I had a checkup with my cardiologist, Dr. Gregory Henes, the other day. The topic of my physical activity and exercise regimen came up, like it always does. Like always his answer was more and more exercise.
However, this time I said that I am now able to walk our dog, which I couldn’t do until recently (that’s a topic for another blog post, another day, but suffice for now to read the prelude here)
Dr. Henes jumped on the opportunity and asked “How long do the walks last?”
“About half an hour,” I replied.
“How many times a week?” he quickly countered.
“Once or twice,” I returned the volley.
“You need to walk the dog every day!” he prescribed.
So I got my marching orders, or should I say my walking orders from the doctor.
Ellie, our black lab, is now a part of my cardio workout regimen. She thinks it’s her job to sniff every lamp post, test every puddle, chase every squirrel, and scare every duck in the man made lake next to a nearby office complex. She also thinks she needs jump in and play with the swans, but that stops when they spread their wings and hiss at her, as seen in this prior post.
Ellie doesn’t know her new purpose is to get me back in shape.
Or does she?
Dogs are known to be early warning systems for an array of health problems. Ellie senses when someone is sick in our household. Her behavior becomes more subdued, she will sit like a vigilant sentinel next to someone who needs help.
When we let her loose in a nearby park she’ll gallop towards me then run away, taunting me, “Come on Dave, sprint with me, you can do it!”
This picture captures her energy in motion, shiny coat, smile on her face, beckoning “Let’s get with the exercise program!”