It’s been a rough winter here for a lot of reasons. There’s been the crazy New England weather; ups and downs from huge snowstorms to bitter cold to warm spells followed by cold spells leaving a big icy mess. Of course, losing Kobi was the worst, and we’ve also had household issues that I won’t bore you with. The bright spot in all of it has been Luke joining our family, even though it was a crazy winter to have to spend so much time outside with a puppy.
We’ve spent I don’t know how much time at our vet’s office, between Kobi’s illness and Luke’s puppy shots (we spread them out so that means more visits) and minor illnesses. On top of those things, both cats and Cricket were due for their annual exams. Believe it or not, that’s where our pleasant surprise came in. Let me give you a little background first:
Last May I wrote a post for the Show Off Your Dog’s Waistline and FitDog Friday blog hops where I showed pictures of Cricket appearing a bit on the heavy side. My wonderful commenters confirmed what I thought…that she was just a bit overweight and we needed to nip it in the bud before it got out of control. When we took her to the vet that February, she weighed 26.2 pounds. My goal was to get her down to 24 pounds. The plan was to cut back a bit on food and treats, as well as upping her exercise program. She started running with me and everything was cut back on. I weighed her weekly but by the end of July she still weighed 25 lbs. I was frustrated at not being able to meet our goal and stopped weighing her at that point, though we still kept up with the plan of action.
So when we took her this year, it was totally unexpected to see her weigh in at 22.9 pounds! With everything going on, I hadn’t really been paying attention to how she looked lately, but now we realized she was looking like her old slim and trim self again. In the middle of winter, no less!
You can see the difference, right?
So why, we wondered, did she all of the sudden surpass the goal I had for her? I might credit two things: 1. we had switched food, and we started using the SlimDoggy widget (seen in my sidebar) to calculate the correct amounts to feed her. 2. We got her a personal trainer, seen below:
When Luke joined our family and got settled in and accepted by his siblings, we were excited to see both Cricket and Sheba playing more, and doing things they hadn’t done in a long time. However, it didn’t really occur to me that this would be so beneficial to their health and fitness.
Luke has a workout program designed for them which includes:
- Chasing him to try to retrieve their ball (keep away).
- Tug of War.
- Playing more with different toys.
- Since he joined the family we have been outside literally every day playing in the yard for at least 20-30 minutes (more or less depending on the temperatures).
We played a lot with the girls before he came along but not every day, especially if it was bad weather. With puppy energy to burn off, you just can’t skip days. The photos below show him putting them through some of their paces:
Another bonus: at the same time we went through that with Cricket last year, our cat Samantha was up to 10 pounds, and for a tiny cat that made her pretty chubby. At her appointment last week, she weighed in at 8.7! I believe her weight loss is for the same reasons as Cricket’s; new food in set amounts and a puppy that often keeps her moving…Luke thinks she should play with him just like the dogs do!
It will be interesting to see where Sheba weighs in at her next appointment….and even though Luke has me moving more as well, I’m not going anywhere near that scale, not for a while anyway. 🙂 Next week we’ll share more about what we’ve been up to for exercise other than playing in the yard and the snow games I’ve already shared. I am hoping to be able to share some new videos of Luke doing some training too!
Thank you to our blog hop hosts SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place, and To Dog With Love. Please visit their sites and others through the links below, to learn more about keeping your dogs fit and happy!
Donna O. says
Wow…she looks really fit and trim. Nice job.
Labs are like beagles and tend to put on weight easily, so I’m constantly reassessing Toby’s weight. My other two seem to stay the same weight no matter what the eat or how active they are. I wish I could say the same for myself. LOL!
Yes, me too, Donna!
I’ll have to remember that for Luke too then, when he gets older. He definitely loves to eat as much as Cricket does!
I’m so excited for you! What a wonderful surprise to find that your pets have gotten to a good weight without even trying. We’ve had to be very intentional about it because Toby has an infinite appetite and he’s an only dog (playmates only when he goes to daycare once a week). I think if we got another dog he would love it but I haven’t convince my husband. I will never stop trying though. 🙂
Thank you! We used to be a one dog family, for our first two dogs, but then when we had the 2nd one a family member really needed to re-home their dog and we decided to take him. We’ve never looked back from then, and having multiple dogs is wonderful. We always hated leaving our dog home alone when we had to go to work and that was a big deciding factor for us. Keep working on your husband!
Nailah Bone says
Woo hoo! Go Cricket! 😀 Nailah is on a weight loss plan too so I know how hard it is to shed those pounds! Glad Luke is keeping her nice and active! 🙂
Thanks!! I need to get over there and see how Nailah is doing….I’m behind on my blog reading but I’ll be stopping by soon!
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
Wow can you ever tell the difference in weight!!!! I am so proud of you! Great job!!!! Slim and trim and feeling great within! Nice!
Love your action shots to!
And great job coach Luke!!!!
When we got our pup 2 months ago, he did the same for Mika as well. He has her up and playing and running around all the time now, and she’s happy. Before she was just happy to laze around all day.
I know you have had a hard winter, so all of this is great news!
have a PAWsome weekend!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Thank you so much, Jenna! It makes me so happy that others can see the difference too.
