Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Walking The Dog

I've been a little preoccupied as I just had some minor surgery. But apparently major enough that I lost about a week. First I tried sitting down and writing anything. Not much came out. Then I took to talking out loud to myself. This was better. At least I was expressing. But I was still stuck. Finally, as a last resort, I began talking to the dog. “So Jersey,” I said, “what should we (I always use “we” when talking to the dog) write about this month?” “I don't know,” she said, “but let's got for a walk.” Remembering that I had neglected our walks since the surgery, we went. The next day, I once again said, “Jersey, what should we write about?” “I don't know,” she said, “but let's go for a walk.” I obliged. One day later, was no different. I had written nothing, but we walked. On our Friday walk I began to notice that while I had not yet written a thing, I was feeling better about it. By the end of our walk on Saturday, I felt good and didn't care that I had written nothing. On Sunday, when I started writing, the topic became clear.

The Top Ten Reasons to Take Your Dog for a Walk

1. As Jersey says, “It blows the stink off.”
Jersey means it a little more literally than I do but I did notice that as I was getting more and more worried about writing, I was beginning to smell.

2. It keeps you putting one foot in front of the other.
If it's true that movement creates momentum and momentum creates flow, then putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how mindless, is literally the first step in movement and towards flow.

3. It's a moving meditation.
While my body was doing all the work, my mind was allowed to wander in directions it needed to go and finally become silent.

4. It's cheaper than therapy.
The dog's a great listener.

5. Your body will look and feel better.
If an improved cardiovascular system isn't enough incentive, think about your legs and butt in shorts and swim suits this upcoming summer season.

6. You'll notice things only your dog can point out.
Jersey's hearing and sense of smell are far superior to mine. I've come to rely on her to point out wildlife I would have normally walked right by.

7. In Northern Michigan one of the first signs of spring is the open sign at the Dairy Queen.
The hot fudge sundae you'll now be tempted to stop for seems little more justified.

8. After a long winter, dogs, like the rest of us, are a little testy.
A daily walk can save you repair bills on furniture, boots and shoes, and anything else you dog uses to cure her winter blues. Jersey's personal favorite is playing “keep away” with my $200 hiking boots.

9. If you've been walking your dog regularly all winter, spring yard clean up is a little easier.

10. By developing a strong bond with your dog, she may one day share the importance of turning around three times before lying down.

“It's impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy.” ~Dr. Howard Murphy

“Most of the obstacles would melt away if instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.” ~Orison Swett Marden

“Walking is man's best medicine.” ~Hippocrates

“Walking is also an ambulation of mind.” ~Gretel Ehrlich

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."
~Woodrow Wilson