can we just take a few minutes to pay homage to the furriest of our family members? they don’t call ‘em “man’s best friend” for nothin’, after all! not only do our fur babies help us stay active, studies have actually shown that pets increase our levels of feel-good neurotransmitters oxytocin + serotonin, which is probably one big reason why people with pets feel happier + less lonely. pet owners are even known to have lower blood pressure + cholesterol, as well as increased immunity to asthma + allergies. wanna safeguard against heart disease? adopt a dog! in honor of our canine companions, we caught up with all the lovely ladies who keep fitlosophy (and their pets) running to find out how their four-legged friends help them stay happy + healthy! without further ado, meet our furriest fitlosophers.
[angela mader, chief fitlosopher]
pet's name: mylo mader (or “king mylo” rather)
type of pet: yorkie
age: 12 ½ (13 in august!)
favorite treat: honey nut cheerios
favorite activity: chasing frisbee, licking ducky after dinner + snuggling with momma
how you met: after my dog bodhi was mauled by a rottweiler (so tragic), it was just quiet/empty at home so i knew i had to get a new puppy to have the pitter-patter of little paws in the house again since i worked from home. when i went to the breeder to get the pick of the litter, he stole my heart because he just cuddled in my arm and snuggled immediately. the breeder told me that he was an alpha male, meaning he’d always have to be in charge – and looking down at him all cuddled i was like, “no way – he’s just a quiet lil’ guy.” um, wrong. yes, he loves to cuddle with momma – but he’s just like me: “very feisty – but all bark, no bite.”
how do you include him in your daily exercise routine? well, king mylo is pushing 90 in dog years and has pulmonary hypertension (heart disease), so his “exercise” usually consists of quick jaunts outside to go potty + chasing a frisbee around when he has a burst of energy. but, since starting the 6-week COMEBACK, i've been doing 1-hour walks at least 4 times a week so i'm including mylo in the first 15 minutes, which tuckers him out. but it’s good for him! plus, if he gets too tired, he only weighs a whoppin’ 5lbs so i just pick him up. when he gets tired, he makes it pretty clear: he puts the brakes on and just plows all fours into the pavement like, “no mom…i'm done.”
how do you feel he helps keep you healthy? honestly, mylo has been with me through a LOT over the past 12 years. and he’s hands down the best stress-reliever. he's always happy when i come home and even if i'm having a “ruff” day (get it!? haha), he makes me forget all my cares when we cuddle. because i do not have human kids, i truly think that having mylo is good for me because i have someone to take care of; someone who needs me. yes, those with kids might be rolling their eyes, but HEY, being a single dog-mom takes work too! especially when your little critter is on 4 medications + prescription food, needs to go to the groomer + vet monthly, visit the cardiologist quarterly, and then of course submit pet insurance claims every few weeks too. but all of it is worth it because we’re each other’s’ world. he might not be able to go on long runs with me to keep me healthy, but what he lacks in being a furry fitness buddy he more than makes up for in making my heart happy! and we all know, happy heart = healthy heart.
[lani, director of all things creative]
pet's name: chewie
type of pet: dog
his favorite treat: dynamo dog by cloud star
his favorite activity: playing ball
how you met: through my husband’s co-worker’s friend. his dog had unexpected puppies (one of them was chewie).
how do you include him in your daily exercise routine? occasional walks [not daily] + he is sometimes in the house when i exercise.
how do you feel he helps keep you healthy? he helps keep me emotionally healthy by being a stable companion in my life.
[laura, marketing + community coordinator]
pet's name: cuca
type of pet: dog – he’s a labrador retriever/golden retriever mix
age: 1 year
favorite treat: peanut butter
favorite activity: playing at the dog park
how you met: we had a friend of a friend whose dog was having puppies.
how do you include him in your daily exercise routine? i take cuca on a daily two-mile walk that tires us both out for the day ahead! he also is always trying to bite my bun and likes to lay on my fitmat while i’m doing my 6-week COMEBACK exercises.
how do you feel he helps keep you healthy? cuca keeps me healthy emotionally and physically. before we got cuca, our free time was usually spent vegging out in front of the tv. now with him, we focus on getting outside and being active when we have time, and we all love it! he also has helped us make friends as we’ve moved. we’re lucky enough to have a dog park at our apartment complex, and i take cuca there almost daily. it’s been really great to connect with other dog owners and make some friends in a new place!
[courtney, chief of fit operations]
pets’ names: pala + raine
type of pets: mutts! we think shepherd + mastiff.
ages: almost 3 in may!
favorite treat: brussel sprouts/cucumbers – when i meal-prep, they wait under me while i am cutting veggies for these treats! we don’t give them any processed treats.
favorite activity: skateboarding with daddy!
how you met: my husband and i were driving down a mountain road in san diego (on the pala indian reservation, which is where our girl dog got her name!) and saw these two small puppies on the side of the road, dirty and skinny! we stopped and gave them water and decided to get them some food and take them to a rescue shelter. well, they ended up coming home with us (of course!). my husband had to convince me some, as i did not want two puppies at the time, but i just couldn’t give them up!
how do you include them in your daily exercise routine? it is a challenge for me to go on runs alone with the two dogs, they are strong, but i try as much as i can! almost every night, my husband and i go on a 3-mile beach-walk with the doggies! also, we frequently go on challenging hikes with our dogs. they are great rock climbers!
how do you feel they help keep you healthy? since they are big dogs and we live in a tiny beach cottage, we have to get them exercise every day. it forces us to get off the couch and go take them to the beach or on our 3-mile walks to let our dogs get their proper exercise.
[heather, director of happy customers]
pet's name: buddy
type of pet: lab/hound mix
favorite treat: my kids’ crumbs (ha!) + our trash cans
favorite activity: chewing up my kids’ toys + chasing his tennis ball
how you met: we had to put down our dog of 11 years this past november. it was heart-wrenching for all of us, especially my 5 year old. because of that, we quickly went on the search for another dog right before Christmas. we found buddy at a local shelter. he was the only dog not barking. he stared us down through his kennel the whole time until we gave in and took him to a room to play with him. he was super gentle with the kids and shy, but friendly. needless to say, buddy was a hit and managed to make his way home with us that day!
how do you include him in your daily exercise routine? this dog needs exercise or he gets “bored”...which leads to lots of chewed up toys!
how do you feel he helps keep you healthy? he definitely keeps us running! after going from an older dog who walked with a limp, to a young active breed, we’ve definitely been more active as a family since getting buddy!
[katy, chief content creator]
pet’s name: ok, so i admit, i don’t have a pet in the traditional sense. instead, i have three little boys, whose disproportionately large paws, voracious appetites and tendency to pee all over the place get me about as close as i can handle right now to having a puppy. we do plan on getting a pet eventually though, as we would like the boys to grow up learning how to care for a living thing. i think it will teach them to be kind, caring, gentle, empathetic human beings. annnnnnd hopefully it’ll help them burn off a little energy each day too!
do you have a pet that helps inspire endless healthy goal-getting? share in the comments. we'd love to know the name of your fur baby + how they keep you happy + healthy!