Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I thought only I called it that!

The Canadian Montreal Gazette had a great article, linked below, about how people with dogs exercise more frequently because we are motivated by "dog guilt". I know that those of you with dogs have felt it many times before and probably label the feeling with your own personal definitions. I happen to call my feeling "dog guilt", as apparently do many others, at least some of our "neighbors to the North" (although a lot of Canada is actually to the South of Alaska, so I don't think the "neighbors to the North" description applies 100% when one resides in the 49th State of the USA. Canada is more like 50% neighbors to the North and 50% neighbors to the South, if one lives in Alaska...)

Anyway, enough of the geography lesson. Suffice it to say that I'd be much more of a couch potato if it weren't for my dogs, and I bless their little hearts for getting me out of the house and onto the trail each time it happens. On the drive to the park I'm always thinking to myself "gee, they might just enjoy a ride in the car and I can just stop at the grocery store and do some shopping and then go home, without hitting the park at all." Then I see the anticipatory look on their little furry faces and sense the excitement that they feel at the prospect of a romp in the park and I always steer my car to one of our usual haunts and give them a run. At the end of the walk I always feel more relaxed, refreshed and, well, you know, all those good feelings that come from exercising. Plus, the dogs are tired and less apt to come home and destroy furniture or sit staring at me like I've let them down by not getting them out.

After a dog walk I can then come home and hit the couch and feel no guilt, that is until I spy the dirty carpet or the dusty furniture or the crates of laundry waiting for my attention, then I feel the guilt that is associated with neglecting housework. Is that called "Martha Guilt"? I think that's what I will call it from now on.

Here's the link to the article that precipitated this rambling:

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