Chubb's Walk

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Happy New Year From Chubb’s Walk

Hi, Chubbs here.

I just want to say Happy New Year to everyone and a belated Merry Christmas as well. I have been busy through this holiday season and realized that I had not yet taken the time to realize that the year was nearly finished.

Another year gone (another 7 in dog years, whatever that is supposed to tell you) and a new year about to begin.

What does the new year have in store? None of us know, but we all have our plans, our hopes, and our dreams for this coming year.

Dog parents have a great opportunity to resolve to better understand their best friend’s needs.

New Year Suggestions:

  • Take more walks
  • Spend time leaning on your dog (I’ll explain later, it’s like hugging to your best friend)
  • Spend time on hygiene
    1. brush teeth
    2. trim toenails
    3. bathe
    4. comb
  • Learn about canine nutritional needs
  • Learn more about your breed’s specific traits and requirements
  • cuddle more


I have some big plans myself, some improvements and expansions with our blog and some personal changes that will positively impact my health and my enjoyment of life. I will be sharing these with you. Some of them could be life-altering.
Coming soon is a free report for subscribers and we have a newsletter in the works that will include valuable information and offers, contests and surveys, all shared with my canine wit and wisdom (And humility).
Extra Strength Chewable Joint Supplement For Dogs 120 Bacon Flavored Tablets with 500mg Glucosamine 400mg Chondroitin 166mg Vitamin C Improve Comfort Joint Flexibility Reduce Joint Pain Made In USA
For now I will wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and;

Keep those tails wagging!


Stumbling On Health

I have found a plethora of healthy recipes and tips using a site called Stumbleupon. You sign up for a free account and choose your interests and you are off and stumbling across all sorts of blogs, web pages, and photos that are matched to your choices.

The health related sites that you will find include healthy eating, exercise, diet, meditation, medical, and spiritual along with many other subjects.

I have also found some great music sites and some wonderful photos by hitting the stumble button.

If you have a few minutes to spare you might give it a try.  Be careful, it can be addictive. Don’t let it keep you indoors during these final sunny days of the season.

Happy hiking!

Walking Again

A walk is best with a buddy.

Thank goodness for fall!  Finally we get nice crisp mornings that are ideal for early walks along trails with dew-moistened grass and brown leaves crunching beneath your feet.  The chill in the air hastens your steps and the clean air opens your eyes to the wonderfully changing nature of the life around you.  The wildlife sounds fresh as they come to life after the lengthening nights.

For those of us who once again began our efforts to get into shape last spring, only to find that we failed to account for age, condition, or the mental and emotional strength needed for such an endeavor this season is the beginning of a renewed effort to look the best that we have in years… for next summer.  Having learned from experience that waiting until March or May to begin is an increasingly blatant overestimation of our aging ability for recuperation we can embark this fall on an ever so slightly graduated program that should, by next summer, have us in the best shape that our expanding countenances can allow.

Go walking every day.  Increase the amount you walk occasionally, and try to increase your pace.  I have seen advice to walk as fast as allows you to engage in a normal conversation without breathing hard, although other advice that I have read would indicate that adding a more aerobic aspect such as elevating your breathing and heart-rate would be beneficial as well.

I do know from my research in nutrition that fat needs extra blood supply which means increasing the vascular network, which is a product of aerobic exercise and perhaps that would be the reason for the advice not to speed up to the point of aerobic promotion.  It all depends upon your main reasons for walking.  If weight loss is the main goal then I suppose you would not want to be adding vascular capacity so much as just walking to burn calories.  In that case you would probably want to walk briskly but not to a point of increasing your rate of breathing.

If, on the other hand, your main goal is in increasing toning and endurance you may want to walk more briskly and even alternate between jogging or running and walking.  In this case, if you have not been exercising on a regular basis you will be best served by starting off slowly and gradually increasing your speed and distance.

Whatever your goal for walking, the fall is an ideal time for it, with the changing colors and the birds migrating noisily overhead.  You really owe it to your health, as well as your mindset, to get out and walk.

Our country is in the midst of an obesity epidemic that seems insurmountable, but the answer is right there at our feet.  We can walk our way out.

Here is an excellent resource to find hiking trails in your area:

been exercising on a regular basis you will be best served by starting off slowly and gradually increasing your speed and distance.

Whatever your goal for walking, the fall is an ideal time for it, with the changing colors and the birds migrating noisily overhead.  You really owe it to your health, as well as your mindset, to get out and walk.

Here is an excellent resource to find hiking trails in your area.

Turn it off

Life just gets busier and busier.  Our gadgets promise to simplify our lives, making us more efficient, but more and more we become devoted to those gadgets, allowing them to dominate and even to run our lives.  Just keeping up has become nearly a full-time occupation.  As soon as most of us can afford the latest innovations they are already obsolete and we are left to long for and chases the next big thing.  Who now can function without their i pad or their iPhone or droid or their home entertainment all in one system or their intelligent appliances?  We are at their mercy.  Who doesn’t know the frustration of the cell phone battery that won’t hold a charge, the laptop whose display fails, or the internet connection goes down in a storm?

