This post probably gets filed under “nobody wants to hear about your exercise routine,” which is a philosophy I generally agree with. But I promise there’s a payoff here.
I’ve had trouble with my knees forever, but after I did the half-marathon in 2015, they really started bothering me. I’ve been to physical therapy and an ortho doctor, and there isn’t much they can do for arthritis in both knees, which is what I have. I get injections a couple of times a year that help. But basically, I can’t run anymore. I can do sort of a slow-motion jog. Chris calls it “wogging,” since it’s halfway between a walk and a jog. It’s enough to get my heart rate up so I feel like I’m getting a workout (more than just regular walking), which is the main thing I want. But I feel like I’m just doing a little “shuffle-hop-shuffle-hop” down the road. And that’s enough, honestly.
Since Ada died, Roxie has been extra clingy with me, and follows me wherever I go. She used to run with me when she was a puppy, but she stopped wanting to go as she got older. But she’s also put on some weight, which is not great for a Yorkie like her. Tiny dogs have tiny joints and can’t really handle a lot of excess weight. So I need her to get more exercise. But over time, she’s decided that she HATED going for walks, and she would try to stop and pull me the other direction, back toward the house.
So, I was browsing on chewy.com (this blog post isn’t sponsored by them or anything, I’m just giving them a shout-out because they’re my favorite website for pet supplies) and I found a dog carrier that looks sort of like a baby carrier. I figured that maybe if Roxie didn’t want to go for walks, I could coerce her into going for rides? I bought it on a whim, and well…
It’s basically the cutest thing ever. I couldn’t stop cracking up and laughing when I first got it.
Roxie was initially a little confused and unsure about the whole thing, but after a few times? She LOVES her doggie carrier now. If she sees me in my workout clothes, she starts dancing around me on her hind legs while I lace up my sneakers until I get the carrier and put her in it. The kids call it “The Roxie Bag,” which I find hilarious.
So we’ve got a new workout routine now: I power-walk with Roxie in the dog carrier for the first half of our route. I’ve tried jogging, but I worry I jostle her around too much doing that. Still, power-walking with the extra weight of a dog strapped to my torso really amps up my heart rate quickly! It’s like a cardio/strength training combo.
When I get to the halfway point and turn around, Roxie will kind of sit up and stick one of her front paws out of the carrier. That’s her signal that she knows we’re going home and she wants to get down. That’s when I take her out of the carrier, and I jog/she runs the rest of the way home. She used to run 4-5 miles with me when she was a puppy, but now it seems like 1-2 miles is around her limit. That’s still a lot for a tiny dog with tiny little legs! And I can tell she’s losing some of the excess weight she’s put on, I’ve had to tighten her collar a couple of times already.
On Sundays, I usually do a long jog by myself. It’s a little routine I set up for myself, I kind of zone out with just my music in my earbuds, and it helps amp me up for the upcoming week if I feel like I’m starting off strong. This past Sunday, I was getting ready to go for my long jog, and as soon as I got my sneakers out, Roxie started dancing around me on her hind legs, all excited to go out, until I felt guilty and took her with me.
I don’t mind it so much, honestly. It’s a pretty great little routine that we’ve got going now.
Who can resist a face like hers, anyway?