Frost Is On The Ground, Windows Iced Up, And We Still Walk …
Those mornings I want to crawl back in bed are not an option with Sir Riley around . . .
Introducing Sir Riley, my three-year-old Sharpei! My buddy, my pal, my inspiration! Weighing in at 52 pounds, all muscle, and so many wrinkles you have to search for his eyes! He is a loving, gentle soul, but he showcases a bit of rebellion when you least expect it.
If you want to feel really guilty for not doing your exercise routine, get yourself a dog! They absolutely do not know what “we are not walking this morning” means.
I stumble out of bed, let his majesty out to do his business, and turn to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast. When I let him in, I have to get myself dressed and ready to go. But first, I make the bed, throw dishes in the dishwasher, feed the cats and throw a load of laundry in. I have to find my gloves, my scarf, throw my jacket on, make sure I have enough poop bags, and grab his leash.
Oh wait! I have to clean his face! I know, before you shake your head — he has a lot of wrinkles. His eyes have goobers in them, his ears, I have to check, Sharpei’s have tiny ear canals, and he has one ear that gets infected a lot! So yes, we have our morning routine.
He has learned to tolerate me. He runs over to the front door and sits down. After I do the face routine, I put his collar on; I dial in my podcasts, put the sunglasses on, and open the front door.
As I am walking down our street, I am talking to him and asking him, “how far do you want to go today?” Like he is really going to answer me! I usually have the route down before we venture out. We have the short walk, (2 miles), we have the neighborhood walk, (3 1/2 miles), we have the Filbert walk, (4–5 miles) and we have a 6 mile walk.
The only thing is, he really doesn’t have a say. It’s all up to me, sometimes, I am stiff, and a bit sore, but once I walk I seem to loosen up and I just may go the longer route! Sir Riley doesn’t care. He just wants to walk.
One morning, I decided instead of walking further, we would pick up our pace! There is a long street on one of our routes and it is a steady incline, not steep, just steady — so being the person that thinks she can do anything, I decide to turn my podcast to I heart Radio’s 80’s music and we would walk to the beat of the music all the way up to the stop sign.
Sir Riley did not know what to expect. All of a sudden, I picked up our pace encouraging him to keep up! We are walking to the beat of the music and pretty soon, I am huffing and puffing, and he is looking at me like “Really?” One good thing, he had no time to stop at an interesting tree or bush, he had to keep pace with me.
Talk about warm you up! The ol’ blood was pumping, breathing was a bit difficult but we were moving up that road. We were about 3/4’s of the way up and all I could do was look for that stop sign. That is where we were going to stop! “If I made it there!” Sir Riley kept looking up at me like “are you for real?” But hey, I started something and we were going to finish it.
Reaching that stop sign, you would have thought I won a medal! I was bent over, breathing really heavy and working at catching my breath. Sir Riley was breathing a bit faster, but nothing like me. He just silently stood there, waiting for me to say something. Problem was, I couldn’t talk for a bit! I look at him and ask, “Who’s bright idea was this?” Well, of course it was mine!
Just to fill you in, we did finish our route, yes, I could finally breathe and talk once again and I was as determined as ever to continue that grueling pace until I could breathe easier and master that incline.