Guilted Exercise…why getting a dog (or 3) forces you to exercise.


This is my pack. Bailey, on the left, is a 10-year-old Chocolate Lab. Winston, in the middle, is a 7-month-old lab/shepherd mix. Maddie, on the right, is a 6-year-old Doberman Pincher mix. Winston and Maddie were both rescues. Because I don’t leave the house to work, all day long they follow me around and if I sit at my desk, they lay next to me. It’s hard to ignore them. If I make eye contact with them and it’s a beautiful day, there’s a nagging voice inside me that says, “Really? Get off your ass, leash up your dogs, and go for a walk.” So, most days that’s what I do. I’m 100% certain that if it weren’t for them, it would be WAY easier to be a lazy slug and not feel bad about it. I’d rather take the dogs for a walk over spending 1+ hours in a gym while they sit at home waiting for me to get back.

Maddie and Winston are the only ones who can really go for walks, Bailey has some knee issues and it’s better to swim her for exercise. Winston is a baby while Maddie is a beast, so it’s impossible for me to walk them simultaneously……so I have to walk them individually (i.e. more human walking). I alternate which dog I take which day, since Maddie can keep up for a 3+ mile hike while Winston is still at about the 1-1.5 mile point. What I should be doing is taking them each for a walk every day, so start with one and swap them out about halfway through. I’m not there yet, but that is my personal goal. That would mean about 4-5 miles of walking for me, which is completely doable eventually, but I’m still not there yet mentally. And I’m certainly not there yet physically to handle it every day. But the “dog guilt” is working its magic and I’m exercising way more than I had been in the past because of them. So thanks pups, I’m doing my best and I’m going to keep working on things for you.

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