I thought walking was the one form of exercise that would always be available to me. It was perfect, in a way, both an activity and a mode of transport.

Walking: It takes you places!

For a while, it was enough and then I grew impatient. I longed to feel the wind in my hair, so I picked up the pace. Then I ran. I loved to run. I felt like a flesh eating predator, like I could kill with my teeth, like I could vanquish a pile of virgins.

Then I got home, bent to untie my shoes, and could not get up. I lay on the floor, waiting to be released from the white hot agony that grabbed me at the slightest move.

These days I walk with a limp and my pace has slowed, but there’s more than one way to walk, so I got a dog to force me into better habits. Goodbye, YMCA, I’ve got a new plan called the Betty Method. Whoever heard of a dog that didn’t like to walk? I found her.

If conditions are perfect (not too hot or cold, not too wet or dry, not too loud, some dogs but only certain ones, some people but only nice-good smelling-mostly-quiet ones, flat terrain is best, grid pattern with wide open sight lines are preferred, tall grass is better than sand, natural and less urban, quiet but not too quiet, etc.) she will walk, IF there are treats (really good ones like fresh cooked chicken breast, ground turkey or hamburger and especially with melted cheese, chicken hearts, Grandma’s kosher crackers, hot dogs—turkey or beef-to name a few.) Please rotate treats weekly.

Mostly I sit watching Betty sleep and writing.