The other morning my dachshund said to me, “Running for as little as five minutes a day could significantly lower a person’s risk of dying prematurely,”
“Really, where did you hear that?” I asked.
“The New York Times,” he answered.
Since I didn’t want to die prematurely, I got the leash. We went through the usual, “Puppy, wait for Mama” routine while I locked the front door, and he pulled on the leash, eager to be on his way.
We took off at a good pace, probably 5.5 miles an hour as my heart was pounding after running around the corner and down a short block to the next street.
Just when I thought I couldn’t run anymore, he stopped to smell a light post.
I stood and panted for a minute, glad to let Puppy find what he seemed to be looking for.
Then, suddenly, he took off again, ears flying and toe nails clicking on the sidewalk.
I didn’t want to let a creature with six inch long legs outdo me, so I ran along behind, feeling my breathing starting to regulate. Without warning he stopped again to smell the sidewalk.
I was able to pant and catch my breath, remembering something I had heard about sprinting. Oh yes, my dad, who is 99 and still interested in health is the one who told me about it. “This must qualify as sprints,” I thought.
Puppy was off again, though he had slowed his pace to 4 miles per hour, a comfortable brisk walk for me. We continued down to the end of the block where he stopped to smell a rock.
“This is great exercise,” I thought, feeling good about my scientific workout, and enjoying the brief pause before the next sprint. Three seconds later, we’re running again, around the corner and heading for home.
As we approach the house, Puppy stops one last time to smell the gravel.
“So what are you sniffing for exactly?” I asked.
“Urine,” he replied.
We get home and resume our favorite position on the sofa, but I could feel good about it since I had just done at least 5 minutes of sprints. It’s hard to tell how Puppy felt since he doesn’t like to talk about his feelings, but his body language denoted some satisfaction.
How wonderful to have a dachshund who insists on taking walks.
P.S. Puppy wishes many happy returns to his Aunt Karen, a well-known supporter of dachshunds.