Pepper Jack is becoming one stubborn pooch. That is what happens when old age sets in. He is, after all, 91 in human years.

For the past year, walks with Pepper Jack have increased in difficulty. We have several walking routes — one that takes us through Kodiak College, another that loops us around the neighborhood, and another that brings us to Walmart, Safeway and Dark Lake Field. On occasion, when I’m not in a hurry, we walk to the Daily Mirror office on Selig Street — the latter route takes roughly an hour as Pepper and his younger brother, Cody, roll in the grass at the Kodiak Christian Fellowship and at the Kodiak Police Department.

I mix up the paths to keep things interesting for the two pups. You know, different smells and sidewalk treats. Pepper Jack does not hide his feelings when he doesn’t want to go in a particular direction. He turns into a statue, and his 12-pound frame will not budge. It’s incredible how strong the little guy is. Tugs on his leash never work. I’m positive people driving by in cars think I’m an awful dad for dragging Pepper the way I want to go.

I suppose if I were in my ninth decade on Earth, I would want input on where I walked. 

Again, I resorted to Google to see if anything was wrong with Pepper Jack. The search didn’t produce a lot of helpful information. I did find this excerpt from pawleaks.com.  

“If your dog refuses to walk, it may be due to a medical issue, lack of leash training, too much exercise, or fear, which may require desensitization and counter-conditioning.”

Pepper Jack was given a clean bill of health at his last veterinarian appointment. He might not like being leashed, but he is used to it. He doesn’t have any fears — that I know of. However, he turns into his evil twin, Monterey Jack, when walking by a specific house in the hood. Years ago, a dog — we named him “Crazy Pants” — that resides in that house attacked Gizmo. Pepper Jack has never forgotten that and, despite weighing 70 pounds less than the “Crazy Pants,” has wanted to meet him the alley ever since.

That leaves too much exercise. Is there such a thing as too much exercise? Maybe for a 13-year-old dog or a 91-year-old human. 

We go on plenty of walks, three to four a day. At least two of the walks are over 1.5 miles. That’s a lot of steps for dogs that have four-inch legs. 

According to Rover.com, dogs should walk for 30 minutes to two hours per day. There are three health benefits for dog walks: weight control, joint health and digestive/urinary health.

“Regular walks keep dogs regular,” the article read. “And peeing around the neighborhood isn’t just good for their health — it’s also part of how they communicate.” 

Nailed it. Pepper Jack is stubborn because he wants to return to his last pee spot to see if any lady dogs have gathered around his scent. That sly guy.        

Before this enters the zone of a regrettable column, let’s transition to this week’s NFL picks. I went 10-4 in Week 9, which upped my season total to 85-47-1.  

BUFFALO (7-2) at ARIZONA (5-3)

The knock on Josh Allen was that he could not beat teams with a winning record. The third-year signal caller netted the most impressive victory of his career last week in defeating Seattle 44-34. Allen passed for 415 yards and three touchdowns, hitting on 31-of-38 attempts. Now, the Wyoming-product gets to travel across the country to see if he can duplicate that performance against another winning team from the NFC West … Bills 34, Cardinals 33.   

PHILADELPHIA (3-4-1) at 

N.Y. GIANTS (2-7)

How bad is the NFC East? The Eagles lead the four-team division with a losing record. However, Carson Wentz and Co. have a shot at getting to .500 this week with a matchup against turnover-prone Daniel Jones and the Giants. This game won’t be pretty … Eagles 28, Giants 17.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-6) at MIAMI (5-3)

The Chargers are the hard-luck team of the league, as they always find a way to lose. All six defeats have been by one possession, with two in overtime. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are coming off an impressive win over the Cardinals in only Tua Tagovailoa’s second NFL start. The Alabama-product passed for 248 yards and two scores while rushing for 35 yards on seven totes. Don’t look now, but the Dolphins are holding down one of the seven AFC playoff spots … Dolphins 31, Chargers 30. 

SEATTLE (6-2) at 

LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-3)

The best thing for the Seahawks to do is flush last week’s game film. That was an embarrassing outing by the defense in Buffalo. The defense has to get better if the Seahawks want to be considered a Super Bowl contender. Russell Wilson can’t do everything, and he didn’t last week, turning the ball over four times. 

Still, courtesy of the Dolphins surprising win in the desert, the Hawks remained leaders of the NFC West. The next two weeks are pivotal for Seattle, with the Rams this week and the Cardinals in Week 11 … Seahawks 34, Rams 31.

MINNESOTA (3-5) at 

CHICAGO (5-4)

Dalvin Cook has shot into the MVP race with back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances. The Florida State University-product leads the league with 858 rushing yards — 16 more than Derrick Henry. The Vikings are at their best when Cousins is handing the ball off instead of chucking it through the air … Vikings 28, Bears 17. 

Other games:

Texans 28, Browns 21

Lions 24, Football Team 17

Packers 38, Jaguars 21

Buccaneers 45, Panthers 14

Raiders 27, Broncos 20

Steelers 31, Bengals 10

Saints 37, 49ers 21

Ravens 29, Patriots 14

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