Fitness Tips I Learned from my Dogs: Eliminating Excuses

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EmmatheGBGVBefore we start our FitDog Friday post, we have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Our co-host Peggy Frezon is resigning from her hosting duties to pursue some other interests with her blog, The Writer’s Dog, but we are lucky enough to have Emma from MyGBGV Life to take over the co-hosting duties. You probably already know Emma and her sisters Bailie & Katie, but if you don’t, here’s your opportunity to get to know them. They are GBGV’s and have a really active lifestyle with their mom. They run, travel and most fun of all, they do nose work and write about that process all the time. Please welcome Emma and her family as our new FitDog Friday co-host!

Today we continue our “Fitness Tips I Learned from my Dogs” series. We have already written about having fun with fitness, the importance of variety when exercising, and the value of proper rest. Today’s tip is about eliminating excuses.


One of the biggest obstacles to getting and staying fit is figuring out how to work out consistently each week. For most of us, there is often some reason or excuse that we use to skip a workout. Some of the more common ones include: we don’t feel well, our knee hurts, we are tired, we are too busy, or it’s too cold, too hot, or too wet outside. Although these can be valid excuses on occasion, if most of us thought like our dogs, we would have a much fitter nation (and world).


Dogs Don’t Use Excuses

Unlike humans, most dogs don’t think up excuses to miss their workout. Whether it is a walk, a run, advanced agility drills, or whatever activity you have planned, dogs tend to look forward to the workout and prefer not to miss it!


Although I have been dedicated to fitness for most of my adult life and am one of the people that strives to workout at least once per day, 365 days per year, I have still learned from my dogs when it comes to eliminating excuses and finding a way to workout instead of finding a reason not to. Of all the dogs that I have had in the past, this philosophy was best exemplified by my dogs Tino and Becca.



Tino was a rescue that had hereditary glaucoma and he became blind at the age of about 9. Completely blind in both eyes mind you. Soon after he lost vision in his second eye, I remember thinking that would be the end of our runs together and hoped that he would still be able to at least walk. Wow, was I wrong. Tino did not use his blindness as an ‘excuse’, nor did he exhibit any self-pity. Instead, when we strapped on his leash, he just started running as if nothing at all had changed. He was a real inspiration to me and I used his example many times when I had injuries and other setbacks. Instead of just sitting around and feeling sorry for myself, I figured out creative ways to get a workout in, no excuses, just like Tino.


Our Lab Becca was another great example of a no excuse approach to exercise. Poor Becca was a service dog that we rescued when she was 10 years old. Her prior owner used her to carry books and it showed. Her spinal cord was completely fused! She had very limited back leg strength and was often in pain due to her spinal nerves pinching. Yet, Becca was always ready to go for a run or play fetch. She didn’t use her bad back as an excuse, she would do anything she could to exercise, play, or both. Even when Becca was in the later stages of bone cancer, she still did all she could to play some fetch with us. I can’t even imagine the pain she was in but it rarely stopped her. Like Tino, Becca was a true inspiration to me and reinforced the idea in my mind that “where there is a will, there is a way” when it comes to exercise.

To this day, I integrate this thinking into my workout plans. I try to spread this philosophy to my fellow human workout partners (often to their dismay) as I call them out for missing their workouts or taking it to easy due to some half-cocked excuse. Have an injury?   Find a workaround! Working long hours? Go for a run at lunch! Can’t run due to an injury? Do some hand cycling or go for a swim.


As Tino and Becca have shown, excuses are a dime a dozen but moving around and being active, no matter what obstacles you are facing, is possible with a little grit and determination, Next time you are thinking about missing a workout, ask yourself a question: “What would Tino or Becca do?”

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FitDog Friday Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.   Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!  


  1. Thanks for this post. That’s exactly what I currently do: I waste my time with finding excuses instead to start something. But today is the first day of a new month and I will work with Easy in the evening.
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog SHOW AND TELL with BACONMy Profile

  2. Hi Y’all!

    Yep, and folks just don’t understand…whenever I’m hurt my Humans try to enforce “no activity” on me, like stall rest for a horse, or bed rest for them…It ain’t happenin’!!! Where there’s a will there’s a way!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…How Fit Am I?My Profile

  3. Thank you for the nice welcome. We are so happy to cohost because we love being and staying fit, it is a perfect fit for us! Dogs are no excuses beings, but we do have to admit, when Mom comes down in running clothes, Katie and I pretend to be asleep, and only Bailie gets excited. That is okay because one dog is enough for running, but when Mom returns, Katie and I are ready to roll for a walk!
    Emma recently posted…Mix and Match Fun For FourMy Profile

  4. On pain………. you discussed the pain that your rescued service dog had. I have found that MSM, a derivative of DMSO used in horses, has helped my dogs immensely with any aspect of pain. The dosage can be found in the book, “The Miracle of MSM” or any book pertaining to MSM. My 90 pound dog will take 8000 mg daily when he is in pain and it stops the pain. Check it out. 🙂

