko came into my life. I thought I knew the town well. As it turns out I had so much more to discover.
After a year walking the trails with Tiko, I adopted our second dog Casey. She’s a street dog from Greece and very much the brave explorer. We’ve hopped streams, been ankle deep in mud, waded through deep snow and found paths off the beaten track. It gave me a new perspective on the landscape, as well as discovering areas I hadn’t seen before.
"My daily walks fill me with gratitude for the opportunity to see a new sunrise, to breathe in fresh air, to observe the changing of the seasons, to hear the dawn chorus and just to be present to bear witness to a new day. It’s less a routine and more a daily practice in gratitude".
We are out walking every morning, regardless of the weather. I have seen the most phenomenal sights and sounds on days that few people would venture out on. The wildlife and trails in Aurora offer up surprises every day.
When the pandemic hit, I found myself even more in awe of the natural beauty to be found in our neighborhood.
My daily walks fill me with gratitude for the opportunity to see a new sunrise, to breathe in fresh air, to observe the changing of the seasons, to hear the dawn chorus and just to be present to bear witness to a new day. It’s less a routine and more a daily practice in gratitude.
I decided to start taking photos on my walks to share with family and friends on Facebook, hoping it would brighten someone’s day. I certainly don’t view myself as a photographer. I’ve never taken a class and don’t even own a camera! The photos were taken on my old i-phone 6S and now my i-phone 12 mini. I think that speaks to the beauty of our neighborhood. If I can make it look spectacular, it really must be!
"when I realized that some of the areas I had been capturing would soon be lost to development, I found a renewed sense of purpose to continue my mission".
There certainly have been winter days that I’d rather not remove my gloves to take a shot. However, when I realized that some of the areas I had been capturing would soon be lost to development, I found a renewed sense of purpose to continue my mission.
I hope that by sharing my photos, in some small way can help people through these challenging times and provide them with an increased appreciation and gratitude for nature and our neighborhood. I feel truly blessed to live in such a wonderful place.
A big thank you to Stacey for taking the time to share her dog-walking story and the amazing moments she's captured while on the move with her pooches. Stacey is an active member of our SWSCD Women and Dogs Circle where she's had the opportunity to virtually introduce herself and her two dogs Tiko and Casey to other women who share a passion for their own fourlegged, furry friends. New members to this and to all of our SWSCD Women's Circles are always welcome. Head to each Women's Circle's group page to join and to find all the details for upcoming Circle events.
Check out the SWSCD Athlete Advisor, you business directory for all things health and physical activity.
Start a group and explore events in your neighbourhood. Check out our SWSCD Hub.
Look for advice, businesses and more on our Women and Dogs Circle page. Tell us about your favourite way to get yourself moving with your pooch(es).
Share your highlights directly on our Discover blog or by using #seewhatshecando on social media and inspire others to get active.
Blog and photos by SWSCD member Stacey Hoffman. Stacey can frequently be seen walking the many streets and trails of Aurora, Ontario with her two special rescue dogs Tiko and Casey at her side and her iphone at the ready to catch any great view that she's lucky enough to see along the way.
If you love to take pics while out being active with your dog(s) and you're interested in sharing them through SWSCD like Stacey, please let us know. We'd love to help you share your view of the world when on the move too.
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