Commitment. Big word. Something we don’t really think about applying to our dogs. But it is the most important aspect of dog ownership and your relationship with your dog. When you first bring your dog home, you are committing to keeping that dog fed, housed and exercised for the rest of his life. But our commitment doesn’t end there. We have to commit to getting the dog enough exercise. Daily. Some type of physical exercise is very important to your dog’s physical and mental health. When we first get that dog, are we really committed to doing that? How many of us intend to do it, even plan for it? Like when you are getting ready for bed at night and think tomorrow is Sunday, I don’t have to work. I need to get a few chores done around the house like laundry and grocery shopping but I don’t have anything pressing to do. So I am goingto take the dog to the park and walk with him for an hour so we both get some exercise, first thing in the morning. Sunday morning, you get up, drink some coffee and check out the newspaper. You don’t get a chance to start your day slowly all week, so Sunday morning you take your time. Then you throw in some laundry, and realize you are almost out of laundry detergent. It’s goingto take a while to get all the laundry done so you’ll need to go get some. As long as you are going to the store, you might as well get the groceries shopping done then. So now walking the dog at the park is pushed further down the list. Eventually, it gets bumped from the list because there is no time left to do it. So how do we get better at getting the dog his exercise? Well, you could ask another family member to do it. ( Delegate it.) Or hire a dog walker. Either of those are good choices. You could buy a treadmill for your dog.If neither of them fit you particular situation, then commit to doing it. Really commit. Commit 100% to it. To be 100% committed to something, you do it, no matter what. No exceptions. If the weather is bad, dress for it. Or find a place that will allow you to walk indoors with your dog, a hockey arena, a stadium, or a mall. A parking garage will even offer some protection from rain and wind. So make the commitment and get out there and walk your dog. You will be glad you did. The following quote fromKen Blanchard, author of the One Minute Manager in addition to many other books:
There is a difference between interest and commitment. when you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you except no excuses, only results.