  5. Bless their hearts, I know too that Norman wouldn’t let excuses come his way. Even after his biopsy when we had our last hunt test set up for him he trucked out their like he didn’t have a care in the world. All they want to do is please you and do what they were bred to do. Now give me that type of thinking and give me more time!! Does your head spinning out of control count as exercise???? Have a wonderful weekend, Gman will be out exercising as he has a hunt test this weekend. Glory has the weekend off and Nellie has to stay home as we don’t have room in the rental truck. 🙁
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday~Wet Wubba FunMy Profile

  6. I am motivated to walk in the neighborhood, Arboretum, or hike at the city’s Northwest River Park entirely by Toby. He is John Muir in a fur suit. I am motivated to Jazzercise after watching my active, fit mother-in-law decline due to Alzheimer’s. As her ability to get around without supervision dropped away, to see her lose muscle, flexibility, and motor skills so rapidly was an eye-opener. I realized that if I wanted to continue to do all of the things I love, and have a happy old age, I had to get a workout in several times a week. Whenever I don’t feel like going I think about something cool I want to be fit enough to do in five years. I think the real trick though is finding something you like enough to keep doing it.
    Amy recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: A Walk In The ParkMy Profile

  7. I’ll miss co-hosting with you all, but you’ve got the best new co-host to join the group!! Much love and success to you all.
    Peggy Frezon recently posted…Ike’s Gotcha Day!My Profile

  8. Dogs are great inspiration. Our old hospice foster chased the ball with cancer and a slipped disc all while losing her vision. Our current dogs all never miss the chance to go for a run. Excellent post!
    Gabi recently posted…Fit Dog Friday: A Run in the ParkMy Profile

  9. So true! Dogs are the greatest motivator, already ready to have some fun and play! Great story… love the sweet video of Becca.
    Diane and Rocco
    Diane recently posted…Back Massage for Your DogMy Profile

  10. Even when I do try to come up with an excuse, I’ve found Eko’s insistent stare impossible to avoid. I always break and I’m thankful he gets me out the door.

  11. Yay for Emma! Great post as always SLim
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…I see huskies in your future! – Pet PsychicMy Profile

  12. They make the best workout buddies! You and Jack are a perfect exapmle!

  13. Mr. N believes in walks rain or shine. About the only thing he doesn’t like is walking when there’s thunderstorms but I don’t think it’s very safe to be doing that anyway!

  14. Love this post! A great story about how big our dogs’ hearts are and how they have such a positive attitude towards life. I don’t enjoy walking by myself but I enjoy it when I have my dog with me. It makes me happy to see her having so much fun exploring the area and sniffing all those interesting things along the way.
    Rachele Baker, DVM recently posted…“Pets Make Us Smile” Blog Hop with Linky List July 21-23, 2014My Profile

  15. It is true the dogs are always ready to go. Loved the video of Becca. 🙂
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Stay Off The PointMy Profile

  16. I’ve never had a dog say “No, I don’t think I’d like to go for that walk or hike right now” and thank goodness they don’t. My dog Laika is my motivation for exercising, I know it’s good for me but it’s wanting to keep her happy and healthy that makes it seem even more worthwhile. Love that video.
    Jen Jelly recently posted…Why Not Build A Dog Cart?My Profile

  17. Thanks for sharing this! I’m sure we’re all good at making excuses from time to time but I’ve found a good way to combat copping out of taking Niles out. I find I make less excuses when I put on my workout clothes first and think of when we’re going to exercise next. Once the clothes are on I just need to grab Niles and head out the door! Takes more effort for me to just take them off again and lounge around. 🙂
    Nailah Bone recently posted…How Chikungunya Made Us Change Our Dog Walking PatternMy Profile

  18. So excited for Emma, her Mom, and sisters. I feel so bad, because I am the biggest excuse maker EVER! I’ve got to get better – stay on my case Slim, guilt works well with me and Harley. We’re not in real bad shape, but there is plenty of room for improvement. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Cathy Bennett recently posted…FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS | SEPIA SATURDAYMy Profile

  19. Emma and her family are the perfect fit for new co-hosts!
    Our crew, even the older girls, will not let a day go by without at least a game of fetch. Definitely no excuses there.
    Jan K recently posted…Black & White Sunday – SharingMy Profile

  20. I don’t miss a workout either. I’m pretty obsessive about it, and I get cranky if I don’t get a walk in every day! My dog is wonderful, because he never has an excuse not to go. Although, since he can’t really run with me anymore, I have to admit I’ve been using that as an excuse for me not to run as much too! But that’s OK, I love my walks with my dog.
    Lindsay recently posted…How no-kill shelters save more dogs and catsMy Profile

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