Low energy. Low mood. I know, as a mental health professional, that the first, best offense against depression is to get one’s heart rate up over 120, at least 3x per week. But I really enjoy being sedentary. I’ve actually developed a bit of a reputation among family and friends as being particularly exercise-averse. Partly due to all the icky sweating involved. *shudder*
Anyway, the mental health advocate in my head somehow overcame the websurfer office-chair potato and I found myself donning sweatpants, one of Steve’s old Buc’s t-shirts and my sneakers, with the crazy notion that a little exercise might not do me any real harm and could perhaps do me a little good. Bella heard the sound of the velcro on my shoes and came trotting in to see if this might be a dog-walking opportunity. Why not, I thought. I prepared a Responsible Pet Owner Dog-Poop Pick-Up Kit (a plastic grocery bag and 4 paper towels) and we headed out.
Day 1 of Walking with The Dog: 4/10 miles to the park, 4/10 mile back, brisk walk. My walking mantra: “Come on, Bella!” I worked up a little sweat and Bella was puffing a little by the time we made it back to the house. And no poop to clean up! Hooray! Maybe she does that at night!
Day 2 of Walking with The Dog: This time I decide to take a little longer walk, around the block and along the Mobbly Bayou walking trail, probably about 1.4 miles total. Shortly after we leave the house, she wraps her leash around a tree, and when I try to pull her back around it, she puts her head down and slips out of the harness. I pick up the harness, and after only five commands to “Sit!”, I get the leash attached to her collar. Before we are halfway through the walk, dog poop happens. Darn it! That’s ok, though – I have my RPODPPU Kit from yesterday. I quickly clean up after her, we’re off again, and I’m able to deposit the bag in the trash can at the beginning of the walking trail. We make it back to the house as Steve is getting ready to leave for work. I get a hug and a kiss and an “Ew! You’re all sweaty!” I love you, too, dear.
Day 3 of Walking with The Dog: I get dressed, and Bella comes running when she hears the velcro on my shoes. She is impatient and starts talking to me about how slow I’m being. It takes 3 tries to get the harness on because she won’t sit still long enough for me to complete the process. Short walk again this morning, to the park and back. I’ve replenished supplies in the RPODPPU Kit, which is good because just as we turn around at the park, doggie nature calls. All four feet on the grass, but with her butt hanging over the sidewalk, I give her a swift nudge to change the target to the grass, and just totally interrupt her mojo. Now she’s spooked, won’t be still while I clean up after her, and has grass hanging out of her butt. I think/hope that on the walk back to the house, she will get the urge again, but no, it’s gone, and once we get home, I get to exhaust paper towels in my RPODPPU Kit wiping her and pulling the rest of the grass out so I can let her go in the house. She does not seem to find this any more amusing than I do. And I think I’m getting shinsplints.
These walks have really not been the meditative experience I had hoped. Maybe we’ll both get the hang of it soon.