Life Lessons with Miki

Miki is my mom’s dog, but we like to do things together, especially when it comes to our favorite chill spot. It’s close to home and very peaceful with shaded sidewalks beneath tall eucalyptus trees. The breeze carries the fragrance of the eucalyptus and echoes with birds chirping and hens clucking. It’s also devoid of people, perhaps just 2-3 people exercising or walking their dogs. It’s a sweet little piece of heaven.

Our favorite chill spot

Our favorite chill spot. 


I enjoy our 45-minute walks in our favorite spot; it helps me to relax and breathe, as well as allows me to practice my photography. Miki REALLY LOVES it there. On the weekends, she’ll follow me around the house, looking at me with her big eyes and wagging her tail when I ask her, “What’s up?” to which I already know the answer.

 How can you say no to this?

How could you possibly say no to this face?


When we first found the area, I thought to myself, “Might as well make this walk productive,” so whenever we go, if it’s not raining, I’ll bring my camera with me.

At first, between Miki sniffing and me wanting to capture images, it was always a tug of war. I would try to hurry her by gently tugging on her leash. I mean, really, how many spots does she have to sniff and how much pee does she really have in her bladder? Apparently a lot. Every few feet, she would stop, sniff, circle, then position herself just right to pee on the exact spot where another dog has left his/her mark. I was getting frustrated, so I’d tug at her to move it along. Mind you, I don’t pull hard or drag—just tugged enough to let her know I Am The Master and We Must Go.

And Miki knew just how to get back at me. While she was sniffing, I was always looking around for that perfect shot—the fading sunlight that hits just so, a brilliant burst of tropical color on a flower, contrasting shades, fallen flowers or leaves that I like to call “found art.” And whenever I found something, I’d stop to compose the shot, focus and press the shutter. That’s when Miki would always—ALWAYS—pull on her leash. Dog gone it! Miki, stop! Come here! Argh…!

That went on for awhile.

But one day when we were back at our favorite spot, I realized something. I’m constantly busy throughout the week—work, meetings, church, running errands, etc. Miki’s whole world is at home with mom who walks her around the less-than-a-mile block everyday and rarely takes Miki with her when she goes out since not many stores allow dogs and I refuse to get Miki one of those faux “service dog” vests.

So when I’m home on the weekends, that’s Miki’s opportunity to get out and see more of the world and return to our favorite spot. I stopped and thought about it. And acted upon it. 

I don’t pull or tug at her leash anymore. I let her do what she wants at her pace. And you know what? Whenever I find my shot, I stop to compose it then hit the shutter. Perfect! No pulling or tugging from Miki. She waits for me to do my thing and when I’m done, we continue on. Pretty cool, huh? 

Not happy, but patient

Miki's droopy tail says she's not happy, but she does wait patiently for me to get my shots.


So, the lesson here when it comes to dog walks and for life—when you constantly take, you will always hit a wall. When you give, things will open up. 

 Satisfied on the way home.

One satisfied pooch on the drive home.

Well, I can hear Miki’s nails clicking down the hallway toward my room. And yes, it’s time for our walk.

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