I have had Sparky since the end of January, and somehow I think if I had him a year ago, I'd be at goal right now.
I am off 3-4 days a week and I walk him each day off. When I am at work on the weekends, his Memaw (my mom) or his boyfriend (my brother, technically his uncle but I just called him his boyfriend from the beginning so too late LOL... but Sparky loves him a lot) come over and take him for his walk. So he knows, without fail, that at some point the leash and harness are coming out and he is getting to go for his walk.
I live across the street from a park with a huge firework display.
I was so worried how Sparky would react, but he did so good. We played and we had fun while the fireworks were going off, and then when it got to the finale he got a little nervous and we snuggled on the couch until it was over.
He did so good and I was so proud of him, because it was super loud! I had decided we weren't going for a walk, because even though we go at night, we'd have to wait til all the people cleared out and it just wasn't worth it to go that late. As I am sitting on the couch, 11:00 last night, he casually walks over to his leash, that is sitting on top of a box and he sniffs it. I swear it was like he was saying "the leash is still here, what's the problem?!"
That's all it took. Before I knew it I told him we would go for one, a short one, but that he deserved to go. So off we went, a short walk for us is now a mile, which funnily enough I used to struggle to finish. We went almost 2 miles and came back home and he was just so happy! I love my little Sparky, and it's just a huge perk that he will not let me be lazy. I can skimp on other forms of exercise, I can eat poorly, but he makes sure that no matter how well or horrible I am doing, that I at least get in our walks... and for the most part when that is happening, the other parts of the puzzle (eating, exercise etc.) all work together.
I am confident with Sparky around, I'll never be allowed to be lazy, and I'm okay with that!