My Workout Partner by Len Stevens - WSET.com - ABC13

My Workout Partner by Len Stevens

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When my wife and I went looking for a dog, I told her I wanted a dog that knows how to relax.  "I'm just looking to get a chill dog," I said, "a dog that can just be calm and maybe fetch a ball every once in a while."

What we ended up getting was completely different.  Scooby Stevens is a workout warrior.  He's full of energy.  He can fetch, sure.  But he can also get so excited, it's hard to know what to do with him.  We've walked him and run him.  I've even taken him for "bike runs," where I ride the bike and he runs along with me.  We go tearing up and down our street and he rarely ends up even breathing hard!

It was a conundrum.  Scooby is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, maybe a Ridgeback mix.  We didn't know that early on.  We found out later, when he was a few months old.  When we did, we looked the breed up.  Fascinating!  Ridgebacks were actually bred in Africa to hunt lions!  It's true!  (But I don't think Scoob would be very good at that sort of thing.  He is not at all aggressive.  I don't think he would hurt a stink bug, much less take on the king of the jungle.)

Along with all the talk about their lion-hunting abilities, one of the first things we read was:  "Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren't always good family dogs, as they can have abundant energy and be stubborn."  Stubborn? Sometimes.  Energetic? Almost always!  But we've found a way to finally tire him out.

Scooby loves to run on the treadmill!  It's fantastic!  He runs on it almost daily.  In fact, when I'm on it, he sometimes sits right next to it and looks up with sad eyes, as if to say "Len, get off!  My turn!!!!"  When he gets going, his tail wags and he just seems so happy.  We put him on there at about 4 miles per hour and just watch him trot, sometimes for up to an hour!  Thank God!

Many a dog expert has said a tired dog is a good dog.  Well, Scooby's a great dog, and the occasional run makes him even better.  When we workout together, he now gets the treadmill and I take the elliptical.  That's okay!  He's great motivation!  My wife shot this video, when she came home one afternoon to find Scooby and me working on our fitness. We both often wish we had a fraction of his energy.

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