The Dog has led me places I might not otherwise have gone. Like our back yard. It's more of a back forest, and for the last (blush) 16 years or so, since we moved here, I've avoided climbing around in it. Which is how I thought of it. Within a couple of weeks of our acquiring Davida, she led me back there, and I found that it was not actually intimidating. One can walk around in the fairly sparse forest, and it's not all steep and thorn-filled (though parts are).
Today, in celebration of finding some lost toys, my 9-year-old headed back there as we took the dog out for fresh air. It has been delightfully and unseasonably warm, all the way up to the upper 60's, which feels like due payback for winter coming several weeks early. Anyway, we headed down the slope toward the creek at the boundary of our property, which my daughter didn't even know was there. Davida and I went most of the way; Daughter made it all the way, triumphantly stuck a finger in the water, leaned against a tree and contemplated her achievement in happy satisfaction. Thanks, dog.