2017-11-29 / Editorials

A long talk with Milly

Other Voices
Mitch Clarke

“So, Milly, did you read the story in The New York Times about how people who own dogs actually live longer than people who don’t?”

“I thought The New York Times was fake news.”

“It’s not fake news. Where do you get these ideas? Are you watching Fox News while I’m at work?”

“No, I’m just teasing you.”

“Well, it’s probably not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you. It’s my career in journalism that gives you a soft bed and a full food bowl.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. So let’s assume that I didn’t read the story since, of course, I don’t have a subscription to The Times.”

“And also, you’re a dog and you can’t read.”

“Be nice.”

“Anyway, the story was about a Swedish study that suggests owning a dog is linked to a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death. According to the story, owning a dog was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of all caused death and a 23 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.”

“Well, I could have told you that.”

“Really? So, now you’re a Swedish scientist?”

“No, but I’m smart enough to know that owning a dog should be good motivation to get out and exercise. Why do you think I’m always bringing you the leash and trying to get you to take me outside?”

“I thought it was because you had to poop and were being kind enough not to do it on my living room carpet.”

“OK, that, too. But of course, you didn’t pay any attention to what I was trying to do for you, so you went out and hired that girl to be your trainer. I swear, I think the only reason you hired her was because she’s pretty.”

“Yeah, she is pretty. But I hired her because she’s smart and she’s talented. She knew exactly what I need to do to start getting into shape.”

“Oh, yeah. She was great. What was her advice? Get your fat butt off the sofa and start moving. I’ve been trying to get you to do that for nearly four years now.”

“It was more than that. She taught me how to eat healthy.”

“You needed someone to tell you not to eat bacon double cheeseburgers five times a week.”

“It was more than that, and you know it. Are you jealous of Chelsea?”

“OK, maybe a little. Because that study you mention is right. Having me around is going to help you live longer. And the next time I bring the leash to you, I don’t want any lip. Get up and take me outside. Or you never know what indiscretion you’ll find on the living room carpet.

“That sounds like a threat.”

“Maybe it is.”

“OK, I get the message. Want to go for a walk now?”

“Yes! And maybe along the way, I’ll tell you about the health benefits of sharing table scraps with me.”

Mitch Clarke, a native of Blakely, is the editor of AccessWDUN. com in Gainesville. He can be contacted at mitch.clarke@gmail.com. Read previous columns at www.accesswdun.com/blog/mitch.

Return to top