15 Minute Walks Suck

Mark your calendars for July 4th, because that is when Moses is going into see the specialist, get a CT Scan, and then probably straight into surgery to remedy his Wobbler’s.

Until then, it’s Metacam, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and a low-impact exercise regime.  Very low-impact.

And, of course, a bit of a diet to accommodate for the more leisurely lifestyle.  He’s healthy at 185 pounds (185!), but we’d like him to be on the slim side to both ease the load on his joints and prep him for surgery.

I mentioned earlier that our vet made us promise, actually promise, not to exercise him more than two 15 minute walks per day.  And I see why.  After less than two full days of the NSAIDs and you could tell Moses was feeling significantly better; his energy levels have definitely improved.

But we’re sticking true to the 15 minutes, because we don’t want to push him.  Even though he’s feeling better doesn’t mean he is better.  The NSAIDs are good interim relief, but that’s all they are.

And when I say we’re sticking true to a 15 minute limit, I mean we’re trying our hardest.  My first couple attempts came closer to 17 minutes because, well, 15 minutes is ridiculously short.

15 minutes – or 7.5 minutes one way.  Less than a kilometre from home and you’ve already got to turn around and go back.  If it weren’t doctor-ordered, I would feel lazy and neglectful.

Heading back already?!

It’s a far cry from our normal routine of an hour per day.  Not to mention it totally thwarts my 2011 Resolution plan, which I was still sticking to pretty well.

On the other hand, I have found a couple of bonuses.

First of all, it’s been pretty nostalgic.  Being able to only go on short 15 minute walks keeps you pretty close to home.  When we were doing an hour plus, our walks would be about 5-7 km round trips.  But now we’re staying in our neighbourhood and revisiting routes we haven’t taken since Moses was a (relatively) small puppy and couldn’t walk for long times or distances.

Second, it’s short.  Which I suppose would be a much better bonus for me if it was still winter, -30°C, and I could be more easily convinced to stay inside.  But for Moses, it’s the summer warmth he’s not a fan of, so he’s got few complaints about having to head back early when the sun is shining.

Third – and most important – it’s helping Moses, and we can tell.  His scraped toes are healing up, and he hasn’t tripped on a walk in a few days, so it’s good to know we’re not straining his injury or making his condition worse.

Slowly healing up.

It’s also a new and weird routine to get used to, though.  Both the short walks, and the twice-daily ones.  You’d thinking being able to keep track of two walks between two people would be easier than it is turning out to be.

Not to mention, 15 minutes feels so short that I can just dart out the door quickly at lunch, after work, or before bed – even without a need to change into something more “dog walk appropriate”.  This has meant I’ve found myself a whole 7.5 minutes from home without poop bags.  But – lucky for me – I haven’t lost that gamble… yet.

I've taken "15 minute walks only" to mean just the walking part, and not include intermittent sit-stays.

About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

6 Responses to 15 Minute Walks Suck

  1. Lori R. says:

    Now if you were here, you could walk to the dog park and bring a book! (My park is about 5-7 minutes from my house, depending on how fast you walk.)

    If Moses was a rat terrier, you could gamble on no poop bags, ’cause even if you lost the poop might get lost in the grass. I’m sure the neighbours will notice if you lose that gamble with a 185 lb Newf! 🙂

    • thatjenk says:

      Haha. Yeah, definitely no dog park for him either – too exciting. Not that we’re regular attenders at a park, anyway. I’m the weirdo who just shows up to focus on training with intermittent spurts of play – lots of sideways glances from park regulars. Ahh well. Moses is really getting in touch with his inner couch potato.

  2. lexy3587 says:

    the short walks would be sooo frustrating. Even just a week of no off-leash walking for Gwynn after his neuter surgery was tough… he was so antsy and so very much wanted to run around and have fun, but it was ‘on leash if out of the house’, and it sucked.
    glad to hear Moses is improving!

    • thatjenk says:

      I wish it was ‘on leash out of the house’! That’s pretty much our regular routine, and I miss it. But it’s for his well-being, so short walks it is. We’re both going to be suffering cabin fever before July 4th, I’m sure.

  3. kenzohw says:

    Good to hear Moses is improving. I am glad the Metacam is a relief for Moses while he is awaiting surgery. We used Metacam too if Viva’s spondylosis would flare up and we cannot get an acupuncture appointment on short term (which helps in Viva’s case).
    Paws crossed for the 4. of July, hugs from Kenzo & Viva

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