“Your owner wears running shoes”

“Your momma wears combat boots!” an ill-mannered dog barked at us one day.

I turned up my pointy little nose. “Wrong. My owner wears running shoes. Asics, to be precise.”

And she’s totally obnoxious when it comes to exercise. Sometime in her twenties, she was visiting a friend who said, “Come to the gym with me. I’ll lend you an outfit.” It was so long ago, she says, they were wearing leotards. Black leotards. Remember? Yuk. I’m trying hard not to get a mental image.

So after that my mom was hooked. She did Jazzercise and then the Nickolaus method and then aerobics till her tendons started screaming. She’s always been a walker (she’s never really liked driving) and about 15 years ago she took up weight lifting.

Cathy is totally vain about her exercise and she embarrasses me when she brags about how fit she is. When she was young she was a total wuss, she says. She used to like wearing dresses and she couldn’t do sports. She would duck when someone threw a ball in her direction. (She probably still does.)

Cathy especially drives me nuts when she interrupts my nap to tell me about articles she finds, like this one about how exercise helps every part of your health.

I’m already in perfect shape. I run with Aunt Sara at least once a week and Cathy’s always dragging me off to the dog park. But I can see Cathy’s wheels turning. She wants to get thinner and that means we’re gonna be walking…and walking. I feel sleepy already, just thinking about it.

Every time we walk, people stop us to say, “What a cute dog!” or “Can I pat your dog?” “She looks so friendly…”

And then Cathy has to go and say something about my “issues” or “She’ll go home with you if you’re not careful. She tried to go home with the UPS driver…”

Yeah, right. Come on, Mom. Let’s walk a little faster in those running shoes.

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