Ever since Felix’s achey breaky ACL issue back in the summer, the boy has started taking a lot of stuff.
First there was the pain killers, then the supplements to help him heal and stayed healed, the natural anti-inflammatories, the green lipped mussel, and the list goes on and on and on. That boy has his own pharmacy and health shop masquerading as my kitchen cupboard. We’re doing everything that we can, including the best nutritional support, to ensure his ACL stayed healed and there is no reinjury to that knee or an new injury to the other one.
There’s a bit of a problem though.
(I mean, other than the fact that he’s spending the equivalent of my vacation fund at the naturopathy shop because that is a problem. A big one. Can dogs get jobs? Is anyone hiring for something Felix is qualified for? He’s good at snuggling and eating and playing with toys. What job what that be? Does it pay well??)
The real problem is that the boy hates taking his medicine. Hates it like poison. In fact, he acts like I am trying to give him actual poison. Right, Felix. I’m spending an amount the exceeds the GDP of some nations on your health but it’s all an elaborate plan to poison you (and land myself in the poor house.) However did you figure it out?
Clearly, this is not the case, but no amount of explanations can convince Felix. All pills, capsules or liquids must be spat out. Immediately. He has mad spitting skills to. No matter what you hide that pill in, he can extract the pill, eat what you hid it in and gob the pill back on the floor before you’ve even had time to blink. It’s his special skill.
Further complicating matters is Kolchak the Garbage can. No sooner has Felix slurped that pill back onto the kitchen floor, than Kolchak has slurped it back up. **baaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh* These dogs are trying to kill me.
That was before I became a dog med ninja.
With so many things to get inside him every day, we could not go on like that. I would have lost my mind, my temper and a ton of money wasting pills. I knew it was time to step up my game, keep that darn Felix on his toes and make med time a million times easier.
One little phrase changed everything. Say it with me:
“Can this be crushed?”
I had never really thought of it before, but then I remembered how we used to trick my GG into taking her pills by crushing them up and hiding them in apple sauce, yogurt and pudding. It was like magic, so I asked the vet if that might work for Felix. Turns out that most of Felix’s meds can be crushed (or the capsules can be broken open) which is like a gift from the heavens. It’s impossible to spit the pill out if it’s been ground in a bazillion little pieces. Even Felix can’t do it. Plus, turning his meds to a powder has opened up a whole new world of ways to conceal them. Even traditional pilling hiders, like peanut butter and cheese seem to work better with crushed pills.
- Peanut Butter
- Cheese (just knead a little piece in your hands until it gets soft and a bit melty, then mush in the pill)
- Canned food
- Meat Paste
- Mashed Potato, Sweet Potato or Squash
- Felix’s favourite raw dog food
The fussiest of dogs can be medicated with crushed pills, even if they won’t eat the laced treats. One of my friends with tiny humans turned me on to the idea of using a baby syringe. I use this trick to give Felix one of his liquid meds. I mix his dose with a little scoop of canned food and a bit of water, then it just gets squirted in his mouth. Voila! Just like that.
Practice makes perfect.
While crushed pills and a dosing syringe have given me the tools to make meds easier, Felix is still a smart as woof little whippersnapper. The real key to our success is practice. I’ve started slipping him his “pill” treats more often – except most of them time, they have no pill in them. I try to give 2/3 of his treats without meds, so that the one time I slip something in there, he’s not expecting it. I’m an evil genius, I know.
How do you give your dog their meds or supplements?
Do they suck ’em up like Kolchak or spit them out like Felix?
K9 Kamp is coming!
With the holidays over and I’m sure more than a few of us having over indulged on goodies this year, it’s the perfect time to get back into the K9 Kamp swing!
The next K9 Kamp will start Friday, January 24th!
As exciting as it is to see K9 Kamp ready and raring to go, there are some ch-ch-changes ahead.
The biggest change is that I have decided to take a step back from my role as a K9 Kamp Coach.
