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 Dogs Take Us Walking

Many good habits can be difficult or unpleasant to carry out, but that’s certainly not true of all of them. There can be tremendous pleasure in the simple and valuable act of taking a walk, which not only burns calories but decreases stress. Having a dog requires that you regularly take walks—it’s something you do for your dog, but in truth your dog is doing it for you.

AS PHYLLIS PUTS IT, “They’d written me off.” Years of medical difficulties had left her bedridden and her overall health in steady decline. 

But she refused to give in to hopelessness. Slowly she turned the corner toward minimal mobility, then to being able to get around town, and finally she decided to take a walk . . . across the state of Kansas. 
None of this would have been possible without Justice, Phyllis’s dog. With Justice, Phyllis can now walk farther and faster, and she never lacks for a willing companion. “I wanted to get going, so I got Justice,” Phyllis says. “Now I want to keep going, and Justice helps make sure I can and that I do. Dogs don’t give up, they keep going. And that’s just what I needed in my life.
“It’s hard for me to believe what my life was once like,” Phyllis says. “It was awful. But remembering it gives me appreciation for what I have now.”
Dog owners walk 79 percent farther in an average week than those who don’t own a dog. (Brown and Rhodes 2006)