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


Altered Beauty said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for the reminder of how amazing walking a dog can be...for both the dog and the person. I am going to go walk Buddy right now!

Kate said...

Great post! I totally agree on all counts. Walking your dog is a great way to get outside when you might not otherwise. And it's a fun way to bond with your pooch.

Quilt Works said...

I am so thrilled i found your art work! We have a lot in common :-) I also do pet portraits in an unuseal medium - fiber art! I hope you will stop by to check it out.
I am your follower now! Looking forward to seeing more!

Unknown said...

Altered Beauty, hope you and Buddy had fun!!

Kate, it's funny but Otto seems even more affectionate since we've been walking daily. I think he thought I was just taking him for granted!

QuiltWorks, I will! Thanks for the compliments!!

And welcome to all to my blog!

Susan said...

Robin, thanks for bringing this to light! This is sooo true. I can't tell you how many people I know who have a fenced yard or invisible fence and say they don't have to walk their dog anymore. Just like you said, the yard becomes predictable, and they get bored easily. Dogs are "migratory" creatures too in the ancient sense. Wolves must walk and hunt for their food and water and dogs retain that ancient drive. Like you said, owners get their exercise too, meet other dogs & dog owners and clear your head. I walk Cosmo just about every day. We go at least two miles and some days if I have enough time I go three or four. It's funny though, he'd much rather go out in the rain than the heat! He's a beagle and tends to put on weight quickly if we don't watch it. This summer, any day or night much over 75 degrees, he wouldn't budge much. I'm so thankful for the cooler weather! Also congrats on your weight loss, thats awesome! I would loose from all my walking if I still didn't eat so much! ;b
Have a great week everyone!

Mr. Puggle® said...

i take mr. puggle roller blading because he is so hyper! beautiful artwork!

Robin said...

Ha, ha, Susan, today I'm really tired, we did a long walk, and he's still at the window begging to go get those squirrels.

Mr. Puggle, welcome to blog! For real, you take him rollerblading? THat's fabulous!

And thanks so much for the compliments on my art! I guess you can tell I love what I do.

Susan said...

Yes, no matter how much time you give them, they still want more!