Energy Boost Secret: Walk pups in need and you’ll loose LBS while gaining the energy you need!
I have three doctors. My left leg, my right leg and my dog.
– Viveca Stone-Berry
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways I’ve found to boost my energy, physically and emotionally, is by volunteering as a dog-walker at my local shelter. I call it an “energy-boost secret” because so few people seem to know about it!
While it is no secret that exercise is essential to boost our energy and maintain our brain-power, we who battle fatigue also know how easy it is to bail out of the commitment we make to ourselves, even to our friend who is expecting us at the gym … When you’re tired all the time the couch looks huge and comfy and the gym is so far, far away. One tomorrow leads to the next …
What you don’t know is how next-to-impossible it is to disappoint that pack of fur-friends who await you, and only you, at the shelter.
Why? First of all, the feedback you get just from showing up is incredible. Not only is the shelter staff delighted to see you. Then there are all those wagging tails and cold noses from squirming pups, tender seniors and the go-go-go teens who can’t wait to wiggle, walk, run and strut with you! Time flies with a leash in your hand and a heart on paws by your side.
Secondly you will probably be part of a small team and your absence would be a disaster. Most shelters are light on volunteers, another reason I refer to this as a “secret.”
Your presence, or lack thereof, will make or break your pack’s day. You are the one to help them get outside for a moment of joy and an opportunity to release energy and kennel anxiety. No one is interested in visiting with the crazy dog that jumps, barks and chases its tail. The volunteer dog-walker is the behind the scenes “secret” to happy, healthy, balanced and adoptable dogs.
I’ll be honest – there were days I literally crawled in for my shift, feeling only the “duty” and none of the joy. But, every time I skipped out feeling GREAT. That’s the magic behind the healing power of the pup!
To find your pack and get started, go to: www.PetFinder.com and click on the “shelter” tab. You’ll need to personally contact your local shelters to find out if they have a volunteer dog-walking program – not all do.
Typically shelters are looking for a two-hour weekly commitment at a set time and day of the week. You’ll be amazed how this once a week commitment will help you feel better and do more for yourself the rest of the week!
Another option is to support one of your community’s “breed specific” rescues.
Breed Specific Rescues typically place their dogs in foster homes, Many foster families will have two, three or more pups at a time and would be delighted to have someone volunteer to help exercise their charges!
There are rescues for every breed including mixed breeds. Say you’ve always loved Greyhounds … you can find your local Greyhound rescue by searching under “Greyhound Rescue, Fredericksburg, Virginia” or simply, “Greyhound Rescue, Virginia.”
Psst. You might also want to foster an action pup of your own! I c0-fostered three puppies and a “teen-ager” last year and loved it! A good foster organization gives great support (covers medical expenses), has on-going weekend adoption events and allows the foster parent to approve of the adoption. You could have a dog for a week or for several months. You can pick the breed, age etc.
Volunteer dog-walking and fostering remind me of another “Energy-Boost Secret,” volunteerism. I’ll share about that next week.
For now – chow!
P.S. A super motivation and inexpensive tool to help you walk on those puppy dog miles and walk off the pounds and fatigue is a pedometer. Click here to order your Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer pedometer today! (From Amazon)
P.S.S. For more on my experience as a volunteer dog walker, click here!