For years, owning a dog proved more valuable than a gym membership
My husband and I recently had to say goodbye to our beloved 11-year-old dog. Murfie was many things. She was so sweet and loyal, and possessed some very, shall we say, unique dog characteristics. Among those was a disdain for the other dogs at the dog park. It cracked me up every time we went to the Wellington dog park and she turned into an anti-social momma’s girl. She could hardly wait to get there, but when she realized how many other dogs were running around, Murfie wanted out.
Besides the entertainment value of her “too-good-for-the-dog-park” shenanigans, one of Murfie’s most admirable traits was her ability to get us out to exercise. Before she got sick, Murfie was the driving force for daily walks and runs (even though pacing was not her strongpoint.)
When our daughter was born, Murfie even walked perfectly alongside the stroller. Rain or shine. Busy or not. Some days it seemed like her sole mission in life was to get me out the door for a run or a walk on her pink leash.
I can’t think of a better workout partner than that — she would abide no excuses. If Murfie didn’t get out for a walk, she made her presence known around the house, turning into 28 pounds of restless energy reminding me that a quick walk or jog would be great for both of us. For three years my lunch breaks turned into jogging breaks; otherwise my home office would have been impossible to work from. When jog break was over, I was always so thankful because I was in a better mood and my afternoon was more productive.
There is no doubt in my mind that Murfie got me into better shape. Sometimes days would pass that I missed getting to the gym, but never did we miss our heartrate-raising walks.
Our wonderful vet, Dr. Joseph Griffitt at Bluegrass Veterinary Clinic, weighed in on the health benefits of dog ownership.