Walking the Dog and Other Out-of-Character Activities


Typical Sunrise Along the Trail

For someone who almost NEVER hurries anywhere, it seems rather odd that I would be out running with my dog at daybreak everyday.

For years I have been an astute practitioner of the Art of Energy Conservation. My work ethic has been “Work Smart Not Hard.” Indeed, until about 12 years ago, when I retired, I could get more accomplished on the job than most of my younger work-mates. Not because I was stronger, but because I have learned to make every move count. While they were shooting off their mouths about their last date or the football scores or some other inane drivel, I was getting work done. I liked telling them, “If you want to kill time, try working it to death.”


Anyway, back to running. Since we got her 7 years ago we have faithfully exercised her, and us. Our routine this Winter has been: I walk with her 1-2 miles when we first get up, while my wife does her Wii exercises and makes breakfast. She’s better at multitasking than I. Then after breakfast she takes a turn at walking the dog, while I make the bed and clean up the kitchen. Sometimes I will walk/jog her in the late afternoon. Then, my wife takes her for a walk in the evening before it starts to get to cold.


I think the reason that I started running this loop is because when the morning temps are hovering around 10F. One wants to get in out of the cold as soon as possible. Although, the accelerated air movement created by running tends to lower that temperature, so it’s sort of a trade-off. Get out, getter done, get back in. Works for me. The biggest problem is that, until a week ago, I haven’t been a runner and it’s hard to keep the legs pumping continuously. So, my run turns into a rhythm of jog, gasp, walk, relax, jog, gasp, walk, jog…. ad nauseam, until I make it back home, legs aching, and wondering why I have a dog that needs exercise. Why don’t I have one of those little pocket pooches whose hardest exercise is walking from the food dish to the yard to poop?


She is a huge 95 lb. dog that can’t just sit around all day doing nothing, so she sees to it that we get exercised. It doesn’t make any difference to her if I get around the loop in 20 minutes or 35 minutes. Her goal is accomplished.

After one week I find that I am jogging longer and walking less. I guess that’s a good thing… isn’t it? It certainly can’t do any worse than kill a 73 year old conservationist.