Somewhere around the end of May, I decided to step up the workout programs for the dogs and for myself. Cricket had put on a little weight, and I thought maybe Sheba had also. I started running, first with Cricket, then with Sheba. Both of them loved it. Kobi was starting to have issues with his back legs, so I adjusted his schedule too, to more frequent, but shorter walks. Then the daily torrential downpours started. After that ended we went into a spell of 90 degree weather with humidity.
I continually made adjustments to our routines to try to work around the crazy weather. We’d get out earlier in the morning if we could. Then later in June our Golden Retriever Moses became sick and died shortly thereafter. That really sent me into a funk, and I struggled to keep up the exercise program. Basically, it was hit or miss for a while. Eventually I have started to pull myself together, and the weather has evened out to normal Summer weather. Various other interruptions to my normal routine keep arising…. there was a vacation in there (much needed), a broken tooth sending me to the dentist when I would normally be working out; social engagements, appointments, etc., etc.
If I have to be honest, when things get disrupted I am easily distracted from working out, even though I know it should be a priority, for all of us. The girls were still getting to play ball during the hot spell, when we could play in the morning, and they had their swimming pool to cool off. They were at least getting some exercise, and Kobi was still getting some walks. The point was that I wanted to add some variety to their exercise routines, and get them away from the house more.
I often would tell people that having four dogs was no more work than having 2 or 3. I sometimes wondered if that was true, but I really didn’t look forward to the day we would find out, since that meant we would be losing one. I never expected it to happen so soon (Moses was only 8), and I certainly didn’t expect the answer that I got to my question. It’s not any easier having 3 than 4. In fact, it has added a new problem. It was my intention at some point to start running with both girls at the same time, because time is my biggest issue and I knew that if I could take both of them it would make things easier. That was a great plan, until we lost Moses. You see, Kobi has not been left home alone EVER since 9 years ago when we lost his sister Maggie. It did not go well back then (we ended up having to leave him with a neighbor until we could get another dog – no doggie day care around here back then). I refuse to even try it now; I don’t want to risk putting the poor old guy through that stress. As well, neither of the girls has ever been left home alone either. My hubby is usually working during the time that working out is most convenient for me, and it’s too hot in the later afternoon when he is home.
That’s OK, I’ll just adjust my plans again….back to running with the girls separately. Then when I get back from my run, Kobi gets his walk. Oh, I need to mention that the girls HOWL when I leave with Kobi! I’m sure the neighbors are impressed. I think that rules out leaving either of them home alone either. On top of that, just within the last week or so, Sheba started limping. I don’t believe it has anything to do with the running, because when she started we hadn’t really been running that often. It’s more likely she twisted something when playing ball, or that she’s starting with arthritis (she will be 9 in October). It’s been non-specific, and very subtle. We can’t really tell what’s hurting her, it’s such a slight limp, and it seems to bother the most after she’s been sleeping. We are trying to keep her quieter in hopes it will resolve itself, but we knew in the backs of our minds that we may end up taking her to the vet. (In fact just before posting this we have pinpointed it to her left front leg, and she seems worse today after resting all day yesterday and today. She’ll be seeing the vet next week). What bums me out the most is that Sheba loved the running. So I decided to take her swimming, thinking that would be good low impact exercise for her and it is something she also loves.
So here I go, adjusting my plans AGAIN. Now I am taking Sheba for short walks and then a swim. Cricket is back to running again, and still playing ball. The challenge there is what to do with Sheba, because she wants to play ball too, even though she’s not as intense with it as Cricket (read my post Beagle Retriever). Kobi is getting his shorter walks, though still not as often as I’d like. I think things are settling down a bit. On top of everything else, my hubby was helping out by taking the dogs for runs or walks on weekend mornings, and then he hurt himself running!
I know how important exercise is to keeping our household fit and healthy. We are all getting older, which makes it even more crucial to me. I suppose eventually I will get this all figured out, and hopefully find a routine that works. I am plugging along, and not giving up! There are some new things I want to try with them, (there is a K9 Kamp Challenge to try something new this month), other exercises I’ve been reading about on other blogs. We may be starting to get on track now. This week, Sheba got a swim, Cricket got a run (we had a great run yesterday and did our first sprints!) plus some ball playing, and Kobi got two walks (so far).
I am sure others of you have multiple dogs with different exercise needs, and I would love to know how you deal with it.
I hope to be sharing more about each dog’s routines once we get settled in!
We are thankful to our blog hop hosts: SlimDoggy, Peggy’s Pet Place, and To Dog With Love. I for one will be reading other posts this week and may find some answers to some of my issues. There are some great articles out there to help all of us as we try to stay fit and healthy!
I am sorry for your loss of Moses. It sounds like you have been making a lot of adjustments. You say that exercise is one of the first things to go but it sounds like you are making a very valiant effort.
Thank you, Jessica. We miss our Moses so much.
I guess I am making the effort, to not just give up completely, but to keep trying even when things are difficult. Thank you for saying that!
It does sound very frustrating. Agree with houndstooth not to beat yourself up. Being only a one-dog household and a very new human with dog, I can’t exactly dole out advice either. But I always think it important for the human to feel supported and feel good about every little success that you are able to achieve, not matter if you fall short of the ideal 🙂 I hope the coming week gets better for you.
