Health and Fitness – Dogs Help Your Health, So Return the Favor

Your dog will help you live a longer and healthier life. Pet ownership can improve your overall wellness – from lowering your blood pressure to giving you more opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities.

Let’s try to reward Fido for what he’s done for you. Start pushing for a dog park in your section of town if you don’t already have one. Dog parks enrich the lives of man’s best friend. Dog parks bring communities together. Dog parks enhance the aesthetic value of our neighborhoods.

Some individuals are staunch opponents of creating such a park, though, and here they come, with pitchforks and torches in tow.

The materialistic and wealthy Cruella De Vil would find a dog park to be a waste of space and money. This villainous vamp has a preference to spend her cash on elaborate cigarette holders and exquisite cars. She would rather wear the fur of two dozen Dalmatians than have a fenced-in grassy knoll for the sake of animal recreation. Try as she might, though, dogs are just too smart and will find 101 ways to get their dog park.

The mean old lady at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz seems unlikely to be a signatory on any dog park petition. I remember Miss Almira Gulch not wanting that little dog Toto to maintain his freedom after he had supposedly bitten her. The sheriff’s order said that the neighbor girl Dorothy had to surrender her little buddy to the mean-spirited Miss Gulch. Toto escaped from the crusty old maid’s clutches and headed back to Kansas City to rally his friends in support of friendly dog parks.

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch! I don’t think he’d touch a dog park with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole. This guy has been known to dress his dog up as a reindeer against his will and force him to pull an overloaded sleigh full of stolen toys. The three words that describe Mr. Grinch are as follows, and I quote, “Stink, stank, stunk!” His dog Max deserves better and should have a place to play with his other furry colleagues in a little haven of happiness.

The evil veterinarian Dr. Herman Varnick doesn’t win any bedside manner awards, and he wasn’t very fond of that energetic dog named Beethoven. The nefarious doc’s intentions to perform unethical experiments on the lovable St. Bernard and other dogs should send warnings to all those in canine country. Thankfully, Beethoven survived his scare and wants to enjoy a relaxing symphony in the park … a fun and exciting dog park.

Don’t let these fiendish fools steal your dreams! Every day that you do nothing is another day without a dog park. Get up and get going with your efforts to make this healthy happiness happen for you and all the dogs in town. You’ve got a voice, a four-legged pal, and no more excuses. Your elected officials are just a call or email away. Start barking up the right trees!

This call to action is brought to you by that guy with Kibbles and Bits on his mind. That guy is Ron Blake and he can be found begging for treats at

Ron Blake

Ron Blake, a personal fitness trainer in Phoenix, has been training individuals and groups for 15 years. He has also coached high school cross-country and track teams in Indiana and California. He was born in Gary, Ind., and Indiana University awarded him bachelor and master's degrees (as long as he agreed to quietly leave the state!) Visit his website, for more information.

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