By Pat Ryan.

I used to think I was taking my dog for a walk, but lately I am thinking he is taking me for a walk and it does wonders for my health and personality (or so I’m told).

The road we walk is one big hill and as fate would have it, the way home is all uphill. We walk or I should say I walk and he romps, herds me (he is a sheep dog of sorts) and plays games.  His most favorite game is to stop dead in the road until I look around for him.  Only when I come as close as 3 feet from him, saying “come Ernie” (that’s my four legged friend) the whole time, will he run like the devil and I swear he’s smiling or dog laughing at me the whole time.

I find such a simple thing as a walk with Ernie can make me feel happy for the day.  It’s a great way to talk out loud without anyone thinking I’m crazy, or sing (which is dreadful since I can’t carry a tune), or just think of nothing and notice the world around me.  Now I’m not a philosopher or deep thinker so this is just the right dose of wellness for me.

I’ve always heard how pets are good for your well-being and now I’m a believer.  It’s funny where you can find your fitness fix and how it took a dog, a great dog, to help me on my way.  My friend takes her furry friend for a hike up Stratton Mountain or around the snowmaking pond; I’ll have to try it.  I wonder if she’s sings out loud.