No, I’m not talking about motorcycles. It’s my dog Harley.
He’s always been chubby, ever since he arrived as a stray that I thought would be a temporary foster. That was 2008 when he weighed 55 pounds. He reached 63 pounds at one point, and although his last vet visit showed he was down to 59 pounds, he still looks fat.
You’ve probably heard the old adage that if your dog is too fat, you’re not getting enough exercise. Since most of my exercise is on a bike, and since Harley is a canine garbage disposal, it’s obvious where changes need to be made. In the past, I’ve rationalized not walking him for a variety of reasons:
- Maybe he won’t annoy me so much every time I put on a pair of athletic shoes and head for the gym.
- I don’t want to take time to walk the other dogs, and it’s too hard to walk all three at once.
- He gets enough activity in the yard with the other dogs.
- If I walk him, he’ll just want to swim afterwards, and then I’ll have to dry him.
- But my main excuse for not walking the dog: IT’S NOT EXERCISE.
That last one is the real kicker for me. He’s probably at least 10 years old and doesn’t have much stamina; in fact, he usually starts panting after about 10 minutes.
Now that he’s my only dog, I’m making more of an effort to walk him several days a week. We’ve worked up to 20-30 minute walks, which maybe burns 75 calories for me. Since I’ve gotten my head around the fact that it’s not about me, that I’m committed to doing it for Harley’s health, my next objective is to make sure I get “my” exercise in addition to our walks.