K9 Kamp was one of my very first blog events and it will always have a very special place in our heart, but I think it’s time. There are so many really awesome bloggers out there talking about canine fitness all the time. They’ve made helping you and your pets get fit their passion and their focus and their voices are doing such an amazing job spreading this message. As we’ve started following our bliss and writing more about our home, crafting & cooking passions, we’ve been moving further away from our old “health and fitness” blog. I’ll miss Kamp and the fun that goes along with it, but I know this is the right choice.
We’re really excited about our new direction and we’re also really excited about the new direction of K9 Kamp.
K9 Kamp Lives on with Peggy Frezon
Peggy from Peggy’s Pet Place has been such an energizing force behind K9 Kamp since the very beginning. I’m still so grateful, not just for all the wonderful times we’ve had working on this, but most of all for her friendship. She is a joy to work with and I will truly miss our super late night planning chats, the frenetic emails chains full of inspiration and ideas and our ability to laugh at ourselfs.
My fearless, co host, Peggy is ready to take the reins and bring y’all a Kamp that is both fit and fun. She’ll be working with SlimDoggy and To Dog with Love, to keep K9 Kamp about fun, fitness and friendship. I love their new approach and I’m so excited to see where it goes from here.
I want to thank all our wonderful kampers for all your support over the last few years!
You guys kept me going even when I wasn’t particularly motivated myself. In the three years we’ve been doing Kamp, the fitness of me and my dogs has improved dramatically. Felix and Kolchak are both at their goal weight, using the games and ideas we shared in past Kamp. I’m not there yet, but I’m so much better than I was before. YOU DID THAT! You helped me, help us and I couldn’t be more grateful to the readers who joined in, the bloggers who got on board and to the super amazing, totally awesome, holy-woof-you-guys-rock featured bloggers.
I hope you will all join in the next K9 Kamp!
You can get all the details at Peggy’s Pet Place today! See you at Kamp!
The Holidays are filled with their own special brand of magic, aren’t they?
For me, this holiday was filled with an extra dash of magic because we spent it at the lake. The lake is one of those places that makes me feel instantly at ease. As we cross over the river, I can feel all my stress and tension drain from my body leaving only a sense of ease and contentment behind.
It’s no wonder. I’ve been going to the lake house since the late 80s. It holds a certain sense of nostalgia and longing for a time when I had nothing more to worry about than what bathing suit I would wear. It’s the place my cousin became my best friends. The place I learned to swim. It was the place I first tasted independence.
When you grow up summering in a small lake community, you know all the neighbours. The lake was one of the last places where it was safe to let your kids play unsupervised. While my friends were still stuck in their yards back home, we had full run of the lake and the surrounding woods. Our curfew was sunset. If anything was wrong, we only had to shout and any one of the adult in the cabins along the lake would come to check on us. It was like being a part of a very large family.
Armed only with our imaginations, we would spend hours in those woods, climbing over fallen trees, playing make believe and laughing. The very best memories of my childhood can be found in those woods.
I had my first drink in there. My first kiss. It’s where I brought my first serious boyfriend, after introducing him to the family and the place I still love to curl up with a book, a thermos of tea and read the day away. I’m never more me than I am in those woods.
I was devastated to hear they had been divided up into parcels to be sold off to make room for more swanky new lake houses.
There have been many changes to the lake over the last 25 year and not all of them thrill and chill me.
Gone are most of the small cabins, built by hand and renovated umpteen times until they had a certain mismatched, kitschy character to them. In their place, stand tall, thin modern homes. They have all the luxury of the city, but none of the charm of the lake. Even our own cherished cabin was demolished a few years back, to make way for a house. I long for the days when life at the lake was simpler, softer and free from the distractions of modern day life.
I knew that while we were at the lake, I wanted to take the time to get lost in the woods.
Who knows how much longer my cherished wood will be there. Besides, part of the holiday magic is over indulging in sweet and snacks. All of us, myself and the dogs, could stand to get out and get some exercise. A ramble through the woods felt like just the thing.
