So I thought something really stupid here recently. I thought that when my dog got old, and stopped acting like she gave a hoot about doing stuff, that it meant she was ready for retirement to her doggie bed. She’s had arthritis/hip problems for years, and had some time ago started seeming like all she wanted to do was lie around all the time.
I took her to the vet a few weeks ago, who said that Dakota was really losing the muscles in her back legs, which was pretty typical for old gals like her. The vet stressed that it was more important now than ever that I be taking her for walks, so she could maintain her strength and vitality. I suddenly felt horribly guilty, and committed to start re-integrating regular lengthy outings to our daily regimen.
Well, it’s only been a short time, and we’ve just been taking about two 15 minute strolls near daily. I’ve already noticed some incredible differences: 1) Where she had no longer been running – we ran the other day (a whole block =)). 2) Where she had no longer been able to jump on the bed, she’s now back up there regularly.
It’s amazing what something as simple as a little walking around can do for a pooch. Or human. In his book “8 Weeks to Optimum Health”, Dr. Andrew Weil says that walking is the single most important and beneficial exercise for humans, and encourages it above all else. Maybe it’s like Newton says – an object in motion is supposed to stay in motion. So I only suppose it makes sense that we either use it, or we lose it.