Somewhere in all of this the idea that this technology is intended to ease our lives and reduce our anxiety has been lost.  We make and lose friends online that we never meet.  The most atrocious things are rampant in the anonymity of the web.  Lies are repeated until they become truths.  Rumors spread by faceless bloggers and those who want the attention but not the consequences of their words.

Many of us have become so wrapped up in this pursuit of a utopian future that we forget that all that we need to be fulfilled and content rests not in the things that we surround ourselves with, but the things that are within us.  We forget to take the time to connect with that which moves us, that which sustains us.

It is important to take the time during our frantic efforts to keep up with this rapidly moving world to reflect upon what it is that truly moves us, what fuels our desire to go on.

When I sit in the woods by a stream, or walk in a meadow of wildflowers I can see the reflection in God’s eye.  I can feel Him in the variety of miracles that surround me.  The old saying goes “the devil is in the details.”  When you get out into nature, you see that it is God that is in the details.  The fragile yellow flowers, like colorful lace, growing in the shadow of the huge cedar tree.  The song of the creek as background for the rustle of the wind through plush ferns and the songbirds that add their punctuating fervor.

It is important to turn off the gadgets once in a while, just so you can hear some of God’s gadgetry and to marvel at the complexity and the simplicity of His creation.  It is good for the body; it is good for the mind; it is great for the soul.

Happy hiking.

Walk a Little Faster

Just a reminder that, while just getting out and walking is an improvement over inactivity and gives you a multitude of benefits, physical, mental, and spiritual, the physical benefits of walking can be greatly magnified by just picking up the pace.  I have seen countless TV doctors (Dr.Oz, etc.) give the advice to walk for ten minutes each day as though you were late for an appointment.

Exercise works your muscles, converting fat cells to muscle in direct relation to the amount of work that you put in, but when you exercise you are also improving your cardio-vascular health as well, increasing the amount of oxygen available to fuel your body.  In order to increase your body’s access to the fuel that it needs you must bring elevate your heart rate for an extended period of five minutes or longer.  The longer you elevate your heart rate the more the benefit.

This does not mean that you should go out and run a marathon tomorrow.  Any exercise or training program needs to be taken in steps as you acclimate your body and mind to the added rigors of increased work out.

The next time that you are out for a stroll, pick up the pace a bit.  Ten Minutes, it’s a great start.  Your heart will thank you.

Till next time, keep walking.

Why I Walk

Walking is one of my favorite forms of exercise for many reasons.  It is easy to learn.  There are few steps involved (2) so it is easy to remember.  And walking requires no special equipment, but there is enough special equipment geared toward walking that, if you are one who is inclined to gimmicks or not, you can find your comfort level with the technology available to you.  In other words, walking is as simple and pure as you can get, but you can still feed your technology addiction to whatever level tickles your fancy.

I like to keep it simple.  I often use a walking stick as I find it useful to set my pace and to push away the errant vine or branch as I walk.  I less often take along some form of musical or spoken entertainment.  My walks are most often along forest trails or in parks and I prefer the sounds of nature around me to stimulate my thoughts and prepare me for a day of writing and carving.  I find my walks often are my muse, delivering ideas and a chance to refine them as I walk encased within the sounds of the woods.

My wife gave me a simple little pedometer that she had gotten from AARP and I have found that it helped me much in standardizing the length of my walks and I now have a much better idea of the distances that I walk, even when I have forgotten the pedometer.  My judgment of distance has greatly improved through use of the inexpensive little device.

Walking gives me a time when my body can be occupied while my mind soars and searches what boundaries can be pushed and what truths can be found when we explore the unknown depths that lie within us.

Walking gives me the quiet time that I need to connect with my Creator, to pray and to converse with God and to work through the internal conflicts and questionings that arise in even the calmest days.

Walking heals the mind and soothes the soul.  You cannot walk for long and remain angry.  Motion soothes.  Motion heals.  Motion sparks our pioneer spirit and pushes us to discover that which has been hidden to us.  When we move we change our perspectives and thus the way that we perceive our situation.

There is a need within us to move freely.  When we move our bodies we exercise our minds as well.  There is no downside to walking.

I walk because it moves me forward in so many ways.  When I walk a trail I normally wind up back where I began on the path, but I will never really be in the same place that I started.  When I walk, I walk into the future.

“Age is an excuse, not a reason.”

“Age is an excuse, not a reason.”

Lately, as I approach the ripe old age of fifty-eight, slogans and inspirational quotes seem to take a new importance.  Eight years past the half-century mark.  Where did the time go?  Can I really be that old?