Thank you! I probably need to pat myself on the back for what I have accomplished instead of beating myself up over wanting to do more. I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there who don’t do much at all with their dogs. The weekend was good, so I think we’re getting there!
2 brown dawgs says
It can be frustrating when you come up with a plan and things don’t work out. It sounds like you are good at adjusting plans which is something I am not always good at. Hope the limp doesn’t turn out to be anything serious.
Well, I’m not always that good at adjusting, but I am trying to be more flexible!
I am trying not to worry about Sheba’s limp…though the longer it goes on, the more my mind starts thinking of worse and worse things it could be! Hopefully we can get her into the vet early this week, and find out it’s not anything serious. The last two times we took animals in for limps, they never even found anything wrong, and they both eventually got better (or at least not worse).
Jackie Bouchard says
Wow, having multiple dogs sounds complicated. We’ve only ever had one at a time, except when dog-sitting. Even when we’ve been dog-sitting, for the most part it’s worked out that the dogs had similar activity levels. We did for a while have a young, active pup while my sis had a senior, so I’d take our girl for loooong walks and just play a little ball with him a few times/day.
I’m like you – if time is short and things are hectic, it’s easy for me to cut the workout. Sometimes it’s just hard to make time, but it’s so important to try, as many days as possible.
It is complicated with multiple dogs, even though ours are fairly close in age. There are pros and cons to it like anything I guess!
I think if we just keep trying to get out as much as we can then we are doing well. Sometimes I have a tendency to try to do too much, and get so overwhelmed that I just end up doing nothing. Now that seems silly!
Oh, have I been there! I need to be a lot more active, too, but this month brings A LOT of stress and I’ve just vowed to be kind to myself until September gets here. If I can get walks in, great, and if not, I’m not beating myself up about it. Right now, it’s a lot easier. Hubby and I walk together and take one trip with the Greyhounds, then another with the Shepherds. If I need to, I can take Bunny and Flattery together, but it’s nice having walking time with hubby. Back when we had Blueberry, it was tougher. She didn’t like being outside and she was a total mule to walk all of her life! Oh, the battles we fought. Back then, things were tougher.
I’ve never had a dog that didn’t like to walk, though I have seen since starting blogging that there are quite a few out there like that! One of my friends is always telling me I’m too hard on myself, but I’m afraid if I let up, I’ll just become completely lazy! You inspired me to get after hubby this weekend, and he did take Kobi for a walk one day, and walked with Cricket and I the next! It was very nice. We’re keeping Sheba quiet until we get her to the vet and know exactly what’s going on with her. Thanks for your support and understanding!
Oh I agree. Sometimes life gets in the way of our best plans. It is way hectic here and I only have two, so I can’t imagine with more!
Trust me, you’re better off sticking with two! Even numbers seem to work better! 🙂
Sounds a bit like my house only there are just two of us with the occasional third B&B guest. Mom used to run with both of us, then she retired Katie and ran with me, came home and walked with Katie, then she decided to just run alone and walk with both of us after. When we have a friend over like Buddy, she has to walk all three of us and then run because he can’t hold it in the morning, if Lena is here, she runs with Lena and then walks with us two. No matter what, I like to howl a lot when Mom is gone and the neighbors know that. Mom loves running with dogs but she feels bad leaving one of us home, so that is why she runs alone. No easy solution. Now at least Mom gets more worn out as she has to run and walk!
I definitely know that I will probably be getting a lot more exercise myself as each dog is going to have different needs. I may have to face the fact that since all the dogs are getting older, I may have to start running by myself sometimes like your Mom does.
I’m glad to hear you howl too….I have figured out that Cricket is the one instigating that….it’s that hound dog thing again! 🙂
Sometimes, life just gets complicated and in the way of a well intended fitness plan. It is nice to see that you are aware of this and are at least attempting to work around it.
Many years ago, I made the decision to book meetings on my calendar that would block out time for exercise. I made these virtually non-negotiable and would get my run or workout in no matter what. If I was especially busy, I would get up at 4 AM (or earlier) to get my fitness fix. Soon, this all became habit and I noticed that I was so more productive and clear minded that the exercise breaks, although taking some time, actually resulted in an increase in productivity. (There are now many studies that support this).
The point of all that is to recognize how important it is for you and your dogs to get up and move. It will add years to your lives, and it will make you more productive and happy and them more happy!
Oh, you are so right, and sometimes I tend to forget how much better I feel when I am doing my workouts! And I’m sure the dogs feel the same way. I am going to try to make exercise the priority….I love your idea of just blocking out the time for it and making it non-negotiable. I hope I don’t have to get up at 4am though….I love the morning, but that’s just a bit too early for me! 🙂
Our plans have been edited quite a bit as this Summer has been hotter and wetter than the last few…The heat can be bearable, but when coupled with high humidity it gets hard to breathe so we’ve been going out early and coming home early and dreaming of November
I think it’s been a crazy Summer weather-wise everywhere this year. It really makes it difficult to try to come up with a plan and stick with it! It’s even worse for someone who isn’t a morning person (luckily I am) this Summer!