The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best.
~ Thomas Jefferson
TODAY on the TELE
Everybody Loves Raymond
Grey, but pleasant
THE TWO FAT LADIES
26 January 2004
There we were. Two fat ladies waddling down the street, on our way for a walk. Id been wanting to suggest that she and I go for a walk for some time, but until today Id never gotten around to it.
I am in better shape than she is, but not by much. Still, it felt good to know that I could out-walk her.
Several years ago, when I tried to go for a walk with Kimba, she took off like a short, determined little pugilist. I got a visual image of Barry Fitzgerald, for those of you old enough to remember the Irish actor. You could just about see her marching out with a grumble-grumble-grumble. "She doesnt take me out often, and by God, Im going to make the most of this."
She strained so hard at the leash that she would cough for hours afterwards. Audra (Paul's widow, the veterinarian) finally solved the problem by suggesting we get her a harness instead of a collar. That eased the choking, but she still attacked the streets with a rugged determination.
I should have walked her more often, but I didnt.
Shes an old lady now. We've had her for 12 years and she was not a puppy when we got her, so she must be 13 at least. As we all know, allowing 7 human years for 1 dog year, thats pushing 90 pretty hard. My 90 year old mother in law doesnt march with quite as much rugged determination either...and she doesnt have the added pounds that Kimba does.
But Id said I was going to start walking with Kimba and today the circumstances were right for us to start.
I got out her harness and put it on her. At first she didnt react to seeing it in my handsit had been so long since shed been in it, that Im sure shed forgotten. But she did remember the leash and her eyes sparkled and her ears perked up.
I opened the front door and she looked at me, as if not quite comprehending.
We're really going to go out the door?? Together??
And so we set out on our walk. Originally, I had planned on starting her out slow, just a walk around the block, but when I realized that she no longer had the determined march, pulling ahead of me with a dogged stride, I decided that perhaps walking around a whole block might be too much for her. Wed cut through the bike path and walk what was the equivalent of walking around half a block.
We hadnt gone more than a few steps from the house before she was looking at me as if to say "is this really necessary?"
I understood that look.
I remembered following Walt around London, stopping as often as I could to "admire the scenery," or examine some intricate bit of architecture, or a window display. It was all a ploy, of course. It was a way I could take a rest for a minute before having to continue on.
I recognized the same signs in Kimba when she stopped to sniff a bush. And sniff and sniff and sniff and sniff. When I tugged on the leash she looked up as if to say "do I hafta?"
There was no problem with running ahead, tugging on the leash. In fact, it was more of my dragging her. With each step we walked, she looked like I was trying to kill her. How dare I be so mean?
There was a point at which she looked at me with eyes that said "please, please lets stop this!" But she's too heavy for me to carry, with this dumb arm, so the only way she was going to get home was to walk.
In previous years, as soon as she knew were on the home stretch she would perk up and begin to hurry home. Not today. She was just resigned to having to finish the walk.
When we came in the front door, she walked as far as the rug in the family room, sat down. She didn't want to move. It took several minutes before she came here into my office to find herself a bed under my desk.
I think the walk was good for her, and obviously long overdue. Im not going to expect her to take her around an entire block for awhile yet, but Ill continue to take her out each afternoon when I get home from work and hope that she will gradually start to build up stamina. It should be good for both of us.
Two fat ladies helping each other get a little exercise on a cool afternoon, whether they want to or not.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Isn't this the cutest face you've ever seen?
Weight Lost to date: 46.8 lbs