Today is the third glorious spring day in a row, and I decided to take the dogs for a long walk. Hoover has had two days at the park recently where he's been a little too aggressive for Ian's and my comfort, both days where he really hadn't had any exercise until we arrived at the park, around 3:30 in the afternoon. Since, aside from those times, he's been invariably playful and fun at the park (although not so much on his leash), I decided that 3:30 was simply too late in the day for him to not have had any exercise. I.e.: my fault, not the fault of the dog. So today, to test my theory, we walked to the Woodland Park off-leash area.
This was a walk of 4 miles and change, round trip. Nevertheless, when we arrived at the park, old Spackle (with his two rebuilt hips and his rebuilt knee), surprised to be where he was, and assuming I hadn't brought one, immediately picked up a filthy ball and commenced dropping it at my feet. I had brought one, however, and the Chuck-it from the car, and as I pulled it out of my bag, Hoover went off at a surprisingly leisurely pace to investigate.
It turns out that a 2+ mile walk, mostly uphill, takes all of the aggression, and even most of the play, out of Hoover. That's a bit of an exaggeration, of course—he did play with dogs during the ten or so minutes we stayed—but not with his usual single-minded intensity. Spackle did fetch with his usual single-minded intensity, however, so I only threw the ball about a half-dozen times, and then I told him to sniff dogs, get a drink, and save the rest of his strength for the long walk home. Both dogs are lying on fleece on the floor of my office, totally wiped. I love it.
My strength, I'm pleased to report, held up marvelously. I felt healthy and fit, my legs loved the uphill striding, my heart and lungs never had to work harder than moderately (although I did not have my oxymeter to check), even my feet slapped four miles of asphalt painlessly. Yes, I give my body an A+ for functionality. Now, if I can only bring my emotions and spirituality up to the same level of competence, I'll be unstoppable.
Not that I can imagine what I might be doing that someone would want to stop, of course.