by Mark Martinho
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Ross Hotchkiss Jim Rogers ~ June 24, 2010

The "Best Friend" Fitness Regimen!

In the recent past if you wanted solitude it was certain to be found in the Peninsula’s parks and on its trails whenever the weather turned bad. Wind, fog, rain, especially rain, left the outdoors to a few hardy souls. In fact, the solitude usually extended to neighborhood sidewalks which also quickly emptied in inclement weather.

Photo to the right - In the parking lot
All photos taken at Pulgas Open Space.
Our thanks to the pups and their companions


In certain locations this is no longer the case and the difference has gone to the dogs. Parks like Pulgas Open Space, which welcomes dogs, are busy no matter what the weather. In fact, the outdoors, both woods and town, seems subject to a new paradigm. The canines are getting (dragging?) their owners, female and male, out and about. Perhaps the combined media and medical emphasis on exercise has helped, but it’s the dogs we see leading the way.

   "You are entering
the off-leash area."


Don’t discount the leadership angle. There they are, oblivious to the weather, out in front, pulling their humans along. And the clincher in the leader/follower scenario — when a dog has to do what a dog has to do, it’s the human that polices the deposit. It reminds one of the old military leadership adage, “lead from the front, it smells better there”.

Ben Getting some Help on the Hills!

As a long time runner on roads and trails I feel obligated to also mention that dogs out on their constitutional are generally in a good mood. Jog past a cooped-up pup and it often looks sad or jealous and is quick to bark its frustration. On the other hand, dogs on their walks usually appear to be cheerful and seem to assume I’m as happy as they are to be out (true). And we suspect they also feel good knowing they are aiding the health of the one they love the most.


Jim Rogers is a long time peninsula resident who enjoys rambling about and observing our outdoors. He is also the author of the book, Masters on the Trail: A Backpack Primer for Folks over Fifty, available at Redwood Trading Post, and on the Web at and Barnes and Noble. You can reach him at .