Are you still struggling with the winter blues? Having trouble getting out of that slump that seems to follow grey skies and short days? We have the remedy for you! Taking your dog for a walk may be just the perfect thing to rev up your energy level and put the spring back in your step.

Research from multiple sources has indicated that walking your dog not only benefits your perky pooch, but also your own health. Here are some of the findings:

You may lose weight, which is one of the primary reasons that humans take up walking. This has been verified by a study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. (Think what could happen if you start eating right, too!) Spending at least part of each walk going uphill or walking fast will improve the health of your cardiovascular system. Your leg, thigh, and other muscles will get stronger. Your mood may improve due to the regular exposure to sun and exercise.

A study done at the Appalachian State University in North Carolina indicated that dog walkers may even get sick less often. Regular exercise can affect your brain's chemical balance - helping you lose your cravings for fattening, high-carb snacks. With all these benefits, what's your excuse not to take that walk?

Our featured pet today is Ginger, a sweet young Terrier/Shepherd-mix. Our shelter staff affirm that this is one happy dog! Ginger is playful and has a great sense of humor. Her favorite activities are playing with balls, meeting new people, and enjoying a sunny day. Although she is sweet tempered she does need to have her own space when she first meets a new dog. Her new owners should continue socializing this growing pup and perhaps consider a training course so she can really show off her intelligence and willingness to learn.

If you don't have a canine family member but you think you might enjoy some regular dog-walking, please stop by the shelter and find out about volunteer opportunities. Our furry friends are always grateful to have some extra time in the fresh air and meet new people! You may even find your new best friend.

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