dog

Want to increase your exercising and maybe lose a few pounds?  Forget joining the gym. I have the solution. Get a puppy!

Six week old Josie, a silky black Cockapoo, came to live with me and my husband at the end of August. Since she loves adventures, I have been more active than ever. She’s an ideal personal trainer.

Before the snow fell, her jumping on my bike tire was all the motivation I needed to don my helmet. She contentedly sat in her special basket and took in the scenery. Some days I was tempted to do less than our usual six miles, but I kept moving knowing Josie would miss sniffing the pig farm, barking at the guinea hens, and listening to the chorus at the frog pond.

During the warm fall days, I encouraged her to play in the lake water. Of course that meant I had to splash around, too. By next summer she may have me swimming.

I love to walk along the river or in the woods on bright days, but dreary weather can make me lazy. No longer. All my personal trainer needs to do is bring me her parka and look up at me pleadingly with her brown eyes. I hurry for my coat.

When Josie’s on her long leash and we’re in the woods she sometimes wants to run. I join her. The aerobic exercise not only strengthens my lungs and heart, but lowers cholesterol, increases muscle strength, and is just plain fun.

When it’s too cold to be be outdoors, we have a favorite chase game, Hide and Seek. I hide behind a chair or door and she sniffs me out, wagging her tail and wiggling when she finds me. She also likes to show off one of her best tricks. She pulls a stuffed toy named Big Mean Kitty around in a little red wagon. I ask you, who needs to raid the fridge and eat mindlessly when instead you can watch a puppy at play?

Besides getting so much exercise, I’m saving calories. With an active puppy I don’t take time to bake holiday cookies and I figure Josie is helping me avoid my usual holiday weight gain.

So how much weight have I lost, you ask? Only one pound, but hey, it’s a start. My personal trainer will tell you that a pet is not only good for exercising the body, it’s good for warming the heart.

P.S. My mum doesn’t know I’m adding a P.S. (actually she doesn’t even know I can write), but I just wanted to add that if you happen to see her around town, please put in a good word for me. It seems only fair that Mum ought to increase my daily allowance of doggie treats. After all, personal trainers don’t come cheap. And don’t let her fool you. She wouldn’t have baked Christmas cookies even if I weren’t around.

Wag, Wag,

Josie

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