Friday, September 18, 2009
My New Cause - Walk Your Dog!
When we moved to a house with a big backyard several years ago, I didn't HAVE to walk the dogs anymore. The result is I got fatter and my dogs got sadder. Although Otto and Gussie (who since has passed over the bridge at the age of 16) enjoyed their yard, on the few occasions I'd get their leashes out...they went nuts!
I realized that "backyard" is pretty predictable for them. The squirrels Otto chases run right up the same tree every time. The bunnies through the same gap in the neighbors fence. Dogs know that walks are always an adventure..or the potential for one!
So I have become a giant proponent of dog walking. My doctor actually recommended it to me several months ago as a nice natural relaxant after a stressful day at work. But morning is the prime time for me and I found that after a week of walking Otto every morning before work, well, he expected it. Having a walking partner who nagged at me with those big, expectant brown eyes kept me on track. When it's raining um...cats and dogs...though, he is no more interested in going out in it than I am! Now that's a relief!
There are so many human benefits, too! I've lost 7 lbs., can ride my bike without effort, am sleeping way better, have met nice other dog people, saw a striped rose today and got to stop and smell it!
Otto has always been very fit (people have asked us if we do weight training with him, lol) and the only thing giving away his senior age is his white muzzle. But I have noticed that his leg that gave him trouble when he's overdone, doesn't bother him anymore. The consistent exercise has cured that lameness. And for dogs that are pudgy, you know the health benefits for them are even more pronounced.
I've also noticed that now that he is consistently walked, and walked for 20 minutes to and hour and a half a day, he finally stopped pulling on that leash, making the walk more pleasurable for both of us.
So, what are you waiting for? There's nothing he'd rather do with you today!
Robin and Otto
I am Animal and Pet Portrait Artist, Robin Zebley. For more about me and my art, visit my site at http://robinzebley.com