Skinny Daily Post


My dog, Magnolia Louise, the Rottweiler-Labrador mix, has been my constant companion, and motivator, for exercising. The poor thing spends her days by AMís side, with very little to do. We both value the time we spend walking or hiking, and sheís usually nagging me to GO. RIGHT NOW!!!

Well, this morning, what a difference! I found a good marrow bone in the refrigerator, so I tossed it onto the floor for Maggie to find later. When she finally woke up, she went straight to the bone. No nagging me. No dancing around and whining to go out. She just lay down and started gnawing.

When I was ready to leave for our morning hike, I had to go find her. She didnít pick up her head or stop her chewing. I had to CALL HER. With one last look at her bone, she came with me and hopped in the car for the drive to the hiking trail.

The uphill was fine. She stayed with me, and ran around, just like usual. But once we headed downhill, she ran WAY ahead of me and waited for me to catch up [usually, she just keeps running]. When I was close enough to satisfy her, she ran ahead again.

Thereís usually a tussle to get her back in the car. That hang-dog Ďdo we HAVE to?í look almost breaks my heart. Not today! She stood by the car and waited for me to open the door.

When we got home, she didnít follow her usual routine of checking out the rest of the yard. Iím not dumb. By this time, I figured something was on her little mind, but I wasnít sure what. I walked down the driveway to carry in the paper. She stayed on the porch, waiting for me to open the door. Very unusual. Iím generally chasing her around the neighborhood by this point.

I opened the door, and she ran back to the bone. No sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to give her the usual treat. No running to greet AM. She didnít even come to say goodbye to me when I left for work, either. She was NOT going to be distracted from this.

This dog would rather have her bone than hike? It was so important to her that she didnít keep her usual routine, and wasnít interested in her usual treats. Maybe sheís bored with her routine? She doesnít get very many bones. For that matter, she doesnít have much stimulation in her life. Otherwise, why would she be so obsessed with that bone?

That makes sense to me. Boredom can work two ways: either we get so bored we canít move in a different direction, or we grab onto anything that holds a promise of breaking the boredom. Maybe to the point of obsession?

No matter what, itís convinced me more than ever that boredom is dangerous. Itís important to switch up not only the food and exercise routines, but also the intellectual routines. Do something different. A museum instead of a movie. A dance club instead of staying at home reading. We need the change.

3 thoughts on “Even the dog!!!

  1. Greta says:

    What your story tells me has nothing at all to do with boredom and everything to do with food obsession and hunger. Your dog sounds downright food obsessed. So my thought is that the dog was HUNGRY and that a bit of food obsession in a hungry dog or human is probably perfectly natural. If someone had plopped a plate of something-or-other in front of you and someone else wanted you to go for a walk after you ate 1/3 of it likely you would have resisted and wanted to head straight back home. Hunger is a physical need right up there with breathing and the need for water. Walking is NOT in the same category. A dog in the wild would NEVER stop eating mid-meal and go walking. Whatever body chemicals help us to want to eat are at work and it’s very necessary because without the hunger drive we’d all starve to death. So what this story tells me is that it is OK, natural and normal to want to eat. Even dogs want to eat.

  2. Janie says:

    Good article Jane. We all get bored with our routines – even dogs! I went on a trip to the grocery store yesterday before our snowstorm hit and picked up lots of different healthy foods. We can be stuck inside for the next month and we will survive! The fruit basket is filled and there are plenty of fresh vegetables to snack on. I have to go and do my exercise tape now. BTW – I lost 1 lb this week! Even DH is learning to like SF Jello – BIG change for his sweet tooth.

  3. Quinn says:

    Awwwwww! Magnolia-Louise is such a GOOD doggie! She sits with AM all day! She goes on hikes with her other human! She deserves a good marrow bone more often. Something REAL to naw on, unlike those yucky fake pigs’ ears chewies. Maybe once a week?

    Aren’t bones supposed to be good for doggies? Good for their teeth? Helps get the tartar off their teeth, or something like that? (Obviously not a dog owner here. Even though I LIKE doggies. ūüôā )

    Jane, you are soooo right about the benefit of changing our routines. Good for our brains as well as our bodies. (But you would know that already wouldn’t you?) Lifts our moods, too, which helps avoid comfort eating. Gives us something to talk about with other people, thus helping with social anxiety, thus helping avoiding more emotional eating. (Thinking about Jonathan here.) And is just generally fun! Even if you don’t enjoy that particular new experience, you now have material for funny stories AND you now know a bit more about how you don’t want to live. Confidence building, that.

    Some routines are good for us, like brushing our teeth after meals. But when we find ourselves sleep-walking through our lives, then the routines need some altering. Humans crave stimulation, whether we are aware of it or not. And if we can’t get it any other way, then we get it through food. Too many of us need to find other ways of enriching our lives. ūüė¶

    A couple years back, i managed to lose 30lbs. in about six months, and accomplished this without feeling hungry. A big part of my plan was just to get out of the apartment more. Kept telling myself, “You live in a big city. There’s LOTS to do. Go do it!” Found out that art museums especially left me feeling … satiated, … full, … not hungry.

    Then I stopped doing all this. (Some unpleasentness made life very complicated.) Gained all the weight right back. In three, maybe four, months.

    Yeah, you bet I’ve started that plan again.


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