My Shadow, a Lifesaver

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As a writer, I find myself sitting in a chair most of the time. I type out a story idea. I string along sentences and paragraphs to bring a small idea to life. I sit at the desk, pounding away at the keyboard to get just a few more sentences written. I’m driven to fix those few odd sounding sentences that aren’t clear. I scour the thesaurus to make sure I have the correct word. I hear my high school English teacher bugging me when I have the wrong verb.
It takes hours to develop just a few pages to as close to perfection as I can get.
Those hours sitting in a chair create havoc on my health.
I own a treadmill, a Bowflex, and numerous work out machines. When my mind is preoccupied with a story, and driven to get it finished, no work out machine can make me stop.
Then I feel a small paw on my leg. My Schnauzer named Shadow. In late spring I came across him, and he was in desperate need of a good home. He was sitting inside of a tiny cage, looking at the ground in front of him. Quiet. Scared. There was no way I could turn my back on him. He’s gray, with crooked ears, and black eyes that make me think of an Opossum’s stare.
“Get up,” his eyes beg. “Will you walk outside with me,” he’d say if he could talk like a human.
Some would say I saved his life by taking him home. I argue that he saved mine by forcing me off the chair, and by being a companion that encourages me to walk in nature. It’s not only that I get more exercise, but I relax more. We walk in the woods, watch the butterflies flutter, and he pounces on every lizard he sees. I get to laugh at his futile attempts, further relaxing more.
Thank you Shadow, for improving my health and making my life enjoyable.


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