My Best Friend’s Gift
Spencer was my best friend for over 12 years. He was a darling Old English Sheepdog who was always glad to see me and never criticized unlike some people I know. While he has gone to his reward and is enjoying dog heaven he left many great memories behind. One of the great benefits of my relationship with him is that I walked morning and night for at least an hour each day, whether it was raining or the sun was shining, whether the weather was exceedingly hot or miserably cold. And that is something I continue to do each day, every day. It’s now part of who I am and I owe it all to Spencer. (Of course, now on really miserable days I drive to my local mall to walk.)
Having a dog forces you to walk. You can’t escape it, no matter the size of your best friend. In my walks along the lake where I live, I see all sorts and sizes of dogs. Some are so huge that they could almost be classified as small horses, while others are so small, you can hardly see the body at the end of the leash. Sometimes I can’t avoid a second look like when I see a middle-aged woman who often pushes her hairy little animal in a baby stroller as she walks merrily along. Perhaps her dog is old or unable to walk long distances. I don’t know the story and I can hardly stop to ask her about it, can I? Well, one of these days I may do just that.
No matter what the dog looks like, I find that all owners seem very happy to walk along with their best friend. Walking is good for whatever ails you. I find that walking relieves any stress I may be feeling about issues in my life. They somehow become clearer and not as daunting.
Walking is also good for the body, we all know we have to exercise to stay healthy. Experts who have studied the habits of people in various countries say that the data is clear. The people who live the longest are those in countries where taking 11,000 steps a day is the norm rather than the exception.
To see how many steps you take in a day, you can purchase a pedometer and train to increase your level of activity or you can get a dog. It will force you to get out and get going every day.
While owning a dog is good for the body it also provides a friendship that does the soul good.