“What’s with the dog in the header?” is probably what you’re asking. That’s no ordinary dog, that’s Bowie, the smartest, sneakiest, cleverest Boxer around. He’s also my sidekick and workout partner. Happily runs alongside while I ride my bike around town, or trots next to me while we run, urging me to go, go, go! He even shows off his downward dog pose while I attempt yoga in the living room.
When I’m doing something weird, he often sits and stares at me, just like in the header. He will wait patiently (mostly) while I finish my reps, eager to get my attention so we can go play. Not only is he my beloved pet and best friend, but he truly is an integral part of my fitness regimen. Without him, I wouldn’t have a reason to get outside and get active.
Bowie came into my life on February 12, 2011 as a companion for my other Boxer, Millie. We drove 80 miles to meet him, and the entire way I was debating turning around and staying far away from puppyhood. I’ve always rescued my dogs, and specifically chose to adopt seniors since they’re more mellow in their old age, plus no one else wants them. Puppies are on the opposite end of the spectrum; they are almost like human infants. The crying, the whining, the potty-training, the constant supervision.
Even after taking him home, I thought to myself for a week straight what a mistake I’ve made. I didn’t sleep, I constantly stressed about what he was doing, and when I was home I didn’t have a free minute to myself because I had to watch him like a hawk. “Never again,” I kept saying to myself.
I did some research online for the best puppy training place in my area and found one just a couple miles from me. Bowie and I went over to meet the woman who ran the training program and daycare out of her home, and I signed him up right then and there. He was only 13 weeks old and was already being shipped off to boarding school. I was sad, but the earlier you train your pup, the better.
Bowie graduated from his training with flying colors and has grown up to be a great companion. Oh, he’s still plenty bratty now and then, but he has certainly come a long way. He’s only 11 months old (as of 10/21/11), so he’s still got a lot to learn, but I couldn’t be more pleased with his progress.
Sadly, months after we brought Bowie home, his big sis Millie passed away from degenerative myelopathy, a terrible disease. Dogs really do feel human emotions; I noticed quite a change in his demeanor after Millie passed. He’s back to his normal, playful, attention-whoring self now, being the best dog I could ask for.
But we miss you every day, Millie. Rest in Peace.