NOT walking the dog

According to a study, reported here:

•dog owners who walk their dogs are more healthy than dog owners who don’t walk their dogs
• dog owners who walk their dogs are more healthy than people who don’t own dogs

Here’s my question: What about dog owners who do walk, but without their dogs.jackie

In the fall, spring, and summer, I walk my dog quite often.

But in this heat, with all that fur, she just can’t handle it.

Sometimes I walk a mile or so and and see that she’s hot and exhausted. So I bring her home and finish my walk without her.

Sometimes I walk very late at night, when things have cooled, and I take her with me.

Sometimes I leave her at home altogether.

But I still walk.

How would dog owners who walk — but without their dogs — compare to dog owners who walk with their dogs.

In other words, do the benefits come strictly from the exercise, or is there something else, in addition, about spending time with a dog that makes people weigh less, have lower cholesterol, and have lower blood pressure.

Is there a study for that?