By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
In order to get myself back into the physical shape I never thought I would have deteriorated to, I have taken two steps in the form of late New Year’s resolutions. I am limiting and keeping a strict record of my daily intake of calories, fats, and sodium, and, secondly, I am making myself walk at least 30-45 minutes every morning.
My goal is to get to the point where my new doctor will have to take that nasty sobriquet “obese” off my record and downgrade it to “slightly obese” or “chubby.” I also intend to have his nurse check my height again next time as he took two inches off my statuesque 5 foot, 10 inch frame which just exacerbates my troublesome height to weight ratio.
This development of about 800 homes is a maze of canals, bridges, lakes, and walkways and it seems like I may never see all the nooks and crannies. Every time I think I have seen it all, I find another few blocks of condos, duplexes, and single homes. Actually, The Isles at Palmer Ranch is a small town unto itself and even has its own post office.
I am amazed at the number of folks out walking their dogs every morning. I am even more amazed at the number of folks walking multiple dogs. Sometimes it’s a little old blue-haired lady walking one or two yappy little Yorkies and sometimes it’s a haggard-looking lady who has two large golden retrievers hauling her down the street.
I have told you how beautifully landscaped this whole development is and these dog owners all seem to appreciate that fact by carefully picking up the doo-doo dropped by their little darlings. I really admire anyone who can pick up fresh doggie doo-doo in their hands. Granted they all carry their little bags (usually blue) but that does not preclude the ick-factor to me. If, and when, Annie the Cat takes a dirt nap (she is going on 17), I want to get a puppy but I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle the doo-doo factor. I’ll probably carry a snow shovel and a 10-gallon scented Hefty kitchen bag. Oh, that’s just silly! We all know you can’t get a snow shovel here in Florida.
I have asked both The Little Woman (she dislikes that name) and Annie the Cat to walk with me but both of them rebuffed me rudely. TLW told me, in no uncertain terms, that any walking she does on her titanium knees these days will be hiking the endless cavernous aisles of Target, WalMart, Lowes, Rooms-to-Go, Haverty’s, and a plethora of malls in the vicinity. Annie the Cat just curled up in my easy chair and squinted one eye at me as if to say, “Are you for real, Big Guy?”
My walks for the last couple days have been very brisk ones — not in pace but in temperature. According to our paper, the last couple mornings here have been quite a bit cooler than those in Dallas. Boy, do these folks bundle up when its breezy and chilly! Gloves, windbreakers, muffs, and all manner of foul weather gear. I met a lady during my hike this morning who was walking a greyhound in a sweatshirt and hood. She gave me a muffled “Good Morning” through her scarf and the dog simply muttered “Brrrrrr!”
At least once every walk, I come across a little old lady standing in her driveway in bathrobe and slippers, while her little yapper makes the rounds of the yard. She continually begs the dog, “C’mon Snookums, Pee for Mama!” over and over again. Mama doesn’t seem to realize that, for dogs, sniffing is a social custom and they must sniff out all the places other mutts have peed and doo-dooed. Did you ever notice that people love to smell the roses but seldom, if ever, smell one another. Makes one wonder about their priorities. This leads me to some little-known information about why it’s great to be a dog.
If it itches, you can reach it and, not matter where the itch is, no one will be offended if you scratch it in public. No one notices if you have hair growing out of weird places as you get older. Having a wet nose is considered a sign of good health. No one thinks less of you for passing gas — in fact, some people might even think it is cute. No one ever expects you to pay for your meals, you never have to worry about table manners, and, if you gain weight, it’s someone else’s fault. It doesn’t take much to make you happy. You’re always excited to see the same old people. All they have to do is leave the room for five minutes and come back.
Well, I have ranted enough for now. I leave you with the following questions to ask yourself. Can you start your day without caffeine or pep pills? Can you understand when loved ones might be too busy to give you time? Can you take criticism and blame without resentment? Can you be cheerful, even when you have aches and pains. Can you resist complaining and boring people with all your troubles? Can you relax without liquor and sleep without the aid of drugs? If you answered yes to all these questions, congratulations — you’re almost as good as your dog!
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org