The accompanying pain in Marie’s left arm was what made her ask a neighbor for a ride to the emergency room. The heart attack was minor in nature, but a major scare. After one night of observation in the emergency room Marie headed home.
Marie’s doctor blamed her sedentary lifestyle for her new health problems and told her she needed to get some daily exercise. Marie worked at home; she lacked the need to go out. Her doctor told her to start running. Slowly at first, stop, walk, rest, and run again. Marie promised him everything in order to stop his lecture.
The following day, Karen, the neighbor who had driven Marie to the hospital, came over to check on her. Marie told Karen that she had her doctor’s running orders. Karen knew how much Marie detested exercising and laughed at her predicament.
Then Karen said, “I have an idea! Roxy loves to go to the park!” Roxy was her nine-year-old Labrador. Marie frequently took Roxy for the afternoon walks when Karen was away on business. “With my travel schedule, I can’t take her as often as I’d like. Why don’t you take her?”
Before Marie could answer, they heard some barking. Their yards were connected by a two-way gate that Roxy had mastered. As they watched Roxy padding across the lawn and up Marie’s back stairs, they were astonished to see that she had somehow managed to find her leash and bring it with her! As she pranced through the kitchen door, she proudly wagged her tail as she dropped the leash at Marie’s feet.
“How did you get her to do this?” Marie asked Karen. Karen, however, couldn’t stop laughing and swore up and down she had nothing to do with this!
Marie picked up the leash and headed out the front door with Roxy in tow. Roxy led Marie down the block to the park where she promptly took off! Up, down, around bushes and trees, other dogs, other owners, hills, dales and doggy hydrants. Marie couldn’t even get Roxy to slow down so she could take the leash off! And Roxy seemed to know exactly what she was doing. Marie finally begged for mercy as she sweated, gulped for air, and headed to the bubbler.
As they walked home, Roxy was calm and kept glancing over at Marie with what looked like concern. She would slow down, look up, and when Marie nodded to say, “I’m fine, girl,” she’d then pick up the pace a bit.
[To be continued …]