I mentioned in my profile that we have no kids, but we do have a dog. He is a seven year old Border Collie and we love him to bits. We got him from the pound when he was about 13 weeks old. He has a serious little face that was really too old for him when he was a baby puppy (but very cute). He is mainly black, hence the nickname Little Black Dog (or LBD for short).
He likes to sleep on his mat in my office while I work and he LOVES to go for a w. a. l. k.
I'm spelling it because he's very excited about that word at the moment. For about the last month he's had a poor sore paw (well, really it's more his leg, but it didn't sound as good). He's suffered serious ligament damage from one of his quick pivot turns and it wasn't getting any better. This week was the first time since surgery to pin the joint that the vet OKed him to have one and he was very excited.
Needless to say, I need the w. a. l. k. as much (or more) than he does. While he's had to be confined to the house my exercise regime has been at a standstill. I couldn't go without him, as that seemed like the ultimate betrayal. Also, he was supposed to be kept quiet and I can guarantee that it would have been impossible for that to occur if he was left behind. He's still been trying to chase the postie from inside the house, what would he have done as I walked down the street?!
So for the first time in a month we were off. If he hasn't had a w. a. l. k. for a few days he can be hard to keep hold of, so I was ready for anything. I found the secret for my new and unexpected role as dog physiotherapist was to start walking at our normal brisk pace. He hops along on one back leg excited to be out and sniffing things, pulling me along behind. Then gradually I slow down to the point he's game to start to use his dodgy leg. After a few steps he either stops to sniff something, or turns to look at me in confusion as if to say, 'what sort of walk is this, woman!', and so we are off at a brisk, hopping pace once more.
This is still not precisely exercise for me. I am gradually increasing the distance we cover each day, but we don't go very far. And as he will only use his bad leg when we are crawling at a pace a tortoise could overtake I don't think it gets my cardio-vascular system pumping at all. It's nice to be outside in the winter sun, but how much exercise am I getting?