If we did all this in the winter, who knows what spring and summer might bring, right? 🙂
I hope you have been having a wonderful weekend too!
Jackie Bouchard says
she looks great! So hard to keep beagles slim! They love to eat SO much, but at least they also love to play. Good thing you got her a couch. 🙂 I guess I need a couch too… I’m with you – not going anywhere near a scale anytime soon!
I’ve seen so many overweight beagles, and we’ve always tried to be diligent about ours. Cricket has always been active, which helps, but Luke has definitely stepped it up a notch for her!
Maybe once the weather turns and we’re walking more, or running, I’ll think about seeing the scale. 🙂
2 brown dawgs says
I think I need a coach Luke. 🙂 Cricket really looks great. Good job!
Thank you! I think we could all use a Coach Luke in our lives, right?
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Cricket looks great! Luke must be a very strict trainer.
Thanks! Yeah, Luke pretty much doesn’t let up on them!
Wow! That difference is absolutely noticeable! Congrats all around!! Now you have me wondering if foster puppy Molly is going to have a noticeable difference on Lucas’ or Emmett’s waistlines. I wish I would’ve thought ahead to take a picture like you did! They are all playing way more than usual, which is great for everyone! Thanks for sharing your success to inspire the rest of us!
Thank you, Maggie! Oh yes, I bet that Molly will make a difference with Lucas and Emmett too. All that extra play time is sure to be adding up!
WOW…we absolutely see the difference in Crickett, and I know she feels the difference too. We are happy to take a small amount of credit, but have to give props to you for changing her food and exercise levels, and of course to LUKE the trainer! Well done – SlimDoggy is smiling!
Thank you so much, you know it means a lot to me coming from the experts! I have to thank you also for all your great advice and information, it really has helped us.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Congrats on the weight loss, it is so easy to put on but so hard to get off animals. Coach Luke was just the thing to get it done. Keep it up. Cricket looks wonderful.
Thank you! I know, it can sneak up on animals just like it does with us humans. It can only get better for us to keep in shape as the weather improves too!
Dolly the Doxie says
I am not sure if I offered my condolences for Kobi, so I am sorry for your loss. Cricket does look amazing and Luke is so cute I am sure he had something to do with it! Love Dolly
Thank you very much, Dolly, I really appreciate your condolences.
I’m glad you think Cricket looks good too, Luke definitely has her moving more, that’s for sure!
Ann Staub says
Ooo looking sexy Cricket! BOL! But really that’s awesome!
Thanks, Ann!! 🙂
Pawsitively Humane says
Everybody is getting in shape thanks to Luke and they are having so much fun at the same time. I bet you’re so happy that he is getting everybody active.
Cricket is looking good!
Thank you! Yes, we are very happy with how he has gotten everyone moving. We were hoping for that when we got him, but it’s really exceeded our expectations!
That is awesome! There is a major difference and I bet she feels so much better and has more energy for playing these days too. Keep it up!
Thanks, Emma. She definitely has more energy and is enjoying doing so many different things that she hasn’t done in a long time!
Coco's Mommy says
My in-laws are up in Mass. and say it is one of the snowiest they remember. So glad we are here in Florida!
More houses need coach Luke!
I’d be happy to bring Coach Luke down to Florida! 🙂
M. K. Clinton says
That is so great! Bentley lost weight when Pierre the granddog Westie moved in too! Those little guys sure do run fast and our mature guys can’t have a baby beating them, right? I can definitely see a difference in Cricket after Coach Luke came to stay! Bark more Growl less at Barking from the Bayou
Thanks, Melissa, I’m so glad you can see the change in Cricket too. Oh yeah, sometimes she’ll be lagging behind Luke and all of the sudden you’ll see her speed way up, like she’s thinking “no way is this little whippersnapper gonna show me up!” LOL
Talent Hounds says
Jan, Cricket looks wonderful ! Our little guy Poncho in todays blog also found some weight loss success! Go Fit Dogs 🙂
Thank you!! I will be over to check out Poncho…it’s so great to see all the success stories.
OH boy! Having Luke in the house has not only brought lots of fun but some great side benefits like everyone getting back into shape! He’s so cute and no doubt really keeps everyone on their toes AND paws. Great photos!
He certainly does, Pam! He’s gotten me outside so much more, which is good also. I need the fresh air and would otherwise tend to hibernate in the winter….especially this winter!
Oh Jan, what wonderful news!! Cricket looks wonderful and YES, I can see the difference!
Do you think she feels better? Has more energy or stamina? I noticed with my dogs when they lost the weight you could tell they were happier. 🙂
And yesterday when Sampson went to the vet he had lost a pound too, which could have been due to the really long pee he took just before we went inside, but hey I’ll take it. 😉
Keep up the good work.
Jodi, thank you so much! I think Cricket does feel better, she has far more energy in the mornings. Where she’d normally just go back to sleep after breakfast she’s often up and playing now. She is pretty worn out in the evenings though! 🙂
I agree you should count every pound lost with Sampson, no matter how you think it might have come about!!