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Forcing your dog, toddler, spouse to walk the Camino with you?

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pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
According to common understanding, the camino is a pilgrimage. Be it for reasons of faith, religion, spirituality, self-reflection, personal experience or endurance, etc.
All above being strictly personal reasons and choices.
It is also being said, that everyone does his/her own camino.

Then why on earth
• do some people force their dogs to share their journey?
• do some parents drag their toddlers and small kids along?
• do spouses….oh well, these have at least a choice 😉.

Is it because they like to walk but are unable to leave dog, toddler, spouse at home alone?
But would such forcing of someone dependent and unable to take own decisions be consistent with the spirit of pilgrimage?

Just wondering 🤔
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
An interesting question, and I look forward to see how others respond. My wife walked because she wanted to, or so she told me at the time. But as I am not a mind reader, other than this specific instance where I trust my spouse has been honest with me, your first question appears largely rhetorical.

Your second question is based on the notion that coercion of some form or other is involved. And here again my mind reading skills obviously fail me. I didn't see any outward signs that dogs and children were being coerced. In the case of service dogs, it might be expected that they would accompany the person they are supporting. That is what they have been trained to do, after all. Similarly, a pack animal like a donkey or mule, or a horse being ridden is presumably also not going to be an issue of coercion, although all might need to be coaxed to speed up or traverse some obstacle.

So I didn't see any evidence that animals, children and spouses were being coerced in the way that your question suggests, which makes me wonder what you observed that gives rise to your concern on this matter.
 

pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
I have never needed to ‘force’ my dog to take a walk!
Does your dog know that there will be
- maybe a trip in a cage in a freight section on a flight at first?
- that you are taking him on a 30-days plus walk of x-hundred KM?
- hot weather, burning hot pavements?
- crossings of alien territories defended by ferocious guarding-dogs?
- nights to spend tied-up in unfamiliar places?

Probably you take his waggling tail an affirmativ answer 🐶
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
According to common understanding, the camino is a pilgrimage. Be it for reasons of faith, religion, spirituality, self-reflection, personal experience or endurance, etc.
All above being strictly personal reasons and choices.
It is also being said, that everyone does his/her own camino.

Then why on earth
• do some people force their dogs to share their journey?
• do some parents drag their toddlers and small kids along?
• do spouses….oh well, these have at least a choice 😉.

Is it because they like to walk but are unable to leave dog, toddler, spouse at home alone?
But would such forcing of someone dependent and unable to take own decisions be consistent with the spirit of pilgrimage?

Just wondering 🤔

stop wondering and keep on wandering:) Needless perusals of this sort will only induce migraines and the cacas.

Buen camino :)

The malingerer
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Since neither a dog nor a toddler is ever able to provide informed consent, one must hope that the adult has given due consideration of the risks and benefits, the pros and cons before embarking on said journey. Neither dogs nor toddlers are given the opportunity to chose their family either. Generally speaking, it is better for toddlers to be with their parents rather than spend a month ensconsed in someone else's care.

Some human adults have no clue what is involved in the pilgrimage either. But the whole thing (hauling kids and animals along) would not be much different than what our ancestors did a thousand years ago in order to attend a fair or a spring clan meeting or a thing.
 
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pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
@NorthernLight, my thoughts exactly, differently and well expressed. To "Some human adults have no clue what is involved in the pilgrimage" I would add that at least they essentially bear the consequences themselves.

The reason I raised the subject (@dougfitz) is that I have been in a number of situations I just did not know if I should join the unanimous onlookers exclaiming the eagerly solicited "how cute, how sweet" just to be friendly ("positive judgement") or to ask some critical questions, when the dog did or toddler in fact did not look so happy, ("negative judgement") along the Camino, where judgments of whatever sort are (rightly-) a no-go. If I follow the @malingerer advise, I will automatically be considered to be a "negative judger".
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I’ve encountered families hauling young children and pets along the way. On second or third encounters with them, I’ve asked them how the children and pets are coping. Mostly these have been responsible adults who keep stages short, who include plenty of play and rest time, who love their kids and pets and base decisions on their overall well-being. One family hauled a small wagon so they could bring a tent and sleep outside the albergues with their dog. They checked paws regularly.

Of course there are others who are not so responsible, or capable. Their pets and kids are likely as well looked after and/or neglected at home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Though I agree that the Camino may really be difficult on a pet, I think this question goes in the pot with other questions like "What is a REAL pilgrim?" and minding one's own business. Again, here I'd do my best to repeat the mantra, "You do YOU, and I'll do ME."
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
The reason I raised the subject (@dougfitz) is that I have been in a number of situations I just did not know if I should join the unanimous onlookers exclaiming the eagerly solicited "how cute, how sweet" just to be friendly ("positive judgement") or to ask some critical questions, when the dog did or toddler in fact did not look so happy, ("negative judgement") along the Camino, where judgments of whatever sort are (rightly-) a no-go. If I follow the @malingerer advise, I will automatically be considered to be a "negative judger".
@pepi thx for that explanation, but why do you have to be judgemental at all. If you are concerned, there are one or two questions that might be asked: 'Are you okay?' and 'Is there something I can do to help?'. I think the first is useful anytime, the second might be more limited to times when you see someone that looks like they are having difficulty. In any case, respect the answer. If you don't think asking the question is needed, have a chat or move on - the choice is yours.
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
At the risk of repeating myself, I have decided not to judge how others make pilgrimage so as to free my mind for my own enlightenment.
 
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