This is Gabby, the dog, with an important message.
Fellow dogs, let’s face it, our humans are moving less and less. They stare at the square things that makes noise and takes photos. They snore louder than us. Our walk time is getting significantly low.
This is terrifying. Not just for their bodies, but for ours. Yes, I’m looking at you, Sparty Dog. You’re starting to resemble a dark bratwurst.
HUMANS AND SPARTY DOGS GET STUCK IN THEIR BAD HABITS
Look, I know how hard it is to motivate a human and teach her or him a new way of being. But the training is worth the hard work.
Here are five easy ways to break the human’s habits and get her/him moving around again.
MODEL GOOD BEHAVIOR
Yeah, that’s right. Run around the couch a few times yourself. Bark at the door. Bring your ball to the door and hit the door incessantly with your paw. Eventually, the human will move off the couch and even the writer-job human will step away from their laptop. This is especially true if you can act like you have to go to the bathroom.
MAKE MOVING FUN
Humans respond well to positive reinforcement and affection. When they move, wag your tail. When they stand up, bark encouragingly and smile. This support goes a long way. Play the “take away the remote” game. This is basically ‘fetch’ for humans. You take their shoe, remote, sock, car keys and run away with them. They must fetch them back. For your writing-job humans this is especially effective if you can get their entire laptop and/or power cord in your jowls and then run.
SCREEN TIME IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM SO STOP IT
I have known Chihuahuas to sit on phones and remotes for days in a heroic attempt to keep their human from watching endless loops of people gluing matches together or brides falling into swimming pools. This is brave and hard on your bottom. I hope it doesn’t come to that for you and your human. If all else fails, enlist the cat to take turns. Writers tend to forgive the cats more for sitting on things.
But seriously, the more time the human watches other humans doing things, the less time your own human moves. Also, if a writer says she is writing, but her fingers aren’t moving on the keyboard? She’s lying.
WALK YOUR HUMAN
I know you hate them, all dogs do, but leashing up your human to you almost always means that you can get them off the couch for at least five minutes. Humans are much easier to control when they are tethered to you, so bring them a leash. My favorite is rainbow. Sparty is partial to the sailboat leash even though he hates water. Weirdest Lab mix ever – but that’s another story.
According to the American Heart Association if you can get your human walking 30 minutes a day it helps your human’s heart. A lot. Human hearts are suffering lately, so we need to do everything we can to help.
MAKE THEM STAND
I know it’s hard to hide their cellphones, remotes, and laptops under your butt forever (unless you are Marsie), so when they do talk on it (instead of texting), try to get them to stand. Even that little motion and movement helps. So spill your dog food on the floor, drink your water pretty quickly. Do anything to motivate them to stand and move while they talk.
You can do this, dogs! Our humans need physical activity to keep their hearts healthy. Hearts keep them alive. We need them alive because they make bacon.
Random Marketing and Book Things
My nonfiction picture book about Moe Berg, the pro ball player who became a spy, is still coming out March 1 and I’m super psyched about it. You can preorder it.
Kirkus Review says: Jones gives readers the sketchy details of Berg’s life and exploits in carefully selected anecdotes, employing accessible, straightforward syntax.
And also says: A captivating true story of a spy, secret hero, and baseball player too.
Booklist says it’s: An appealing picture-book biography. . . Written in concise sentences, the narrative moves along at a steady pace.
This is lovely of them to say.
And the podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, is real. I’m terrified.
There are new podcasts every Tuesday and our handle on the tech gets better as you go along. I promise.
We talk about love, marriage, living in Maine with dogs and also give writing and life tips with linked content back on the blog.
Here is a video about it. Sort of.