Currently, she gets 4 walks a day. First thing in the morning, at 6:30 a.m., she has a very quick walk, just long enough to "do her business." She has a favorite spot, only about a block away, so we generally just go out, do that, and (ssshh, don't tell Jon) go back to bed. Second, around noon, is a longer walk, for exercise and exploring the neighborhood. The third walk, we go meet Jon as he walks home from his bus, and we usually meet about half way around 4 p.m. This is a medium length walk (partly depending on how early we leave, which determines how close to home we are when we run into Jon), probably about a half mile average. Finally, the fourth walk, at bedtime (around 10 p.m.) is just another quickie like the morning walk.
My resolution for 2013 is to give Olive a long walk during her noontime walk of at least one mile per day. This is for her sake, because I think she has a lot of energy to burn, for my sake, as I think it's a healthy habit, and for our sake, as a bonding time together. I feel that, while I'm not working, I have the luxury to do this with her, so I'd like to make it a routine. And our vet said the best thing we could do for her hips and joints is give her plenty of exercise.
Also, our vet was very concerned about keeping Olive "lean." Right now she's quite thin, you can easily feel her ribs and spine when you pet her. But an extra pound on her tiny frame can make a big difference on her hips. She loves to eat (she always licks her bowl after dinner), so I think if I can give her a little more exercise, maybe she can get a little more food too. (And the same goes for me!) We're going to watch her weight for a few weeks and see if we can find the right balance.
So, a one mile walk per day, in addition to the other walks (not total). It's actually a modest resolution. I think it is better to make a modest resolution and exceed it than to set a resolution that is too hard to keep and give up on it.
Today, we set out on our one mile walk at noon... and walked 2.62 miles. On one hand I was concerned, since we walked almost five miles yesterday and I didn't want to wear her out, but she was eager to keep walking and I figured we might as well enjoy it while it was sunny and nice. I'm sure when the rain returns later this week, it will be hard to even complete the mile.
One of the highlights of today's walk was that we went to a nearby bank because I had read online that they sell stamps. We went in the main door, and there was just an escalator right there. Should I carry her up the escalator or try to let her navigate it? She's pretty fearless, so I walked right up to it confidently and gently urged her on.
It was classic. Remember the scene in Elf where Buddy rides an escalator for the first time? I wish I had a camera to catch her in this pose. But once she got on it, she climbed up to the top. I was nervous about how she would get off the escalator and how the bank staff would react to her walking in. When we got to the top of the elevator, the bank staff was there - cooing over Olive! "Oh my goodness, oh she's so cute, oh, did you ride the escalator?"
I finally got to ask about buying stamps, and they told me they were dispensed from the ATM, outside. Downstairs. Not wanting to subject Olive to the escalator again, I asked where the stairs were, and they showed me the stairs. Here's the best part... when we got to the stairs, she was afraid of them! She just stood there like, "Not this again!" and kept trying to pull backwards. I walked down ahead of her and said, "Come on, they're just regular stairs," and finally she followed me down and ran as fast as she could to the bottom. It was great.
We walked to the Olympic Sculpture Park and I was really impressed by it. I was awed by the views on a clear day (those are the Olympic mountains) and the pedestrian and bike path. I can't wait to get my bike running and get over there! By then, we had walked over a mile, so we looped back home, soaking up all the sun we could get along the way.
Tomorrow, Olive goes back to the vet for a shot. I'm eager to weigh her again, I feel like maybe she's losing weight, and if that's true, I'd be happy to increase her food a little bit.
And, in other news, I finally have all of my papers together and complete to submit for my Washington bar admission. I need to make copies before I mail it out, so I'm hoping I'll have everything out by Friday. And then what? Who knows! One step at a time.