When we lived in OKC, we had weekly "family" walk nights where Chris, Hooper and I would go walk a trail at the nearest park. It was a practice that never really took off once we moved up here. I guess we thought Hooper didn't really need the walks since he had a big back yard to run around in. Really what that ended up to mean was that Hooper has a big back yard to lay in different spots in. Turns out that the most exercise he gets his moving from one spot to the next. He'd be a great time lapse study. So, in order to do something about my very slightly overweight and out of shape old dog, we've started going on (very) short walks in the neighborhood. When we moved into that neighborhood, I was lead to believe that it was a safe place to live, but not a safe place to walk around. I think I was letting others influence my perceptions. No, I'm sure I was and this makes me feel a little bit angry and a lot ashamed of myself. My neighborhood is not a fancy gated community or an area that has neighborhood associations that measures the length of everyone's lawns. The houses in my area are a mix of run down and fixed up. The guy around the corner has chickens. The guy up the street grows buckets (literally, he uses buckets) and buckets of mums. The streets are quiet and the sidewalks are good and clear. I've never lived in a neighborhood with sidewalks. Ever. We had a side walk at Chris's mom's but it ended on our street. It's the reason we always got in the car and drove to the park to walk. Drove. To a park. To walk. I'm thankful that I live somewhere that is pedestrian friendly. We may not be going too far right now. Eventually, I'd like to walk to the library and back. Right now we're sticking close to the house. Hooper starts out with gusto, but seems to start dragging half way in and I'm not good a judging how far I can push him just yet. We need to work up to a library trek, but we'll get there.
I'm thankful for Hooper's enthusiasm. He really wants to be excited about walking, but he sounds so wheezy by the time we've made it up the street. But the walks really are helping and making a difference for both of us. Usually there will be some moment in the middle of the night where I wake up because I can feel Hooper staring at me. Hooper doesn't bark when he's inside. He lets you know when he needs to go out by sitting and staring intently at you. It's disturbing, but we work with it. Since we've started the walks, Hooper sleeps straight through the night. We both have been sleeping straight through the night. This may be something both of us are thankful for.
So much! So much to be thankful for this week. The weather has turned into something lovely and I'm reminded every day how much I am loved. Here's to a great weekend and a very, very Thankful Friday.