Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Your Most Loyal Training Partner

A columnist in our local newspaper wrote about the health and fitness advantages of owning a dog. He had some impressive statistics to back up his thesis. More important, though, he described the pure joy he sees in his Labrador retriever as they run along a beach, and the wonderful companionship they share.

This is our dog, Tyra, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, a working breed, a herder, intelligent and requiring lots of exercise. A veterinarian once said to us that you can tell ACD owners because they are in good shape. Their dogs keep them that way.

Patty and I don’t need much nudging to hike, but Tyra let’s us know we couldn’t get away with not going if we wanted to. We usually hike at the same time of day, and Tyra begins to pace as that time approaches. As soon as she sees us reach for our trail shoes, she’s headed for the door, tail wagging, excited and ready to go.

We prefer our cardio workouts outdoors on trails in the hills, rather than on machines in the gym. Rain doesn’t stop us either, unless it is really coming down. Then we head for the gym and the cardio machines. Well, that’s fine for us, but Tyra doesn’t care if there are muddy trails and a downpour. So I put on my rain gear, stand outside in the park and we play fetch.

Having trouble keeping a regular schedule for cardio? Think about getting a dog. If you’ve never had a dog, try volunteering to walk the dogs for exercise at your local humane society. It’s a great way to do good deeds and at the same time find out if you’d like a regular training partner, the most loyal one you'll ever find.

No comments: