Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

My Golden Gym


"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." -- Ann Landers

A year ago, almost to the day, I had an epiphany while exercising at my local gym. I was on a treadmill sweating along with about 30 other people, glued to the latest CNN horrors on the big-screen, when I glanced outside at the absolutely gorgeous spring day.

That was the precise moment when I decided to get a dog.

Okay, it wasn't the "precise" moment?because I had been toying with the idea for almost a year. But up until that moment last year on the treadmill, I felt there was really no good reason to get a dog other than to complicate my already busy life and to add another mouth to feed along with our 2 children, 4 guinea pigs, 3 cats, 3 fish, and a then-leased horse for our daughter.

But the more I looked outside that day, the more I wanted to be out there, walking, maybe even jogging, alongside a furry devoted friend. Yes, the dog would have a purpose - it would be my walking dog! An exercise dog. A reason to get out of that stuffy gym and into the great outdoors! After all, what was the point of living in scenic New England if I rarely got outside to enjoy it? And I never walked in the woods alone - my New York mentality and paranoia would not allow it -- my heart raced with every squirrel or bird that snapped a twig or rustled a leaf. My dog would be my protector - at least a deterrent -- against any would-be assassin/rapist/kidnapper lurking in the woods.

Suddenly, the reason to get a dog made perfect sense.

In his insightful book, "The New Work of Dogs" John Katz makes the case for the new role of dogs. Once herders, guard and hunting dogs, now our canine friends have a new work: tending to life, love and family. Dogs need a job, and they will adapt to whatever circumstances their human companions give them. What I wanted from my dog was simple: security while walking in the woods and a reason to walk everyday.

A survey done a few years ago in Australia showed that dog owners walked an average of 18 minutes more per week than non-dog owners. Studies abound extolling the psychological benefits of dog. Plus...dogs are not afraid of the dark, are excellent listeners, they're never critical and never gossip, they follow you everywhere, and no matter what - your dog will always love you.

Last August we got a golden retriever puppy. Much like when I became a new mother, I vastly underestimated how much work goes into raising a small being. By the 2nd week of night-crying (me and the puppy) I was beginning to rethink the merits of having a dog. I was going outside more times than I wanted to be outside. (Uh, like, 8-10 times a day). Long walks were out of the question as Sadie would plop down for a nap at the most inconvenient times (halfway through our walks). But as she grew, so did her seriousness about her "job" to take me into the woods and keep me fit. We were soon up to 3 miles a day by the winter. She also was housebroken and down to 3-4 "business walks" a day. I enjoyed our walks, and by the looks of her smile (yes, dogs do smile!) she was loving every minute of it too.

There is nothing like a dog to keep you in touch with nature. I don't think I would voluntarily go outside in sub-freezing weather. Or take a walk around the block at night before bedtime. But I do with Sadie. And I'm grateful for that. I'm also grateful for the stars that I see most nights. For the phases of the moon, which I now notice. For the changing seasons that I witness first hand with each familiar tree around the bend. Grateful for the ever-changing Ashuelot River near our home, with its pattern of freezing and thawing. For the birds, who rarely sing in the dead of winter and who return with happy songs in April. It is an interesting world, one which I have in the past avoided due to the inconvenience of being outside in the rain, sleet, cold or snow.

Now, at 10 months old, Sadie is officially my walking dog. And thanks to a Puppy Kindergarten class she can also sit, stay, come and heel on command. She is also unbelievably devoted not only to me - but to everyone in the family, even the cats and the guinea pig. She lets me know when the mail has arrived. She keeps my feet warm when I'm at writing at the computer. She looks at me with those warm loving eyes like?she thinks I'm just wonderful! She has become more than my walking dog -- she's my, well, co-worker here at my home office. I can't imagine life without her.

The two of us, walk -- a lot. I feel good, healthy. And I no longer go to the gym. No need for that anymore -- now that I have my "golden" gym.