While the rest of the world continues to change around me, in the woods, its like time has stood still. The paths I used to play on on are still there, like they’ve just been waiting to be rediscovered. I was a little afraid that I’d get lost, but the heart has a memory of it’s own. Each turn, each path held a memory all of it’s own and ghosts of my former self met me at every turn. I got lost in the memory of time passed and spent several hours rambling around.
The boys were jolly companions and even consented to a few photo opportunities, though I think you can tell by the look on Kolchak’s face that he was tired of all the pictures and wanted to get on with the walk already.
Never one to follow the rules too closely, I threw caution to the wind and let Kolchak off leash. The woods are all but deserted this time of year and Kolchak is a good little listener. I felt confident that he would return to me (and my pocket of liver) if asked. We practised our recall out there, with him wowing me over and over by leaving the great smells to return to my side. I’m not sure when he grew into such an obedient little guy. Seems like just yesterday he was a wild child puppy with razor sharp teeth and an attitude problem.
Felix delighted in the long walk, longer than any he’s had in months due to his recovering CCL injury and my desire to take it slow. We were careful to take frequent breaks, to stay on the flatten paths and not to venture too far into the underbrush, where he would have to jump and climb over obstacles. I watched him very carefully for signs of fatigue or a limp, but to my delight, he did wonderfully. Still, just to be careful, he got a Traumeel, a heated massage when we got back to the lake house.
He was so happy to be out in the woods, his little nose twitching at every smell that he even let me take a picture or two of him. (He didn’t look at the camera though, that would have been asking simply too much.)
It was a truly enchanted walk in the woods, filled with the warm glow of nostalgia, followed by an afternoon of snuggling, with cocoa and good book. I received many lovely gifts this Christmas, but none will be quite so cherished as the time I spent in the woods I love with the dogs that bring me so much joy. Even if they should be split up and chopped down, I will always have this day, these memories and the knowledge that the best way to clear head and heart is a walk in the woods with my dogs.
Did you and your dogs do anything special this Holiday?
Um…so…how ’bout that K9 Kamp, eh?
This month, the K9 Kamp coaches, Peggy from Peggy’s Pet Place, Jessica from You Did What With Your Weiner, and me, Mr. Dress Up (ha ha j/k. #CanadianHumour) challenged all of our doggy friends to get out and play some fitness fun & games.
Fitness games are some of my favourite things to do with my dogs.
It always seems like once we get going, we always spend way longer playing than we meant to and we’re having fun, so we don’t realize just how much running around we’re really doing. When we issued this month’s challenge, I was pretty much convinced this one was in the bag! How hard would it be to PLAY?!
Harder than I imagined.
Holy woof, you guys! What the heck was up with October? Is the Universe conspiring to keep me from getting things done? Is there some sort of Halloween curse on this place? It seems like it’s been one thing after another this month.
- We moved into our new apartment. What a time suck. I got one heck of a work out, but those lazy dogs? Nothin’! They were no moving help at all. Plus, having downstairs neighbours means that indoor kamping was really hard.
- Felix’s leg is a ballion times better, but he still can’t run or jump. So that pretty much eliminates fetch, frisbee, tug, chase and 95% of all fitness games.
- The fog has been … oppressive. Like the kind of fog the write horror movies about. That means that kamping after work has be hurried. We only get 15 or 20 minutes in before it’s just not safe to be running around with black dogs in the dark.
- The Grandma had surgery and has been a long time recovering. That means that I’ve been a glorified baby-sitter. I’m happy to help my Mama (and I hope she feels 100% better really soon), but it’s hard to run out and Kamp when you know someone is waiting at home and that they can’t do much for themselves.
I was determined that I wasn’t going to be a Kamp drop out.
We got our K9 Kamp minutes in, 5 here and 10 there. Playing a few minutes of “bounce on the bed tug” whenever we walked past the bedroom and hitting the park early on the weekends, so that we could get some quality fetch time in before life got busy. We spent a long time on Canadian thanksgiving playing keep away with the ball in the basement at the lake house. (Even though playing ball in the house gave the Grandma heart palpitations.) We took the stairs (even though that meant I carried Felix down the stairs, since his boo boo leg wasn’t allowed.)
