Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dog Day Afternoon

A question for cyberspace: Does my dog actually want to go for a walk?

I've been thinking about this more recently since the heat and humidity have allowed fewer romps for my pooch. Now, the love-it-or-leav-it-canine isn't a very active dog. Don't get me wrong, she loves to romp and play when she has the opportunity (chasing cats and squirrels is like the kingdom of dog for her). But, unlike other breeds such as dalmations and some forms of terrier, she doesn't really seem to mind not walking. For instance, were I to sit right here in this chair and blog my heart out for the next 7 hours, she would probably not move at all. She would just lay there completely content, punctuated only by the occasional yawn or dream-bark. She does not behave differently whether we walk her on not, doesn't become overly anxious or active either way. (Although she has become more bold since her breif brush with cancer earlier this year. Apparently for her, living strong means eating meat out of the garbage can and a brownie off the coffee table at our friend's house. But that's a story for another time.) All this does not mean that I'm not overcome with guilt whenever I don't walk her. I am. I am constantly projecting my feelings of inadequacy on myself as a dog owner.

But I've begun to think of it differently lately.

You see, I go to the gym every morning at 7:30 a.m. I go because if I didn't the bi-weekly trips to the Indian take-out place down from our house would force me into the red-zone of body mass index on those charts at the doc's office. But, to be honest, I would much prefer to NOT have to go. (In fact, I regularly get sucked into those infomercials about the magic pill that will help you lose weight without changing your diet or lifestyle. If only it were true...) Thing is my pooch is not fat. And she isn't obsessed with Indian take-out. So maybe making her walk is just torturing her otherwise wonderfully leisureful life.

That said, I think I'm going to start researching doggy mind-game activities instead of taking her out. Canine sudoku, now there's a money maker. Maybe I could call the folks at the lettuce knife factory and see if they'd like a market share......

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