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Hot Flash: Walking With a Friend:

My best friend and I walk every day, twice a day for at least an hour.  She’s ready to go at 7:30am, and then again at 6:30pm.  We’ll walk in the cold, in the rain, in the heat,  in the sunshine, in the dark.  We walk whether I want to or not.

My best friend’s name is Zoey.  She’s a beautiful Maltese that was rescued from a high-kill shelter almost three years ago.  She was 8 months old when she came into my life.  Since then, we’ve walked together nearly every day.

Walking with her, I eventually discovered I can walk up and down hills without completely being out of breath.  I now know all of my neighbors, and in particular, all of their dog’s names and breeds. 

And, all the gardeners, nannies, construction workers, mailmen, garbage men,  dry cleaner truck drivers, real estate salespeople, and police officers (hiding; looking for morning drivers blowing off the corner stop sign on my street).

We cover almost 1-1/2 miles in an hour, which translates to 3 miles a day.  Not bad for a former just-wannabe-a couch potato.

Because of these walks, I have a rock-hard butt and strong, leaner legs. Because of these walks, my lower back doesn’t hurt like it used to, and I’ve maintained my weight for 3 years. Because of these walks, I laugh and smile every morning,  because Zoey is so cute and funny.

Because of these walks, I learned to appreciate nature and pay attention to the beauty that surrounds me. Soon, I began taking photos of flowers each morning when we walked.  

I got pretty good at it.  2 years ago, I started posting the flower photos on Facebook.  Now my Facebook buddies look forward to my daily flower postings.  I took my photography a step further and developed a line of note cards with the flower photos.  I’ve sold out of my first run, and am starting to develop my second series.  Who knew?  I love it.

Speaking of love, Zoey loves everyone and everything.  She’s taught me to say hello, smile and greet people I didn’t know with love, openness and respect.  Zoey’s best animal pal is a black cat.  She’s a white dog.  Zoey doesn’t know that she’s not supposed to like cats.  Recently the cat joined us on our walks.  It’s amazing to see.

Hailing from a high-kills shelter in Downey, chained to a pole, Zoey now lives in Bel Air and has 4 beds, 2 toy chests, gets home-cooked meals every day and endless kisses, hugs and cuddles from me.

Did I save her?  Yes.  But she’s the one who rescued me.   

in Opinion
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