My boyfriend recently reminded me that while I started losing weight officially in January, I actually started quite a bit before that – back when I got my dog, Hermes.
It’s hard to believe that he hasn’t been with me forever, but in fact, he came into my life August 2011. I’ve always been a walker, but Hermes made me hardcore. Because I don’t have a fenced in yard, and he is a hound dog, I can never just let him off leash. So, twice a day irregardless of wind, rain, shine, blizzards, tornado warnings, hail, thunderstorms, or any other weather, Hermes and I are out pounding the pavement. I walk him roughly an hour a day during the week (a half hour in the morning and then again when I get home) and a bit more on the weekends.
Even if I had a fenced in yard, I’d still be walking him. (I mean, look at that face!) Hermes doesn’t care if I am too tired, or feel like wearing slippers rather than hiking boots. He doesn’t understand weekends or sleeping in, (so, we are up at 6:30 regardless of the day of the week), and he doesn’t care about my bad day or weekend plans.
Hermes has two things that he dearly loves in life. Walks and naps.
Now, I would never suggest that someone get a dog to lose weight. And even though there are tons of articles out there touting the wonders of a pet on your health, bringing an animal into your home is a huge commitment. It’s also fairly expensive. Not all families or individuals are suited for or have time for a pet, especially a furry buddy who needs long walks every single day.
For me though, he’s been a godsend in a lot of ways. I love the little guy and I am glad we found each other. I adopted him from a shelter, but I am a firm believer that the dog you need will find you. Hermes found and claimed me. He also got me into shape. I don’t think I would be contemplating running right now if he hadn’t kicked my butt in gear with walks. We’ve literally hiked for hours up at my cabin, and that’s built up my strength and ability to determinedly head out – even in sleet.
I’ve considered training him to run with me, but I think that might be a bit more work than I am ready for. There is a reason that you see people running with Labs, Boxers, German Shepards and even Rotweilers, but you don’t see people running with mixed breed hound dogs! Hermes doesn’t love his walks because of the exercise and pretty views – that’s what I get out of it. He gets the smells. When we walk, that brown nose is plastered to the pavement and he moves like a metronome across the sidewalk. If he encounters a particularly enticing smell, he plants all four paws and forty pounds in a dead stop. We’re working on that.
Until we get that worked out, I think I’ll run solo.