Sorry to hear that you are suffering so, Annie. One of the best decisions for me was when we gave a home to Sophie & Syau, the 10-year-old bonded dogs we adopted a few months after our Pooh passed.

Ben used to be the official walker of Pooh and our other dog Chanelito with me only filling in some on weekends. But, the two new dogs walk much faster, much further and for much longer than Chanelito can so I am now their dog-walker while Ben handles Chanelito.

Having no fenced yard and those two dogs to walk, I am forced to get up and go, no matter how tired I am. Every morning, between 6:30 and 7:00 and every night at 9:30. On weekends, I usually can make the noon and 5 pm walks as well but not too often during the week. Still, I am getting in 30 to 35 miles a week. When I am working and can’t get home to walk, Ben has to walk S&S and then walk Chanelito so it’s been good for him, too.

All that walking sure helps with depression and general health. I’ve lost weight, have less back pain, and I honestly believe the walks keep me from full-blown depression. Seeing those two fuzzy faces eager to go gives me all the energy I need.

Try and find something to motivate you to get into nature. Walking is so therapeutic. I know it’s difficult when you are depressed and that is why I recommend finding something steady and regular to motivate you, as my dogs do me. Maybe a walking buddy who would hold you accountable?

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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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