The past three years have been eventful for me, with the loss of a job that I had held for nearly eighteen years and the realization that I should have left  nearly eighteen years ago and pursued the writing career that I now am working to get on track.  I cannot express the joy that I feel to be able to work at the thing that I love to do every day.  Thank God and thank my beautiful and supportive wife who is sacrificing her time and sanity to support us while I work toward once again pulling my weight.

Also thrust to the forefront of my life is a new appreciation and concern for my own health and the health of those around me.  This is a process that has been slowly building for the years of my marriage making a jump when I became a parent twenty-five years ago and then taking a bit of a dip as the boys got older and I began my slow decline into laziness.  (Another of my recent focuses.)  Recently the rapid addition of three of the most adorable grandchildren into my life along with familiar reminders (high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) have combined to re-focus my attention upon healthier eating and exercise along with attention to the spiritual and mental health of myself and those that I love.

Speaking of getting old, my fortieth high school class reunion is coming up in June.  Forty years since I skulked down the halls of Hillsboro Senior High School.  There has been a lot of recent chatter on Facebook by my old classmates, but most of the memories that they share are not my memories.  High school was not one of the highlights of my life.  It really represents the beginnings of one of the darker times of my life.

As with most troubled youth of that age group, most of the pain and troubles that I had were self-inflicted, fueled by feelings of inferiority compounded by being one of the shortest and smallest guys on campus, but I remember having no trouble in finding volunteers who were willing and able to add to my misery. Add to that extreme shyness, and you had a toxic brew.  My peers seemed more than willing to magnify my inadequacies and they had some fine role models as Hillsboro had a good stock of teachers and staff with a sadistic streak when it came to dealing with the occasional square peg. 

I don’t mean to fall into a self-pity party here, just saying that I have some ambivalence about attending.  I have only attended two of the reunions to date, the fifth and the twentieth.  I didn’t enjoy them much, as the people who I really was hoping to re-connect with were not there.  Like I say, I wasn’t really socially accepted and so did not know a lot of the people who I graduated with.  Some names don’t even ring a bell, and others are just names without faces.

I did have a few friends, and I managed to make it through all four years of high school and graduate.  I made some acquaintances here and there and anyway people change; Lord knows that I have.  I can even think of a few teachers who actually made me believe that I could succeed at something.  I am still writing because of the encouragement of one.

I must confess to following some of the chatter online and kind of wishing that I had been more involved with making the memories that so many of them share.  I missed out on what could have been a wonderful part of my life and may have had an enormous impact on where my life has gone.  Then again, everything that I have been and done has led me to the point at which I find myself now and I would want nothing different if it meant losing what I have.  I am content.

Having said all this, I think that I am leaning  toward attending.  It would be fun to see who I remember and how much we all have changed.  (Yes, I dragged out the old annuals.)   I think, too, that as I get older it becomes more important to stay connected with each stage of the development that brought me to who I am today, and pleasant or not, high school had a very profound effect upon where my life went for many years beyond those confining walls.

I think that it is also important for me to be open to making new connections where perhaps an opportunity was lost years ago but may not be entirely gone.  New friends are always worth finding, even if it takes forty years.

Back to age.  Time is fleeting, no matter your age.

Age should be a reason, not an excuse.

Wintertime Blues

As we go into the winter holiday season we enter a time that many find to be full of stress and sadness.  Studies have shown that weather related depression is a real and pervasive problem in many of our colder states. 

The holidays themselves, a time of joy and family to many, can be depressing and dangerous to those struggling with relationship problems or with the loss of someone close. 

The lack of sunshine can force the need for extra sources of vitamin D.  The weather discourages activity and exercise and the shortened days restrict our ability to accomplish our constantly increasing to-do lists. 

Without some kind of outlet for all the pent-up energy and frustration of the season, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed and underappreciated.


An excellent way to overcome the wintertime blues is to take regular walks. 

It’s cold out there, but if you dress appropriately there is still a world of wonders at your disposal. 

Walk after a rainstorm and revel in the cleanly washed and stark outline of the city, or the pristine and somber trees in the forest as they shed the dust and grit of the summer. 

Walk on a clear December day and breathe in the pure air, free of the pollen and dust of the summer.  Watch the undulating masses of birds as they navigate the stiff breezes and tricky currents overhead or the massive aerodynamic formations of geese as they flee the snows of Canada to rest and nest in warmer climes.

If you are a dog person, take in the furry confusion of wagging tails and excited barks at a dog park.  Exercise and a show.

There is so much to see this time of year, and a desperate need to appreciate it.  Get out and take it all in.  Your mood will be the better for it, and your health will follow suit. 

Do something for yourself this holiday season.


Take a hike.