--

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the byline is included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated -- please send to editor@theheartofnewengland.com. A .jepg photo of the author and her dog are available upon request.

About The Author

Marcia Passos Duffy is a freelance writer and the publisher and editor of The Heart of New England online magazine and e-newsletter, which celebrate the unique character of Northern New England. Original stories written by New Englanders on food, travel, gardening, the arts and more. Visit our free online magazine at www.TheHeartofNewEngland.com and subscribe to our companion newsletter by sending a blank e-mail to: heartofnewengland-subscribe@yahoogroups.com, for weekly recipes, bed & breakfast specials and more!

editor@theheartofnewengland.com


MORE RESOURCES:

PR Newswire (press release)

Theraderm Provides Next-Level Acne Skin Care with Reversion
PR Newswire (press release)
31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Theraderm reveals the incredible solution to blemishes and acne with its Reversion Clear Skin system. Theraderm delivers a whole new way to treat acne. Dr. Jim Beckman, developer of Theraderm products, has created an easy ...

and more »


The Indian Express

How to treat acne scars naturally
The Indian Express
When acne breakouts penetrate the skin deeply, they damage the skin and the tissue beneath it. As the acne clears, the body tries to repair this damage. During the healing process, the body produces collagen — a substance that regenerates the skin.



NAIJ.COM

7 Home Remedies For Acne That Actually Work
NAIJ.COM
Acne is a struggle for some people, especially teenagers. Everyone wants to have that perfect glowing skin to look radiant. Most people have turned to different products walking from store to store for this cause. Little do they know that the products ...



MedPage Today

Spironolactone: The 'Other' Hormonal Acne Therapy
MedPage Today
NEW YORK -- An old cardiovascular drug has emerged as a key option for hormonal management of acne -- with recognized safety caveats. Studies dating back to the 1980s have demonstrated the efficacy of spironolactone for acne in women, particularly ...



Allure Magazine (blog)

6 Things to Know If You Want to Get Rid of Acne—for Good
Allure Magazine (blog)
Topical therapies can't reach deep-seated acne, and one scarring pimple every month over four years quickly adds up to 48 scars on the face—something I consider totally unacceptable for my patients. Temporary use of antibiotics, birth control pills, ...



Guardian Liberty Voice

Understanding Acne and Rosacea
Guardian Liberty Voice
Understanding acne and rosacea is not as easy as one might believe. In fact, for many years, it was long believed the two skin conditions were one in the same. It is true that the two skin disorders share many characteristics. However, over time, the ...



Newstalk ZB

Clinical trial shows that a NZ kanuka honey helps acne
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
HoneyLab Science Director Dr Shaun Holt said that acne was a very common skin problem and he was not surprised by the results. “Around 90% of teenagers, and many older people, get acne lesions. Acne is caused by bacteria and we know thatkanuka ...
Sweet result as honey ointment hits the spotNew Zealand Herald
Honey's a little sweeter for acne sufferersNewstalk ZB
Kanuka honey formulation helps acne - studyVoxy

all 10 news articles »


The Fashion Spot

10 Common Acne Myths Debunked
The Fashion Spot
There's a lot of speculation when it comes to acne. From avoiding junk food to prevent it from stirring up to lying out in the sun to make it go away, the myths are never ending. And since it's a disease, there are no cure-alls. But before grabbing ...

and more »


The Fashion Spot

Your Ultimate Acne Emergency Kit
The Fashion Spot
For example, after you go for a hike or hit the gym, if you can't find time to shower right away, New York City-based celebrity dermatologist and acne expert Dr. Whitney Bowe strongly suggests using wipes that have either glycolic acid or salicylic ...

and more »


KOAT Albuquerque

Dr. Ramo Rx: B12 affects acne
KOAT Albuquerque
What they found is that Vitamin B12 tends to change the micro environment of the skin in a way that favors acne bacteria. Then in a small follow-up study they gave 10 subjects a shot of Vitamin B12, enough to last for weeks and then checked in with ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.