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My best friend may have saved my life

Sharon Powell, of Eastern Wake News and Clayton News-Star writes: I continue my effort to reach a healthy weight, strengthen my muscles and eat more regularly. I have a faithful friend who makes my challenge so much easier.

Three years ago I fell in love with an adorable little mutt I met at the county shelter. Our eyes first locked through the glass enclosure where my new love had taken up temporary lodging. I wasn't there looking for a puppy. I was just tagging along with David, my partner. I hadn't cared for a dog since my youngest child was a toddler and she'll be 28 next week. But there I was staring at this adorable pistol that was probably days away from death. When I brought Sammy home I knew I had saved his life but I didn't realize that though it might be a stretch to say this, he has saved my life. I get out of the house every day and every time we go on our walk/runs/marches I come home with more vim and vigor.

He needs to run and play and I have to exercise too. He forces me out of bed in the morning. The results: I can feel more definition in my thighs and legs. More importantly, I know I have gained at least two pounds in the last month.

My coworker June Sanders agrees that a dog is a good exercise partner. She says her doctor advised her to get a dog for that very reason. My doctor never mentioned a dog, and adopting Sammy had nothing to do with my health but this is the collateral result of having to care for my best friend. I recommend a dog to anyone who is "turning the scales," or anyone who needs to get moving. Not only will a dog help that human parent but anyone who adopts a dog from the numerous shelters around the state saves the life of the dog they take home and the next dog that takes it's place in that shelter. Our best friends can do a lot for us and we need to return the favor. Which leads me to the reason I've focused on Sammy in this post rather than my weight gain and muscle-strengthening goal.

The Wake County Shelter houses so many of Sammy's com-padres and I'm sure that if Sammy could speak for them he would. Sammy and I are good examples of how much a dog can improve a human's life. My doctor prescribed pills for my hypertension, but she never offered any tips on how I could bring my blood pressure down. When I was malnourished she referred me to a nutritionist, but I'm ashamed to admit I didn't keep the appointment. Sammy didn't care about my dilemma, he just needed to get outside and I couldn't send him outside alone. Once I was outside with Sammy I had to move. I owe Sammy a lot. And thus I implore anyone who loves dogs and needs to manage his or her weight to consider adopting one of the many faithful and loyal exercise partner taking up temporary lodging at a shelter.

On to a lighter note. My editor, Johnny Whitfield, who has had a cold for weeks, admits he needs more vitamin C in his diet. He's agreed to drink at least one glass of orange juice a day. And, Aaron Moody, a staff reporter here admits he needs more calcium in his diet. He has promised to drink at least three glasses of milk a day. I don't think I've convinced June to adopt a dog yet, but she is taking yoga classes and has a cardio workout plan.

I had planned to join the MS Walk next month but I don't have enough time to get sponsors. I believe it's okay to rethink or modify a goal. Thus, my new goal is to join that walk next year. In the meantime, I continue to work on my poor eating habits and walk, march and run with my faithful friend.< Read more here: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/turningthescales/home#storylink=cpy

Pet adoption fees reduced for holiday weekend

If you've been mulling over the idea of adding a pet to your household, you can save yourself a bundle this weekend by adopting through the SPCA of Wake County.

Today through Monday, the SPCA is reducing its fees to $17.76 to encourage adoptions of its puppies, dogs and kittens over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Adopting an adult cat is totally free.

Wake SPCA says go green — adopt a recycled pet

The Wake County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals encourages you to go green and save green this spring.

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