It occurred to me the other day that I do not make time to exercise. I mean the kind of exercise that brings my heart rate up. And then suddenly, the idea of jogging with my dear, sweet, beloved Hunter, came to me. He would be happy to be outside, anytime. He would be happy and I would get whipped into shape all at once. Why had I not thought of it sooner? How many times had I seen those skinny people out on the road in their wick-able, reflectorized outfits and their two hundred dollar sneakers pass by with their obedient dog proudly prancing along, right in step? It was so simple it was ridiculous. Sometimes that's the way life works. Fortunately or unfortunately this thought occurred to me while we were out taking a walk. It seemed like as good a time as any to give it a whirl. We have one of those twenty-five foot retractable leashes and Hunter happened to be twenty-five feet out with his nose in the ground, so I reeled him in to discuss the situation. The best way to communicate with your dog is by talking out loud to him. Whispering is just a made up term that was deemed to the first guy on T.V. who appeared to be whispering things to his dog. In reality I'm sure that, that guy and that dog had an out loud, heart to heart, ahead of time about what stuff the soon to be famous dog whisperer was going to pretend to whisper into his dog's ear and then what that dog was going to do for the cameras. And dogs, just like people, hear better when the volume is turned up. "So," I said to Hunter, loudly and carefully enunciating my words, "I have been thinking that it would be fun if you and I started jogging together. What do you think about that?" He cocked his head inquisitively, so I figured he wanted to know more about it. "Now, the thing about jogging is, that jogging is a little bit like running, but it is not the same thing as running. It is more like this." Then I gave him a quick demonstration and I jogged in a circle around him. "The thing is, Hunter, you will have more stamina than I, because you are younger and you run across the highway to the trailer court every chance you get, and I don't. So when I decide that it is time to slow down or maybe even to stop it will be because I NEED to. I'll just give the leash a little tug." I showed him the tug. "And then when you feel that tug that means we will just walk for a bit. You know, it'll be more like walk, jog, walk, jog, walk, jog, until we are both in shape." Hunter gave me that all knowing and understanding, glazed over gaze, that he always gives me when he has listened very carefully to what I have said. "Whenever we jog," I continued, "I will keep the leash short, so we will be right in step with each other just like those people and their dogs that we see out on the highway. What do you think? Do you want to give it a try?"