We were thrilled to receive this award last week when the FitDog Friday hosts Slimdoggy, MyGBGVLife, and To Dog With Love announced their 2015 Participant Awards. In their words, these awards are given to “our most faithful and dedicated participants in the FitDog Friday blog hop”. We are in very good company here with many of our favorite blogs amongst the winners. Please click here to see who they are.
This award means a lot to me, because I really do struggle at times to keep all of the dogs (and myself) fit. The FitDog Friday blog hop is one of the things that often provides me with much needed motivation. It really is a challenge to have three dogs (and it used to be 4) of different ages, activity levels, and health issues.
Luke is a young dog who needs a lot of exercise, but this is complicated by his bad knees. Sheba is 10 1/2 years old and has arthritis. Cricket is just a couple of months older and has always been a very high energy dog.
As many of you already know, our favorite activity is to play fetch with a West Paw design Jive ball (yes, it has to be that ball….just ask Cricket) in our own large fenced in yard. In the nicer weather, we spend 30-45 minutes almost every day out in the yard, and sometimes a shorter play session in the evening. All of the dogs love this game, but Cricket is the only one who actually plays “fetch”. Sheba will catch the ball, but then drop it and let Cricket return it to me. Luke will catch the ball and run around the yard or lie down with it and torment his sisters. Eventually he’ll give it up to Cricket, or just drop it in the yard somewhere. While he’s messing around, Cricket is running around tracking where the ball had gone.
While Cricket is busy chasing and retrieving the ball, then returning it to me, Luke and Sheba are often just screwing around digging holes, or play fighting with each other. They are like a couple of children with short attention spans. So they are not getting nearly the high intensity workout that Cricket is. Therefore, we try to supplement their exercise needs with walks (and we do some training for mental stimulation as well). Actually, I like them all to get walks, I think it’s good for Cricket to do something different too. Since they all walk differently, it’s easier to walk them individually. I don’t always have time to get each of them out so I have to prioritize: Sheba first, because walking is good for her arthritis. Luke is next since walking, especially hills, is good for building his leg muscles to help his knees. Cricket is a fast walker and when we got back into our walks this spring, I realized she is happier if I’m jogging (so I’m psyching myself up for that now).
Sheba walks like I’m flying a kite, and it’s difficult to walk her on the road and try to keep her out of it. I try to keep her to back roads without much traffic, or trails. Luke is a stop and sniffer constantly, and we also work on his loose leash walking (“heel”) off and on when walking. Cricket is actually the best walker and even though she’s a beagle, she only stops and sniffs occasionally. So I get the best exercise when I’m walking her.
Soon when the weather gets even warmer we’ll add some other activities. Swimming is high on the list, because that is especially good for Sheba and Luke with their conditions, and even Cricket loves the water. As soon as the yard dries out, we’ll be getting out our agility tunnels for fun, and I also hope to start teaching them the weave poles. When it’s hot we’ll get out their kiddie pool, so that will add some jumping in and out of the pool for them.
I was lazy and pouty over the freezing cold weather this winter, and we didn’t do well at all….though we were out there almost daily at least for 15 minutes or more, so at least that was something, and we also did training and nose games indoors. But I welcome the spring weather finally being here, and it does give me incentive to get moving more….along with the inspiration I get from my fellow FitDog Friday blog hoppers. We look forward to sharing some new activities soon!
Have you joined the FitDog Friday blog hop? It’s a great way to motivate yourself, and also to share what activities you to do to keep your dogs fit!