the friends

‘Tisn’t it the Season to be Jolly?


The beagle and I have not missed a single walk since she was diagnosed. Because walks are medicine. They stimulate her immune system, they help the flow of her lymphatic system and they get oxygen to any anaerobic infections that may be present in her lungs.

Yesterday I smiled and said hello to a couple we encountered. They were on a (dog-less) walk of their own.

The woman responded, “I hope you are as warm as the dog.”

I chuckled and nodded.

Maybe she couldn’t think of anything else to say, I thought. Maybe what she meant to say was, “I like your dog’s coat.” or “Your dog looks nice and warm.”

Maybe she meant to say it with a smile.

But her tone and her look were disapproving.

I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt under a very downy down jacket. The hood was pulled up unto my head, my hands were mittened and my feet booted.

Clearly I was as warm as “the dog.” As my sweet dog.

Did she think my dog was too warm in her coat? Did she think I was cruel to put it on her? Did she hope I was as too warm as the dog?

I wanted to tell her that my friend’s little belly was shaved for a CT scan and the fur hasn’t fully grown back yet. It needs protection from the cold.

I wanted to tell her that senior dogs have difficulty regulating their body temperature. Just like cardigan-clad senior people.

I wanted to tell her that my friend was shivering by the end of the previous day’s cold, damp walk.

I wanted to tell her that my friend has LUNG CANCER.

So quit judging.

But we just kept walking.

We saw them approach a second time as we rounded the final bend.

The beagle stopped to wait for them, tail wagging.

She’s a greeter.

But the couple did not acknowledge her.

Clearly not dog lovers. Clearly her earlier comment was not out of concern for “the dog.”

Clearly she doesn’t deem dogs worthy of warmth.

“Come on little Be. Let’s go home.”

The Be didn’t move.

“Are you worn out little friend? Have you had all you can take today?”

I kinda’ hoped Mrs. Crabby Appleton heard my questions. I kinda’ hoped she realized that there was more to the story.

On today’s walk the Be is going to wear her silver “American Beagle” puffy jacket. Because it’s cold and windy and the jacket is warm and adorable.

Fa-la-la-la-la  La-la  La-la.



Workout Wednesday

My blood pressure is low to begin with.  And I am chronically dehydrated.  So if I don’t drink at least 16 ounces of water before I go to the gym my heart rate won’t even register.

This morning I was on the treadmill for 10 minutes and my heart rate was only 60.  I use the cardio program so the incline increases gradually until you reach your target heart rate and then it adjusts accordingly.  The incline 10 minutes in this morning was 8+ and I was still only registering a heart rate of 60.  I was red-faced, perspiring and breathing heavy.  There is no way my heart rate is only 60. This machine is going to kill me if it doesn’t register an increase soon.

The incline increased to 10 and still nothing.  I switched the program to random to prevent a heart attack and set the incline at 5.5.  My heart rate finally climbed to 112.  Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.  But not somewhere enough.

I pulled myself out of my thoughts to investigate.  As soon as I got out of my head and into my surroundings and engaged with the music that was blaring from my earbuds, my heart rate registered 154 – which is dangerously close to the limit for a woman my age.

I set the program back to cardio in order to keep a steady heart rate and went back to my thoughts.

I started wondering some stuff:

Does a person’s body go into a low biorhythmic zen state when deep in thought?  Deep in pleasant or neutral thoughts that is – angry thoughts surely raise the heart rate.  Is that why my blood pressure is always so low?

Does the mind trump the body – does deep in thought trump walking at 3.7 miles per hour up an incline of 10 on the treadmill?  Or was I just on a bum machine?

All I know is that when I went back to my thoughts my heart rate dropped to the mid-one twenties.  I had to actively engage with the music to stay at my target rate of 132.

I’m going to tag this fitness, etc. and hope an exercise physiologist and/or exercise guru or two will shed some light.

Cool down song of the day:


Feeling a Bit Punk?

Francis M, Creative Commons

Francis M, Creative Commons

I took a nice brisk walk on a treadmill today and I feel so much better.

If you are feeling a bit punk, blue or blah, grab your phone and your earbuds and go for a walk.  Outside, if you can.  On a treadmill at the gym if it’s bitterly cold.

This was my playlist:

A Beautiful Morning (The Rascals)
Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone)

I always start with those two because they put a pep in my step and a smile on my face.  Then I mix it up a bit depending on how fast and crazy I want to get.  Right now I’m easing back into this exercise thing so I went with these today:

Yesu Azall Awa (Selah)
The River (Janny Grein)
Bad Moon Rising (Creedance Clearwater Revival)
I Feel the Earth Move (Carole King)
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) (The Proclaimers)
Fortunate Son (Creedance Clearwater Revival)
Try (Pink)
Something Beautiful (Needtobreathe)
Revival Song (Janny Grein)

And then for the cool down:

You Made Me Strong  (Janny Grein)
Praise Him (Janny Grein)
He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother (The Hollies)

“…. I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees.
waiting for something beautiful
Oh, oh, oh something beautiful.”