I was actually surprised by how many games we could sneak in…just a couple minutes at a time.
For the first time this month though, Kamp felt a bit like a chore. I don’t know if it was the change in weather, the recent upheaval in our lives or just that I’m a little “kamped out”, but making the time to get our challenge done was harder than it’s ever seemed before. Truth be told, I think that many of our featured bloggers were much, much better kampers than I was this time around. Gizmo amazed us with his kyaking. Despite a painful lip problem and sucky weather, Emma rocked K9 Kamp. Pamela and Honey found ways to get their new foster pup in on the action. The always delightful Delilah put her Mama through the paces. Jackie & Rita stayed on task despite the fact that Rita actually doesn’t much care for games. I felt a little better when PupFan admitted that she struggled with this month’s kamp as well…then read on to find out she had rocked it like a champ.
I bet you guys did an amazing job too, eh?
Alright, let’s hear all about it. What games did your dog love playing, what games did they hate? Was it hard to find time to Kamp?
As a THANK YOU to all those amazing kampers out there who don’t need a “do over” for this month, so I can go back and feel like I really kamped, we’ve got prizes!
The amazing Sue at For Love of a Dog custom made this brilliant bracelet for us.
Is it gorgeous or what? Mama is in love with the handcrafted lampwork beads.
We’ve also got:
- a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com to buy your dog’s favourite fitness toys
- an adorable Fido’s Fashion collar & leash set with a MagneClip clasp
- 1 of 10 Dogobie Flying Discs from Aerobie
That’s a whole lot of reasons for you and your dog to get out and get fit right? Leave us a comment telling us what you did for K9 Kamp, then enter to win.
If life at your house is anything like life at Casa de Kolchak, you’re busy.
Really busy. the Mama works a full time job. We woof here. Mama cooks and cleans and tried to get us out for walks at least an hour a day. Weekends are filled with crafts and baking and fun with friends. There are never enough hours in the day.
When we issued this month’s K9 Kamp Challenge, even I was thinking “30 minutes EXTRA?!” How the woof are we going to get that done?!
Can I tell you guys a secret? Will you promise you won’t tattle on Mama to the other Kamp Coaches, Peggy & Jessica??
We don’t do our 30 minutes all at once. ::GASP:: I know right? That Mama is a low down, no good, lazy cheater, eh? You should, like, send her hate mail and throw rotten fruit at her. Do it!
You don’t have to Kamp 30 minutes all at once.
So what can you to get fit 5 minutes at a time?
- Walk this way. We all get out for walks. It’s good for us, good for the dogs and it’s super easy. Try tacking a few minutes extra onto your daily walks. We go out in the morning, after work & after dinner, so for us, that’s an extra 15 minutes right there.
- Walk ‘n’ Tug. If the idea of adding a few minutes to your walk doesn’t quite get you excited (or if you want to stay true to the theme of Fitness Fun & Games), try adding a bit of play into your walk. Bring a tug toy and tug at every corner.
- Obey the Puggle! Or in this case, obey the Kamp Coach. Try teaching some fun tricks that promote core fitness. Tricks like the Play Bow, Spin, Sitting Pretty, Dancing on the Hind Legs and more can all improve flexibility and help your dog stretch.
- Hallway Fetch. Before we moved to an apartment, one of our favourite games was Hallway fetch. It was great because I could easily fit in 5 minutes here or there without making much of a time commitment.
- Take the stairs. Chances are that your house has a set of stairs, if not, look for a school or large building along your walk route. It takes almost no extra time to go up & down the stairs a few times. Your butt (and your dogs) will thank you.
