A Dog with a Mission
Six months on from a heart attack and all my good intentions had gone out of the window.
When I lay in my hospital bed I promised myself that I would get fit and lose weight.
At first, like so many others, I started walking every day and eating all the right food,but, it wore off.
I started to find excuses to avoid the walk, rain, appointments, sore and aching limbs you name it, I used it.
This would have continued but for intervention by my wife and the coming of Johnson.
Six months after hospital I had gained weight and started to worry about the implications.
I was poised at the top of a slippery slope at the bottom of which, I suspected, would be the undertakers. Not Good
Off to Cornwall
I have made many visits to Cornwall but the one that I took six months after my heart attack was fated to change our lives more than a little.
It was a visit to my aunty who lives in a bungalow overlooking the sea quite close to Padstow.
We has started going to see her regularly, two or three times a year.
Her husband, my uncle Len had died and she was left alone except for her greyhound Jake.
With my Aunt being well into her eighties I gladdly took on the task of walking Jake up and down the nearby coastal path.
I found that even long walks talking an hour or two would pass in no time at all. I was as keen as Jake to go out.
My Enthusiasm Noted
This enthusiasm was, unknown to me, being noticed and noted.
I would hear more about when I got home.
One thing that I must add is that, we had taken a shine to a little wire-haired terrier whilst we were down by the sea.
A second point is that my wife had always been against us having another dog " hairy, smelly things" was the usual response to any talk about canines.
This meant that when my wife said we should look out for a small dog, I was gobsmacked.
The story of how we ended up with a luecher not a terrier is in another post so I wont go over it.
Just to say that she had watched how much walking I would do with the dog and decided that any "inconvenience" would be worth it for the good of my health.
Now, however she loves Johnson as much as I do and that's surprised us both.
Ah! that's why I can have a dog
Once we had Johnson, a name given by my eldest son, I had to assume the walking duties.
Every day I went out with him. It was hard at first, dragging our selves round boring streets often in the rain.
Then someone told me about a local trail only a quarter of a mile away from the front door. That was it, we were hooked.
We were soon doing four miles a day and loving it.
It was never intended to be a race, but, lurchers don't stroll. well at least mine doesn't.
I even put an App' on my phone to measure how far we went and how many calories I was burning off.
As I walked and passed others with their various shapes and sizes of hounds I began to notice that I was letting on to them and even talking to those who wanted to.
This is not me, or at least it didn't used to be. Now I'm more sociable.
The Big Benefits
It's two years since this all started and I am two stones lighter ( no dieting required), I can power up hills that previously I gasped my way up stopping to get my breath back every hundred yards.
In addition my regular checks at the doctors ( I'm diabetic type 2) have shown great improvements.
Blood pressure is down, resting heart rate is down, as already mentioned weight is down and three of the most important measurements in my diabetic blood tests have improved considerably.
So, I can't prove that having Johnson "saved my life" but at the very least it has improved all the parameters that we are told will help us to live longer.
Would I have done it on my own?
No I most certainly would not.
I tried and failed.
Why don't I fail now? that's simple. Neither you nor I could look my dog in the eye and refuse to take him out.
You would never be allowed to forget it.
And that is the reason that he has, and will continue to help save my life.
If you know anyone who needs exercise and whose discipline fails them, or who just wants more fun out of life, then, take my example and tell them to:
Get Yourself a Lurcher