A Walk in the Park

Parkinson’s – My Uninvited Companion

Its a beautiful morning and I’m walking in the park enjoying the autumn sunshine and the stunning colours that this time of year brings. I stop and chat with people who over the past few years have become familiar and friendly faces. I have learned a little of their lives and they, of mine. I have my dog with me. She the reason I am out so often. She’s obedient, she does as I ask and she’s a delight to be out with. People look at her affectionately. She rarely strays too far from my side and her presence is welcome and adds to the enjoyment of my walks. When we return home, she will curl up on her blanket and sleep contentedly.

Increasingly, I have noticed on these walks, that I am accompanied by another companion too. This uninvited companion persists in joining me wherever I go. This uninvited companion reminds me of a disobedient dog. Unlike my dog, I don’t welcome this disobedient dog or cherish him. He is badly behaved and conspires to detract from my enjoyment of my walk. He frustrates me, he exhausts me, he draws attention to me and he wears me down with his constant misbehaving.

The disobedient dog yaps at me continually, demanding my attention. Distracting me from my conversations. Sometimes he is so loud and persistent in his yapping that I am embarrassed by his behaviour. I wonder if other dog walkers or passers by might judge me for the lack of control I have over this disobedient dog that I have acquired but whom I have not yet fully accepted into my home.

I try to discipline this disobedient dog in an attempt to retain some control but this doesn’t work. I don’t think that other dog walkers and passers by can possibly understand that this disobedient dog cannot be taught to walk to heel or sit when asked, no matter how hard I try. When he’s very badly behaved and doing his utmost to defy me, I find myself making excuses for him. At times the only solution is to head for home, to find a quiet space, taking my disobedient dog with me.

Unlike the peace that prevails when my dog sleeps contentedly, this disobedient dog doesn’t ever curl up and sleep. In fact, he rarely slows down at all. Instead he shows a steely determination to continue his bad behaviour each day and throughout each night.

Adjusting to the constant presence of this uninvited companion, is not easy. Being the owner of this disobedient dog can be hard. I do not find the disobedient dog loveable or affectionate in the way I do my dog. I doubt, the disobedient dog and I will ever have an affectionate relationship but I am hopeful that with patience, time and perseverance that we might learn to walk together amicably.

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