Dogs using Slow Ways #1: Cookie


We asked wildlife photographer Jasmine Pasha to turn her lens on dogs going about their Slow Ways journeys, to see what we human walkers might learn

Since Slow Ways began two years ago people have poured hundreds of thousands of words of reviews, and thousands of photos, into the collective pot. Routes are being walked and reviewed at a rate of 137km a day! We are well on the way to discovering how people feel about the routes they are walking, as each reviewer leaves notes and clues, tips and memories, like a postcard to the next user.

But there is another major user of the routes. Love them or hate them, there are many, many dogs of Slow Ways, all non-verbally having their own experiences of the routes, back and forth (and back and forth and back and forth) all over the country. What are they thinking? What do they love, what do they hate? It’s not our place to suggest, so the best tool we have is a camera.

We asked talented wildlife photographer Jasmine Pasha to spend time on routes, where she’d try to capture some of the spirit and soul of these route companions. The photos stand alone, but as you look at them you might like to think: what is the dog thinking? What senses is it using that its owner can’t access? What extra information would the dog write in its review? Can we recognise joy, right here? Might it be contagious?

First up – here’s Cookie on his Slow Ways journey.

Slow Ways route: Sunbury-on-Thames—Hounslow: Sunhou two
● Distance: 9km / 5 miles

Cookie’s Slow Ways journey took him through vast open spaces, a colourful urban underpass and along the river. He seemed to really enjoy the variety of the route. Although he stuck to the path as much as possible, he veered off every now and again, sniffing his way along. One particular scent really entranced him. He couldn’t seem to tear himself away, and in following it, he almost fell in the river.

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