|Baxter - photo by Jamie Newton|
Long, cold, rainy days mean neither the dogs nor I get our usual exercise. I have no excuse, as I have a gym membership. The dogs, however, are pretty much stuck inside except for brief forays out to the side lawn. Poor dogs. They have a hard time convincing me to leave my desk and take them for a walk in the rain. I don't melt. I own Gore-tex clothing (after all, I am an Oregonian). No, mostly it's just that I don't really enjoy walking the dogs in the rain... putting on the gear, sloshing through puddles, trying to see between the water spots on my glasses, waiting as the dogs take their sweet time finding just the right spot to do their business, bending down with a poo-bag as rivulets of water cascade over the edge of my raincoat's hood, returning home with muddy feet and realizing I've forgotten to leave a towel by the door...again. I have nothing against rain, mind you. It makes the garden grow. I just get a bit growly about it when there's a tad too much during these short, dark winter days. And I get even growlier when I don't get in my exercise. So it's a growly feedback loop of sorts.
The dogs, on the other hand, just exhibit ennui. They pad around, pick up toys and drop them, gaze out the window, pad around some more and, mostly, sleep. I didn't realize just how bad it had become until the rain stopped for a bit the other day and the dogs got a good walk (with my husband while I was engrossed in a work project). They came in all full of excitement. Baxter chased Kirby around the living room and up the stairs, they played keep-away and tug-o-war and both of them were spinning and hopping with genuine glee. They FINALLY got some exercise!
Of course, playful Baxter, who briefly forgot his age, paid for it later. He seemed a tad stiff. But at least he didn't have that look of ennui in his eyes anymore.
I did. So I finally stepped away from the computer and went to the gym. I didn't return all spinning and gleeful, but I was a tad less growly. Today I suddenly noticed it wasn't dark at 5:00 and that made me feel better too.