Misplaced Values Have Us Out of Whack

As we move into an age of rapidly growing technology and scientific advancements it might benefit us to evaluate where we place value in our society and how misplaced value; over-valuing some aspects of society and undervaluing others; can have a crippling effect on our society. 

Increasingly we hear warnings that America is overweight.  Statistics show that in 2009 there were 9 states that had more than a 30% obesity rate.  19 more states are over 25%.  The only state below 20% was Colorado at 18.6%.  Washington D.C. came in at 19.7%, but of course it is a district and not a state.    

Our society is geared more and more to promote a sedentary lifestyle.  Every day something new emerges to make life easier or to keep us in front of the TV or computer screen, taking the effort out of more and more of the daily tasks that serve the secondary purpose of moving us around and making us work.  Often it is the need to save time rather than a conscious effort to avoid work, but the end result is the same.  We trade time spent doing something to time spent watching something.  Sports give ground to video games.  Movies and reality shows provide our thrills, rather than our own adventures hiking or skiing or river rafting.

Our exercise machines now do the work while you just hold them or sit on them or stand on them!  Isn’t the point of exercise to increase your activity?  How much aerobic benefit can there be to holding a vibrating stick?

The real key to the solving the sedentary trap of technology seems is in education.  As we focus upon the rapidly advancing technology and sociological fields we are forgetting the importance of some of the more basic tenets of a growing and expanding population. 

In order that the proper balance between supply and demand is kept we have to value the basic needs of life and those who choose to spend their lives providing for those needs.  Doctors, physicists, computer programmers and designers, game designers, politicians, financiers, and all the highly valued professionals need to have a network of farmers, manufacturers, producers, ranchers, fisherman, etc. to make their lives possible.

At some point, all technology fails.  The more we rely on technology, the more we set ourselves up for disaster depending upon what fails.  If we want to know the real value of the more labor intensive professions such as farming or trucking or ranching, ask yourself who would need to learn new skills to survive in a post-technology environment?  Who would need to re-invent if the electricity went out?

We need to educate ourselves to care for our physical, mental, and spiritual health.  We, as a society, are at a point of decision. 

If we continue to neglect our physical well-being, our mental health also suffers.  We are created as well-rounded and self-sufficient beings.  Sitting in front of a computer or a gaming system or a TV is a choice that we are certainly entitled to make, but does little to increase our contentment or sense of self-worth.These things are fine in moderation, but the stimulus around us pushes us away from the ability to improve or to entertain ourselves.  We rely increasingly upon others to bring meaning and relevance to our lives.  Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean that you should.  Just ask the Congressional Democrats.

Go Walking

As we move rapidly through November and approach Thanksgiving It seems a good time to discuss walking as a means to combat the tendency to be less active during the more inclement weather that is prevalent, especially here in Oregon.  As Oregonians we are accustomed to the local form of high humidity known as eighty percent chance of rain.  This median is interspersed with patches of really inclement weather, and the occasional gem of a day when the sun finds its way through the moisture in the air and it seems as though it should be warm, but it’s not.                   

Man was designed to walk.  Whether you believe in divine creation or simply think that we are the result of a series of improbable cosmic collisions and spontaneous generation, from the moment that man appeared on this planet he was destined to walk.  It is in his genes, in his design.  Running can work for a while, but requires a lot of fuel and a well-tuned body.  Riding is easier, and often faster, but tends to preclude walking.  If we ride everywhere, we miss out on the healthful benefits of self-locomotion. 

Some of the proven health benefits of walking regularly include, but are not restricted to;

  • Reduced threat of heart attack and stroke. 
  • Reduced HDL cholesterol levels
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced body fat & weight
  • Reduced risk of adult onset diabetes
  • Increased bone density and prevention of osteoporosis
  • Increased flexibility

With all those health benefits it is only natural that people who incorporate walking into their daily regimen  will, on average live longer with fewer impairments to a healthy and  comfortable life at every age.  When you are active and fit you have half the risk of cardiovascular disease, you are less likely to sustain injury due to increased flexibility.  You sleep better and are less prone to depression and anxiety.  When you are fit you have more control of your body weight and shape, leading to better self-esteem as well as more resistance to disease. 

When walking for fitness, there is a common gauge known as “the talk test.”  You should walk  as fast as possible while retaining the ability to hold a conversation.  Walk briskly, but not so that you are struggling for breath.  Aerobic exercise is carried out at a comfortable pace to ensure sufficient oxygen to the muscles.  You should do aerobic exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes. 

Surprisingly, a Loughbrough University study found that walking continuously for thirty minutes five days a week produced nearly identical fitness increases as splitting the thirty minutes into three ten minute walks and, even more surprisingly, that the split workouts produced greater weight loss and waist decreases than the longer walkers. 

Getting and staying fit is really simple and requires little training or preparations.  Walking is one of the most natural things that you can do, it feels good, and it is good for you.  What are you waiting for?

Take a hike!!!

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