I usually start my day off with a cup of coffee, followed by a glass of water, then another cup of coffee, and mixed in there will be a 12-oz glass filled thumb-high with water and filled up with cranberry juice to keep the water flowing through the corpus vivi. So to make up for a possible H2O deficiency, I drink more water, causing more trips to the bathroom, which takes me away from the computer and enables a tiny little bit of exercise.
My doctor is always telling me to get more exercise, it'll do me good. Well, I try to squeeze in a walk of a mile or two every day. That was no problem when I had my dog to go along with me. No, make it I went along with the dog. Every dog owner will tell you they have to walk the dog, but that's not true. It's more like the dog walks the owner, sometimes at inconvenient hours, like after midnight or early, real early, in the morning. But, you can't blame the dog, although, at times I think the dog was just using me to get a bit of fresh air, like, or he heard a noise outside and wanted to check it out. We have coyotes running through the yard once in awhile, and I think he used to hear them and just had to see what it was. I told him to stay inside when he sees a coyote. He wasn't a very large animal, and a coyote would take him in a minute, but he didn't care, that's why he had me along to protect him, just in case. But, the coyotes left us alone, and he lived a good long dog's life.
I told my wife, no more dogs. They are great for companionship, etc., but a lot of trouble when you have to leave them, or even take them along, even if they are well-behaved.
Speaking of dogs, I think there is plenty of room for improvement in cowboy stories for a dog or two. I don't recall reading a novel that included a cowboy's dog, unless it was totally written about the dog. I'm guilty of this. I could have easily added a dog in my stories somewhere, but I'm sorry to say it has happened only once in a minor diversionary role at the beginning of the story. A pet could really come in handy, especially if it was more intelligent than the cowboy. Of course, Lassie would set the standard for that, but again, Lassie was the story.
Practically everybody in the town where I was born owned a dog or two. But these dogs didn't live in the house like they do today. No sir, they all worked to pay for their board and room in jobs like herding sheep or cows, guarding the house, duck hunting, etc. A dog in a story is practically a human, thinking like a human, doing like a human, but a little bit smarter than his owner, first on the scene, etc.
Maybe I can find a spot in a future story to put a smart dog, if I could just think of way to do it without it taking over the story. Hm-m.