I own my own consulting business and ten years ago I was travelling about two hundred days of the year working at clients across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. I would work all day at the client then return to the hotel and work at the bar and eventually go up to my room to sleep. Of course, clients would entertain me at lunch and take me for their local specialties to try which often included deep-fried foods or rich foods with sauces. Followed by some wine and more bad choices in the bar I found myself to be completely out of shape and over 230 Lbs. I am only 5 feet 8 inches tall so in fact I was severely overweight. Men tend to hold weight well and with the help of a great tailor we can look stunning in a suit no matter what.
We had an eleven-year Cavalier named Oddie who had heart failure and we knew he had a year or less to live. We decided to get a new puppy and that our older cavalier would help train him with me. I was tired and physically drained from all the travelling, so I decided to take six months off from travelling and stay home to train my new puppy when he arrived.
The day finally came, and I had not book any travel plans and served my clients using WebEx, e-mails, and phone calls. It was a complete shift. My income level was certainly going to drop by fifty percent or more. But I was ok with that for six months.
That is when Porthos entered my life. I was with him day and night. We had puppy training lessons in the kitchen three times a day and he worked for apple pieces. We walked every day in the morning noon and night. I registered him in agility and he soon became a star. He ruled in obedience classes he was the best cuddlier and he had carved out yet another very special place in my heart.
Six months passed very quickly and there were some decisions to make. During the six months that I was home I could cook every day and control my diet. In fact, I adopted the 17-Day diet at the time and with the constant walking of Porthos and the running in agility I found my weight to continually go down until I hit a weight of one hundred and sixty pounds which according to most books was a perfect weight for my height and bone structure.
I though back about what it was like on the road. My relationship with my wife had grown better while I was home and there was no describing how great I felt with my new life with Porthos and all of the weight I had lost.
I decided to stay home. Re-arrange my business and accept an income level that I was happy with without having to travel. Yes, this was a huge sacrifice but that carved out place in my heart would not let me leave Porthos for two-thirds of a year.
Today I look back and many of my colleagues who travelled and lived the life that I did back then have since had heart attacks, are completely over weight and seem to have aged much quicker than I. I assume that if I had gone back to my old life after six months that I too would be in that position and I am not certain if I would still have been married.
Can you imagine? A small puppy had changed my life for the better. Today I am on a ketogenic diet and I have since brought in a new puppy and the cycle starts all over again. His name is Butler. He is as special as Porthos was and he certainly will help keep me honest, healthy, and happy for many years to come. Shortly after the first six months with Porthos I purchased my Vespa and started this blog. So many things are different because of this small puppy. He was my fork in the road and I love him dearly for helping my make the right choice. Porthos is still with us and has become the most amazing big brother to Butler :).
The Names You Ask?
Porthos was named after Captain Archer’s Beagle from Star Trek.
Butler was named after Captain Kirk’s Great Dane from Star Trek. Yes in the movie where Captain Kirk went through the Nexus he had a Great Dane named Butler with him in his log cabin.