- Monkey’s on the bed. After lamenting that playing tug in the house was not really “apartment neighbour friendly”, K9 Kampers Pamela and Honey at Something Wagging suggested playing tug of war on the bed. The mattress absorbs most of the tug of war noise and chances are, even if your neighbour hear you bouncing on the bed, they’ll probably never bring it up (if you know what I mean.)
What are some other sneaky ways you can get fit with your dog that don’t need a whole lot of time?
This is the face of a dog on the mend. Holy woof, can I just say how exciting that is?
Eight weeks ago, Felix jumped less than a foot down out of the garden, yelped and scared the day lights out of me, the Daddy and the Nana. After a butt load of time at the ER Vet, the diagnosis was multiple CCL (the canine equivalent of the human ACL) tears and a damaged meniscus. They recommended we cut him open, cut out the damaged menicus and screw a plate to his bone to keep his tibia from slipping in and out of the joint.
Well, I’m awfully glad that we didn’t do any of that.
Instead, we opted for a second opinion from a vet who specializes in this injury. The real diagnosis? Partial CCL tear, the meniscus was fine and if we were super careful this injury just might heal, no surgery required. As our whole family breathed a collective sigh of relief, we set out to make sure Fe’s achey breaky CCL healed up just fine.
We took that phrase “super careful” as serious as woof.
See, the thing is, an ACL can’t actually heal. You can’t regrow ligament tissue. What we were hoping for was that enough good, strong scar tissue would grow over the tear to re-stabilize the knee, but that we’d keep him moving enough while that scar formed to keep the tissue flexible, so it didn’t tear again. It has been a challenge.
Felix is a happy, active boy. His greatest joy in life is a walk. It broke my heart to keep him off that leg for the first week and to strictly enforce the no running, no jumping, no fun rule for the last 8 weeks. We started with 2 – minute walks, twice per day and Felix would literally cry when I picked him up to go inside. He would stay outside all day, every day if he was allowed. (Unless it’s raining, then no dice.) Desparate to find a way to get him out and about, we bought him a dog stroller and when that broke, I converted a baby stroller into a sturdier, better dog stroller. No lie, you guys, I hate that thing, but holy woof, has it ever been a life saver.
We’ve slowly been increasing the amount of time Felix is allowed to walk by 2 – 3 minutes per week.
I’ve subscribed carefully to the “one step forward, two steps back” rehab theory. If we increased his walking time and I saw any inflammation or even a trace of a limp, we backed way off to the last easy walking time and started again. As of last night, we are up to 20 minutes! I’m afraid to over do it though, so our routine right now is a 10 minute walk in the morning, a 20 minute walk in the evening and another 15 minute walk before bed. On the weekend, I’ll push it a bit. With a 20 minute walks and a 15 minute walk.
They tried to make me go to rehab and I said No! No! No Problem.
We started the healing off right with some cold laser therapy, then we visited a canine rehab specialist to learn what I could be doing at home to help build up Felix’s strength and flexibilty. He’s being treated to daily massages. (That old course in equine massage is coming in handy! The principles are very similar just on a tinier Felix sized scale.) We’re working on passive movement in the joint and on increasing stability. Carole Bryant from Fidose of Reality has been battling the same issue with her cocker spaniel Dex and she recommended a book on animal rehab that I’m going to read this weekend. Fe has a huge water phobia, but we’re going to try to ease him into swimming. We figure if Sherman the Newf can do it, so can Fe. We’ll get this boo boo leg fixed in no time.
We all know that great nutrition can make all the difference. We’re supporting Felix’s healing with a few good supplements. I’ve thrown caution (and common sense) to the wind. Despite my serious shell fish allergy, we’ve got Fe on a Green Lipped Mussel to support joint lubrication and help control inflammation. Glycoflex III is a supplement specially designed for supporting joints and ligaments during recovery. He still gets his daily fish oil too.
Pain & Inflammation be gone.
