BOB: Beast of Burden

I think it’s safe to say that most of us (at least around the DOC) share one major pain in the ass when it comes to exercising: Lows.

For me, it’s not even the low itself as much as the anticipation of going low while exercising. What if I’m miles from home? What if I treat the low, and it’s not enough to get me back home? What if I don’t even feel it and just spontaneously collapse? (This has never happened, but I’m a worst-case-scenario kind of lady.) How the hell am I supposed to comfortably carry 15-30 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates around the neighborhood while I’m working on my fitness?

I’ve found the answer to that last question: The Dog Backpack. Particularly when it’s attached to my dog, Bob, who accompanies me on all walks.

Bob the Dog: Half Yorkie. Half Dachshund. All Pack Mule.

Here he is sporting the Outward Hound model, which comes with pockets on either side that have plenty of room for jelly beans, Gu, granola bars, glucose tabs, or whatever he feels like carrying along with his stash of poo bags. The trick is getting the weight relatively equal on either side of the pack — otherwise, one side starts dragging along the ground.

Achieving weight balance on both sides of the backpack is crucial for proper fit. Also, I love that there's a handle on the top.

Of course, no solution is without its own particular set of problems. First of all, people tend to laugh at Bob when he’s sporting the ‘pack. And I understand: he’s cute as hell, and he’s wearing a backpack. I guess I just want people to understand that I don’t put this on him to humiliate him, or because I think it’s adorable — it’s out of necessity. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly practical to stop every person I pass on the street and explain that Bob here is carrying emergency provisions for my medical condition.

Second, I imagine this thing is hot, and Bob tends to tire out much earlier when he’s got the backpack on. As in, I’m dragging him down the street — leash taut, dog tongue lapping — so that people who see us must think I’m engaging in some kind of animal abuse, cute dog backpack and all.

I plan to take Bob the Dog out on his first walk of the summer later this week, and I’m keeping my fingers cross that everything will go well. So well, perhaps, that I won’t even need to rip into his Velcro pockets and shotgun a box of Nerds on the side of the road.

It doesn't work as well on the cat.

POSTSCRIPT: Yes, my dog and my husband are both named Bob. I had the dog first, and met the husband a few short weeks later. You can imagine what kind of joy this coincidence brings to our household.