I’ve been a little naughty lately, but it’s really not my fault. I’m bored. Do you hear me well enough?! I said I’m BORED! Nobody pays attention to me. So I sit at home and plot ways to get someone to notice me.
Chewing on things I find lying around the house. Check!
Running around like a hyperactive maniac (what my mom calls the Tazmanian Devil dog.) Check!
Barking at every chipmunk, squirrel, dog or kid in the neighborhood. Check!
Leaving kibble in my bowl, so someone will think I’m not feeling well. Check!
About the only thing I haven’t done is raid the garbage can and that’s because they have one of those dog-proof contraptions.
You see, my mom has been a little under the weather with foot surgery and oral surgery. She complains about pain and can’t seem to get her tush off the couch when she’s at home. My dad is working at his regular job and then coaching football, so he’s never home. My brother is working and also walking
other neighborhood dogs for extra income… so no one ever pays attention to me. Oh sure, they make sure I have food, water, potty breaks, etc. but they don’t really PLAY or WALK or TAKE ME ANYWHERE!
My mom has a so-called “sedentary lifestyle.” It’s just a fancy way of saying she doesn’t move enough. She gets home from work and sits on the couch with her foot up. Let me tell you something. It’s not good for humans and it’s not good for pets, either.
Just a quick Google check will tell you that for humans, sitting too much can cause anxiety, heart disease, obesity and other nasty ailments that can lead to early death. (Don’t seem so surprised. If I can write a blog, certainly I can use a computer!) But did you know being left alone too much or not getting enough exercise can cause problems for dogs and cats, too?
We might do things you don’t like out of pure boredom. Our muscles can get weak and we might lose our ability to run or jump. We can put on extra weight which slows us down even further. And health issues? I’d rather not talk about digestive problems, constipation, high blood pressure or diabetes.
I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. But I do want to ask you what are you going to do about it? Seriously, I get that sometimes pet parents are temporarily too busy or physically unable to take their pet for a walk (like my mom.) Mom, you really should heel… I mean heal!
In the meantime, perhaps she should hire a dog walker or try playing an indoor game of fetch from the couch or even blowing bubbles and letting me try to catch them. That’s a game that many cats enjoy, too. And if she can’t exercise my whole body, exercises for my brain (and tummy) are good diversions, too. Think food puzzle toys, peanut butter stuffed Kongs or even teaching me new tricks!
I’m really not trying to scold Mom or any other pet parents for being sedentary, sluggish, slothful or just plain sitting too much. I’m just trying to gently encourage all of you to move a little more. Interact with your pet a little more. And think of clever things you can do together. That way we all can be happier and healthier. And maybe even thinner!
Until Next time,
PS: Mom, the whole “I just had foot surgery” excuse isn’t going to work at all next month, so I’m encouraging you to get your act together. I’ll try to be satisfied with walks that go only 2 blocks, but you’ve got to work on your flexibility and stamina. Deal?