Dogs are by nature conservative, they crave routine and familiarity. Dogs happily take up routines and then insist that their humans stick to those routines.
Just seven weeks ago, my physician read me the riot act - with weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides all up, I had to start getting exercise. This is difficult because I also have rheumatoid arthritis and exercise equates with pain in my back, hips, knees, feet, etc. But my physician insisted and made me promise to try 10 minutes of walking every day. She reminded me of how fit I had been five years ago when I walked the dog every day.
This exhortation came at a good time. My husband John who had been walking both our dogs had to give it up when a sudden appearance by a stray cat, resulted in him face down being dragged down hill into the blackberry brambles. Two big dogs was just too much for one person to handle.
So that day, after my appointment, I came home and started our new routine. After John went for a 30 minute walk/run with our younger, more energetic dog Molly, we feed both dogs their evening meal, and then it was my turn to take Rosie for our 10 minute (now a little longer) exercise through the neighborhood.
It was quite a struggle at first, between Rosie having forgotten how to behave like a proper dog with me, and all my aches and pains. But now things go much more smoothly, Rosie is well behaved, and the aches and pains are slower in their on set.
Rosie knows the routine very well now, after just seven weeks. As soon as her supper is eaten she looks to me to gather the baggie (to scoop the inevitable poop) and leash, and head out for our exercise. Makes it a whole lot easier to stick to the exercise when you've got those big, liquid brown eyes on you waiting for a walk.