About Walks With Rama
Walks With Rama is a continuation of my first blog about Rama (Raising Rama) and was inspired by certain events in my life. While that first effort was a pet centered blog, Walks With Rama is definitely more of a lifestyle blog where the dogs play a supporting role.
After my husband and I separated, I found myself alone, depressed and struggling to find my way. Feeling like I needed a big dog around, I made the decision to search out a local breeder. I had shown dogs before, so a show dog–though not a priority for me at that time–was definitely something I was willing to consider. I figured returning to showing dogs might be just the thing I needed to keep my mind off of currents events in my life.
Rama Comes Home
I’d spent many years with guarding breeds and wanted to be consistent with that. I researched a local Cane Corso breeder and went to visit.
Enter a 60-lb brindle bundle of love with two speeds–sloth and bulldozer. The day we went to meet her, she immediately went to my middle son and began playing fetch with him. My daughter was a toddler at the time and Rama was very gentle with her. It was clear she was a sweet soul, and so at the tender age of 5 months, she came home.
Amidst the emotional turmoil of my marriage ending, my home being up for sale, my re-entering the workforce after years of being a stay-at-home mom, there were walks. Neighborhood walks, beach walks, walks around the local village, trail walks. It was on these walks with Rama that I began to feel better about myself and my changing life. With nothing but the birds singing overhead, Rama’s clanking tags, my footfalls on the Earth and her panting, I discovered that with each mile my problems began to seem not quite so large.
A Frightening Diagnosis
In 2012 I found myself facing an unfavorable mammogram. I ended up having a preventative double mastectomy and what would end up being 5 years of reconstruction (complications, revisions). Rama (and now a few more Corsos) sat at my bedside and would see me through that difficult time with the silent devotion that dogs have.
For a long while I could not walk the dogs (or do much of anything for that matter) due to the many surgeries and long recovery periods. It was a difficult time.
Hiking With Dogs
I learned how not to feel helpless through hiking with dogs. I learned that the more I hiked, the better I felt. I learned just how strong I was. I left the flatness of Florida and solo hiked/camped in the mountains. Just me and a dog. I pushed myself. I felt alive out there. I felt at peace. Being a stay-at-home mom of kids and a pack of dogs, my life was anything but peaceful. I was always tired, always cranky it seemed. But out in the woods, climbing a mountain, filtering my drinking water and eating my meals out of a bag, I was at peace. No one was tugging at me, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the state of my house, I no longer felt “not good enough” and hallelujah–my life didn’t revolve around my breasts.
What We Do
In 2016 we re-branded the blog and it became our mission to spread the word about the role of nature and movement in mental health. We share gear reviews, exercise and wellness news and our dreams of hiking the most beautiful landscapes in the world with our best furry friends by our side.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
What Is Walks With Rama About?
This blog is the continuation of my first blog about Rama (Raising Rama), which documented the process of bringing home and raising a 60 pound Cane Corso pup during one of the most trying times of my life. I wrote to keep my mind occupied with things other than what was going on around me at the time, and because the blog combined my love of writing, dogs and photography all in one place. Between my trying to keep it all together, struggling with single parenthood, depression, my failed marriage and raising Rama, there were walks.
We took beach walks, walks in the neighborhood, walks in the woods, in the park. I suddenly had free weekends. I spent many of them with Rama, walking. I needed to find some peace in my life. In the swirling vortex of emotion that was my broken relationship, the chaos that was me trying to manage 3 kids on a daily basis without wanting to hurl myself off a bridge, I looked forward to the simple act of walking. I began to seek out wooded trails, enjoying the silence and the ability to immerse myself in an environment that both challenged and restored me. A pack on my back and dogs at my side (by this time Sassy had joined the family), walking through the woods became my therapy.
And how it made me feel was one of the single biggest ah-ha moments of my life.
Earth has no sorrow that Earth cannot heal. ~John Muir
In 2012 I received a call barely 2 hours after leaving my very first mammogram. What followed was more than a few years of surgeries, doubt, dread and fighting to keep my sanity. It was on these walks with Rama that I learned to appreciate that the world was so much more than my pain. There was beauty and joy and importance in the bark of a tree, the song of leaves in the wind, the sound of a dog panting as she trotted along in front of me.
Studies have proven that fresh air and sunshine are needed by the human body to thrive. Even more studies have shown the positive health effects of dogs on people. It is my aim and the aim of this blog to promote that the two together are limitless in their healing potential by chronicling my own journey toward wellness.
This blog is about the journey through that time in my life, the process of becoming better, finding new passions and how hiking with dogs reminded me of the simpler days of my childhood, longed-for dreams and what’s really important in life.