Some days, usually toward the end of the week, when we’ve played and romped, run and tussled we decide that perhaps the best activity for the day is a walk. So today we walked.
You might think that walking doesn’t tire us out, but actually it does. Walking is great exercise not just for humans, but for dogs as well. It requires us to not only use our bodies, but also our minds. We need to pay attention. Unlike playing fetch, we must stay focused on all the stimuli around us — the cars, the people who pay no attention to walkers when they’re backing out of their driveways, the possibilities of cats and squirrels, and knowing when Gretchen is reaching into her pocket for a treat.
I’ve tried to research how many calories a dog burns on a walk, but unfortunately, the information is sparse. The most I could find out is that dog my weight (a trim and slim 35 lbs) who is considered a “working dog,” which even though that’s not my breed, I’m definitely working — a dog my size burns about 1400-1800 calories a day. That’s kind of a lot, I think, and accounts for the fact that I enjoy every meal and every snack I’m offered, though it didn’t used to be that way. Before Gretchen made my food — before the supplements and additions — I wasn’t interested in food very much.
Now I’m interested, very interested and now that my appetite has been revived, and my work has me pounding the pavement for 7 miles in a day (that’s probably the total for today), I am allowed to eat more than the average dog.
But I’ve gotten off track. Today we walked. It’s that simple and as I type, I can feel that warm glow of healthy tiredness overtaking me. I feel accomplished. I feel as if I helped other dogs feel accomplished and today they included…
Rosie (who sniffs about as much as she walks, but still, she moves along when she’s motivated…)
Gemma (who walks twice the distance on any given walk because she’s always spinning and turning around and lunging forward…which means Gretchen burns more calories than a normal dog walk, too…)
Woobie (probably the most energy efficient dog we walk…not a wasted calorie for that girl…)
Saber (who works the hardest since he’s a mighty big fella and it takes a lot to lug himself around…)
And then there’s me…who has learned to be efficient because while everyone else goes on at least one walk, I go on almost all of them!