It’s a beautiful day; don’t let it get away.
This time of year can kinda suck if you have asthma. Which I do. I’ve got an upper respiratory infection on top of it. I’m miserable. I feel like death warmed over. In the history of sickness, I don’t think anyone has ever been as sick as I am right now.
Then I realized that I was being stupid. The temperature is 53 degrees – warm for Cleveland (or the Arctic Tundra, but I repeat myself). The sun is shining. It’s an okay day for hiking, or at least going for a short walk with my best friend. And here I was squandering it feeling sorry for myself, which is what I’ve been doing or the past 2 days. Yes I’m legitimately sick. But that doesn’t negate my dogs’ need for activity. I’ve been cutting corners, using the treadmill for Orion, and a backpack plus some minor agility for Sparta, as outlined here and here, but nothing really beats a good walk. Sunshine only adds to the benefit. It was time for me to suck it up and go outside. But I still don’t want to.
Then I saw an update in the mail from my dog’s vet, reminding me that Sparta was due for her rabies shot. I looked through her medical records to verify, and stumbled across something that I’d forgotten: Sparta is almost 10 years old.
Now, that’s not such a big deal. She’s not old (yet), but it did make me stop and reflect. Most dogs live to be roughly 13 years old. That equals only 676 weekends. So far she’s far more than halfway through that allotment. Technically speaking, she only has maybe 290 weekends left with me. That means, at the very most, we are down to 77 weekends to drive that hour down to Bow Wow Beach, so I can watch her swim. We only have so many hikes left together. Only so many more times she can jump into the backseat of my car without help. And there I was, squandering this time because I have a cold.
Sometimes we think of dogs in human terms, including how much time we’re given together. At
42 years my young(ish) age, I still have a lot of time left. We tend to include our dogs in that time because we assume that they’ll always be there. But there is a set amount of time with them. Perhaps 676 seems like a lot of weekends to romp with with your dogs. Enough time to do do anything you want. But I’ve already used up half of those with Sparta.
It made me think. It made me, well…
So I took my dogs for a walk. Not far. Just far enough to change my perspective. Which was far enough to make me want to hike even farther. I’m not going to waste today anymore.
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio