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Abby Little our Standard Poodle

Seven years ago, my adult daughter Amanda, decided to bring home a puppy. At that time, she said she would not be living with us long and would be taking the dog with her when she moved out. They moved out four years later.

What I didn’t know back then was that Abby’s arrival was going to play a part in benefiting my health.

Abby is a wonderful dog; gentle, graceful, and quiet, and over the last two years, she has become my fitness buddy. Neither rain, snow, hot sun nor laziness keeps us from daily making the rounds of our neighborhood. Whether or not I am in the mood for a walk doesn’t factor into the equation, Abby pesters me until I give in and put on my running shoes. She knows what she needs and doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

Once on our walks, it is amazing how much joy I feel by watching her sniff out a tantalizing scent, stalk a squirrel, or dance in delight at the approach of another dog. Also, it feels good to know she’s had her walk each day – which is usually 40 – 90 minutes long, because walking is good for her health and wellbeing, not to mention what it does for my health and wellbeing.

The benefits in dog walking are many; it contributes to our fitness, encourages us to meet our neighbors, helps us maintain our desired weight and blood pressure, and comes with the added bonus that it doesn’t bust our budget. I personally find walking Abby therapeutic for my mind.  There is something so wonderful about the fresh air, sunshine, and expansive views – they help me to relax.

My thought for the day is – just as it is beneficial for a dog to be walked every day, so it is equally beneficial for us to go for a walk every day – whether we have a dog or not.