Tuesday, December 24, 2013

If You Hear Your Dog's Toenails - You Aren't Getting Enough Exercise

Lately, Rack has gotten lazy.
Consequently, I've taken advantage of that as well.

Ok I got lazy too.

But I got better and I made sure Rack got better too.

I noticed that Rack, being a "Social Eater" didn't want to eat his food unless I'm watching him.  Strange mutt.  He'd get excited and decide to eat once he got back after our march around town. 

We have a couple different routes, all made of loops around specific blocks.  The rectangular blocks here are all 1/2 mile.  If you have Exercise OCD, you'd love it.  Pick a block, any block and if it's "square" it's 1/2 mile.

Or so.

Rack, being a social critter, decided that now that he hauled my own bulk out of bed, he'd go out and see who else is awake at stupid o'clock, also known as 5:30 in the morning.   Sniffed the food and started heading to the front door, did you?  Fine, let me get your leash.  Hey, I'm back here dog!

We'd go out of the front door into the brightening morning, listen to the songs of the crickets and semi-trucks a mile or three away on I-95, and get about one block in.  He knows the neighborhood well, so he'd start to herd me back to the front door.

Yes, I am being herded.  Yes, my nickname is Moose.  Yes, a Moose is being Herded by A McNab Dog in Florida.

He is very insistent you know.

So after a truncated walk that happened because none of his friends were out, I'd get towed home by his 45 pounds.  I guess he really did want that food.

Repeat this for a couple days.  I started to notice that I could hear his toes tick on the Florida Tiles in the house.

I know the name is redundant.  The nearest state to my house is The Bahamas, not Georgia.

This all means that I had to break out the electric sander and file down his toenails.  It's an appliance that looks like a Dremel, spins at 5000 rpm and has a little sanding cylinder on the end of it.   If I ever run out of sanding cylinders, it conveniently will take Dremel bits.  It is a dog foot care device I can replace parts at the hardware store.  Yes, it is strange, but that is my life.  Everything is a bit odd and if you did a documentary of me, you'd have to tilt the camera 30 degrees so it would be filmed like the bad guys in the old campy Batman show from the 1960s.

Come on, Chum, it's time for a walk.

You see while he's slacking on his walk, my own weight went up a pound.   Sure on a big guy, a pound isn't much but it's time to stop this slacking.  A Dog Walk is much more than mere exercise, it's a bonding experience, and a learning experience for both of us.  If you are out on a walk, your dog will burn energy.  That's energy he doesn't burn up in the house chewing up the couch pillows or the recliner.  If the energy isn't there, he doesn't turn into a bouncing spring and pounce on the neighbor's dog either.

They tend not to like that and it gives you a bad reputation.

Oh, yes it does.  We talk.  We talk about you when you're gone too.   You know who you are and who doesn't pick up after your dog.

That's a different story.

I started taking Rack out on longer and longer walks over on the other side of the Drive.  I've walked under the one stand of Australian Pines that is protected by a fascinating and very fierce woman who watches over those trees as they are something that brings her joy.  I've walked Rack out to the smallest town in Florida, Lazy Lake, a silly little one block affair with 38 people at my last count.  We've walked past the Wilton Manors Elementary School, chock full of students who are amazingly interested in learning from extremely proactive and involved teachers.

Wilton Manors is a fascinating town, and I am wearing out my sneakers seeing a lot of it lately.

I've lost that pound and more and Rack's toenails have stopped ticking on the off white floors in my house.  The benefit is that he's not watching over me as much as he was earlier.  A tired dog is definitely a happy dog.

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