No Dog. No Walks.

Dog walking is a popular everyday physical activity. Dog owners are generally more active than non-owners, but some rarely walk with their dog. The strength of the dog–owner relationship is known to be correlated with dog walking, and this qualitative study investigates why. Twenty-six interviews were combined with autoethnography of dog walking experiences. Dog walking was constructed as “for the dog”, however, owners represented their dog’s needs in a way which aligned with their own. Central to the construction of need was perceptions of dog personality and behaviour. Owners reported deriving positive outcomes from dog walking, most notably, feelings of “happiness”, but these were “contingent” on the perception that their dogs were enjoying the experience. Owner physical activity and social interaction were secondary bonuses but rarely motivating. Perceptions and beliefs of owners about dog walking were continually negotiated, depending on how the needs of the owner and dog were constructed at that time. Complex social interactions with the “significant other” of a pet can strongly motivate human health behaviour. Potential interventions to promote dog walking need to account for this complexity and the effect of the dog-owner relationship on owner mental wellbeing.

~ Carri Westgarth, abstract from I Walk My Dog Because It Makes Me Happy: A Qualitative Study to Understand Why Dogs Motivate Walking and Improved Health (mdpi.com, August 19, 2017)


Notes:

  • Inspired by our Zeke, and his passing one year ago today. (9/5/16) His photo above.
  • Related Posts: Zeke

Comments

  1. Oh, Dave and Susan I am so sorry this must be such a difficult day…glad, though that you have such a wonderful photo of him and so many wonderful memories…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m sorry, this must be a hard day for all of you. i cannot believe it has been a year already. this research makes perfect sense –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a bittersweet memory of a handsome pup. Is there room in your heart for a new “best friend” ???? It took us a long time, and I was reluctant to commit again…but a rescue pup showed up after many years. It is sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My whole being aches for your loss of losing such an integral part of your personal lives. At some point…the emptiness will ache more than your pain of loss. I knew. You’ll know, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sorry about your Zeke. We also lost our Rudy and we miss him terribly – and walking with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael Zahaby says:

    huh! The things i learn on your blog

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Big hole in your heart. Mine too. Our specials dogs will always live there. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m sorry for your loss David. Dogs are such pivotal parts of our lives, it’s devastating to lose their companionship when they go. I believe they contribute not only to our mental and physical health but our social well being also. Zeke looks like a sweet boy. I’m sure you miss him terribly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am sorry too dear David, Zeke was adorable one. I remember him. It is not easy and I am dealing with this feeling too, I miss so much our Princess.
    Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  11. All of this is so true. Sending lots of hugs to you and your family today. My dog “Buddha” who is nothing like a Buddha! is sending you lots of hugs too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. True and yes it is a pleasure to take a dog for a walk. They are great energy boosters and bring so much positivity around. Thanks for the wonderful share, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sending love and hugs and profound understanding of the heartache.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Because of your writings, Zeke’s memory is embraced by many.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Peggy Farrell says:

    What a wonderful photo of Zeke. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a best friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. We never forget our pets, do we? They’ll always be part of the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. watching people with their dogs make me happy. If this makes me happy, surely they owner are much happier. Oh, Zeke…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Anniversaries suck, but the survivors of animal kin know that the loss is just a little more heightened than every other day. I hope it’s getting easier to bear.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Late to comment, DK, but sorrow no less intense for you. Simply cannot believe a year has passed. You’ll know when the time is right to open your hearts again, and we will all celebrate with you…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The years pass but the sorrow doesn’t. I still miss my Frankie and always will. But ~ just last night ~ Hubbs commented that perhaps we need a dog again. My heart sang! I’m ready but I’ve been waiting for him …

    and your boy was sure handsome.

    MJ

    Liked by 1 person

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