I have found that with dog ownership comes routine and if I don’t walk my dogs every day in the morning, they drive me bleeping nuts all day long. They kind of herd me and watch my every move and go berserk until they see movement toward the leashes and poop bags. They have me trained!
Actually it’s the one routine that I look forward to every day because we all benefit.
By walking dogs, I have met numerous neighbors that I would never meet otherwise; many of these neighbors I know by name or I know their dogs’ names and vice versa. I also can burn a few extra calories, smell the air when it’s fresher/cooler in the a.m., covet other people’s flora and landscaping, and just gather my thoughts. I often have the best ideas while I’m walking my dogs but forget them by the time I get home.
My first greyhound Painter was the funniest dog because he was stubborn (greyhounds are independent) and really liked meeting people. One time we were walking several blocks away and he saw a couple who paid him no mind. They were loading their car as if to go on a camping trip. He stopped and went into statue mode – a 75 pound statue – and I couldn’t get him to budge. He strained to meet these people who were busy loading their car. Finally, I said, “You hoo. My dog wants to meet you.” They kind of looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders, and walked down the driveway to meet him. After a few pets, they went back to loading their car and we resumed our walk.
Another time, another block, Painter noticed a guy sitting in a truck. I noticed him too because he was cute. Painter went into statue mode. I could not get him to budge. Finally the guy in the truck rolled down his window and asked what the problem was. I explained that my dog wanted to meet him. That sounded so lame. Nevertheless, the cute guy hopped out of the vehicle and came over to pet Painter. I was both thrilled and mortified at the same time. After a few pets, we were on our way.
I was recently shocked to read that our pets are experiencing the same obesity epidemic that people and children are. Grab the leash and let’s go for a walk. Kudos to Colleen Paige for creating and drawing attention to National Walk Your Dog Week as a means to improve the health and well being of America’s dogs. I don’t know the veracity of this statement but the website says, “If you and/or your dog are overweight, walk just 30 minutes a day, three times a week, and you can lower blood pressure, increase energy, heighten your sense of happiness and well being, reduce your weight by 5% and your dog’s weight by 15%. Whether true or not, I’ve always put my best foot forward walking my dogs in the morning. This activity gives me a positive outlook for the rest of the day.
(Photo: Michelle Caillet of the Greyt Escape gives the visiting hounds a robust morning walk.)