The first few weeks, Felix was on Metacam, a powerful anti-inflammatory pain killer that made me nervous. It can be super hard on their stomach and once, I accidentally poked myself while dosing it and my hand when numb. SCARY! As Fe heals, we transitioned him off the Metacam and onto a natural pain relief remedy called Traumeel and added yucca root extract. As time has worn on, Fe doesn’t even need that as often. He’s down to one dose a day and we’re experimenting with going down to every second or third day. So far, so good. We’ll be keeping an eye on it for sure and watching for a limp and other signs of pain, like panting.
Fe is on the mend, but we’re not out of the woods yet.
While I am so thrilled with Felix’s progress, we still have to be cautious. One wrong jump and we could undo all this good work. We still have some long term solutions to put into place. No jumping! EVER AGAIN! LOL, aside from the fact that it gives me a woofing heart attack, there is a really high rate of injury in the other knee. We’ll be putting some solutions in place to make jumping totally unnecessary. (I’m sure my downstairs neighbours will be thrilled. I assume 24 lbs of puggle hitting the floor makes quite the thud.) We need to figure out how to keep Fe active, without putting too much stress on that knee. We’ve come so far, but we still have a long way to go too.
Has your dog ever torn an ACL or had to recover from surgery? Do you have any rehab tips for us?
Welcome to another installment of K9 Kamp hosted by Kol’s Notes, Peggy’s Pet Place and You Did What With Your Weiner! All month long, we’ll be getting fit with Fido and having fun as we embark on another fitness challenge. Do you want to join us (you know you want to! You could even win great prizes, like an amazing bracelet from For Love of a Dog!) Click here to check out this Kamp’s Challenge.
Before K9 Kamp, we were kind of off track when it came to our fitness.
I was overweight. Kolchak had a hefty layer of blubber and enough neck rolls to lose his collar in. Felix was a big boy and I would tell people he was “just really fluffy”. I was in denial. Me and my dogs needed an intervention. K9 Kamp was born. I figured if I told you guys about my fitness goals, maybe I would feel accountable to them. It works, you guys. This is our fourth K9 Kamp in three years and the Mama participating today is 4 dress sizes smaller than the Mama that started kamping. Kolchak and Felix are both at their ideal weight. The best part? We’ve had fun doing it!
The theme for this Kamp is even “fitness fun and games”
Which means we get to play all our favourite things: fetch, frisbee, tug of war! We couldn’t wait! There was only one catch:
We don’t have a yard anymore.
Um…where the woof are we going to get our kamp on? Our nearest dog park is too far and let’s face it, it’s kind of irresponsible to bring toys into a dog park any way. (Too many dogs are toy driven and bringing them into a park environment can cause aggression and fights.)
We have downstairs neighbours, so old favourites like “Hallway Fetch” and “Tug Until Mama’s Arms Give Out” aren’t exactly on the docket either. So, just how are we getting our K9 Kamp Challenge done, if we don’t have a yard and we can’t kamp indoors? Here’s a few tips for K9 Kamping without a yard:
- Tug up the fun on your walk. Kolchak loves to play tug of war, but it’s a loud, noisey, crashy game. We’ve started taking his favourite tug toy out on walks with us and using a bit of “tug time” as a reward for good behaviour. Pass another dog without pulling? Sit when we reach a corner? Obey and “off” command when we find a mystery fast food bag on the sidewalk? Tug it up. Kolchak is thrilled.
- Put on an umbilical leash and Fetch It Yourself. I love to get a really long leash, wrap it around my waist and run around with Kolchak. We love to play a game called “fetch it yourself” where I toss the ball, then we race to get it together. It’s great because it gets us both moving.
- A tie out cord can be your best friend. Let’s be honest, I would never just leave my dogs on a tie out in the yard. I firmly believe they are for supervised and interactive play only. That being said? If you’re ready to play and have fun a tie out cord can be a huge help. We’ve been taking a 30 ft. tie out cord to a local elementary school after hours, wrapping one end around the soccer goal and having some fun with fetch, chase, and a blow up ball. (Kol’s Note: Make sure you take your dog for a good walk to relieve themselves first. Good neighbors don’t pee – or worse – where the kids play!)
