Thankful for Having Dogs as Workout Partners
Given that it is Thanksgiving week, I thought it would be appropriate to share some fitness related thanks in recognition of how lucky I am to have been able to exercise a lot the past year with our 2 great rescue dogs, Jack and Maggie.
Jack and Maggie are both senior Labradors of around 11-12 years of age, who have had their share of issues. Jack was obese and on Prozac before we brought him home and Maggie is a fearful puppy mill mom who was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. Yet, both of these old dogs have had a very active year!
Sure, Jack cannot run as far with me like he used to (when we would run 5 miles several times a week). But I am thankful that I am still able to run with him a few times a week, even as he has gotten older. Our pace is a lot slower, and our distance is probably only a mile or so now, but we both still enjoy the exercise and our time together.
Jack is also still willing to do many of the different exercises that we write about on SlimDoggy.com. His favorite is the elevated touch drill, which he does with me almost every day. This has really helped his hind leg strength and his hind legs belie his advancing age. I am thankful that Jack remains a willing exercise partner and that he has benefited from the work that we have put in.
Maggie is a somewhat different story. She is a very strong and stubborn dog, and until about 4 months ago, I thought a very healthy one. She learned to love to run with me and Jack and in fact, was able to run faster and longer than Jack. I am thankful that she was able to experience the joys of running with her pack.
Today of course, it is a different story, with her bone cancer. Although she appears to be pain free, we are not able to run her due to the weakness in the bone in her leg. Still, she gets up every morning with bright eyes and tail wagging and charges out the door and down the driveway for her walk as if nothing is wrong at all. She will often trot ahead of us and look back as if to say, “let’s go, its run time”. For this, I am very grateful. It makes me so happy to see her like this, enjoying her exercise, and I cherish each day we are able to get outside together.
There really is something special about exercising with a dog. For those who do, let this be a reminder to cherish the experience and be thankful for being able to do so.