With bitter cold and a busy schedule, I’ve gained a few pounds. But it’s not my dog Honey’s fault.
She’s an excellent personal trainer.
Whether I like it or not, Honey won’t let me go too long without a workout.
Here are a few of the exercises she makes me do:
Dead Dog Lift – Although Honey will sit, lie down, stay, come, close a door, or get a toy on cue, she does not know how to make room on the couch. As a result, I get to practice my dead dog lift as I shift her fuzzy butt to the side so I can sit down.
Puppy Ab Crunches – Usually I wake up before Honey does. But if I make a mistake and sleep in, she’ll place her front paws (and sometimes her whole weight) on my stomach, forcing me to tighten my muscles to keep my spleen from being punctured by her toenails.
Mutt Run – Honey is a lovely walking partner. Unless I’m in a hurry. Then she suddenly decides to freeze her feet to the pavement. The only way I can get her to end the walk is to break into a run which gets her excited enough to follow me home.
Kayak Paw Stretches – Honey takes up a lot of room in the cockpit of my kayak. So we both fit, I have to swing my legs to the outside of the boat. Great way to stretch those quads. Hopefully kayak season will return so I can work on my legs again.
Dog Toy Moguls – Training doesn’t end after dark. A late night trip to the bathroom involves dodging the round squeaky toy at the foot of the bed and swerving wide around the crate before zooming back in to find the door without hitting your nose on the jamb. These midnight drills have certainly improved my agility.
Retriever Stair Stepping – Honey barks to go outside. I walk her downstairs and let her into the backyard. She rolls around in the snow and plays with her tennis ball for ten minutes before coming back inside. I return upstairs to my work. A few minutes later she barks again. This time she wants to go outside to take care of the bodily functions she forgot about while she was playing with her ball.
When you count the steps over the course of the day, it’s the equivalent of climbing the Eiffel tower ten times. No, really.
Hand Mouth Coordination Workouts – Honey knows that when I’m cooking or preparing her food, her place is on a pillow at the other end of the kitchen. But to keep her there, I occasionally toss her a tasty tidbit. Yes, she’s a good catcher. But if I want to keep her on her pillow, I need to make a good toss.
I long for the days when we walk for miles. Or get to practice our kayak stretches.
But for now, Honey the personal trainer will keep me working out whether I want to or not.
Your Turn: What’s your dog’s favorite exercise for you?