- Reliable recall for happy playing. If your dog has reliable recall (and it’s not prohibited in your area), games like Monkey in the Middle are great for playing and reinforcing good recall.
- Spring into action with a spring pole. Most condos or apartments have a tiny green space, somewhere! An umbilical leash and a spring pole can be a great way to really get your dog moving in limited space.
With these simple games, you and your pooch can play yourself to a healthy weight. You don’t need a yard or a fenced in space, you can do what you can with what you have and it will be awesome.
Bark Back! Do you and your dog get active without a yard? We’d love to hear about your favourite games!
Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness day. Veterinarian estimate that more than 50% of their pet patients are overweight or obese. Knowledge is power! Check out this handy guide to help you assess if your dog is one of the pets affected and get active with us.
Just my luck, National Walk Your Dog Week happens to coincide with the first ridiculously rainy week of the long wet season here in BC.
Seriously you guys, we’ve had excessive rain warnings 3 of the last 4 days. When a Vancouverite goes, “Wow, that a lot of rain.” You know it’s time to sit up and take notice. It’s been a record breaking amount of rain. Awesome. Nothing says “let’s go for a walk” like driving rain that soaks you to the skin before you’re even fully out the door.
It doesn’t help that my dogs are a couple of divas.
Seriously, you would think these dogs were made of sugar the way they act! They have these snazzy Canada Pooch rain coats that keep them pretty dry, I towel dry off and residual moisture when we come in and I even blow dry Felix’s fluffy butt, but they still act like I’m trying to drown them every time I haul them outside. Kol runs as soon as he sees his harness. Felix cowers like he’s being scolded with a rolled up newspaper (which never happens in this house). They hate going out in the rain.
Once we’re out there, though, it’s like they never want to come in.
What the woof guys?! I toss on a sweat shirt thinking we’ll be outside in the rain for all of 30 seconds and they end up taking me on a 30 minute walk. These dogs will do anything to keep me out there too. I swear, they are plotting ways to keep me out in the rain until I look like a drowned rat and I’m on the verge of hypothermia.
Kolchak loves to sneak in an extra block by looking ridiculously cute. I’ll be turning for home, while he pulls gently towards the corner with that eternally hopeful look in his eye. He knows I can’t say no to that look. Dog help me if he ever turns on the eyes and asks me to knock over a bank or something because man! I honestly don’t know if I could say no to him. When he asks for one more clock, he always gets it. Your wish is my command, Kolchak sir.
Felix’s favourite move to to delay pooping until just before we go back inside. He knows that at the very least, I will back track the 2 minutes to the dumpster to toss the pick up bags. He’s crafty, that Fluffball. You guys seem to think he’s all sweetness and fluffy faces, but that boy is a bit of a schemer. It’s always the quiet ones.
Both dogs take their sweet time out there: zig zagging across the sidewalk; peeing on everything they smell; sauntering. They’ve got to check th p-mail on every tree and leave a mark on every bush.
As much as I hate wandering around in the rain, a walk is such an important part of the canine experience.It’s not just a bathroom break. It’s a way to use doggie senses that may not be needed in the house all the time. Checking that p-mail all over the neighbourhood is like work for your dog. It’s a way to knee your dog busy and thinking. It’s the mark of a good dog owner and honestly, it’s not so bad, once you’re already wet. I’ll be walking all week, rain or shine. I just wish I had a great rain jacket.
Bark back! Does your dog like to walk in the rain? Do they have any tricks to extend a walk?
Kol’s Note: National Walk Your Dog Week was Founded by Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Behaviorist “Colleen Paige”
and is Sponsored by – Animal Miracle Foundation
It’s no secret that Mama needs all the help she can get when it comes to weight loss.
After all, she’s been brutally honest about her fat pants, her over enthusiastic way of tackling challenges far beyond her fitness level and how she is in (frankly) mediocre shape. Still, she tries hard and she knows that she wants to do better. She even hosts K9 Kamp, alongside Peggy’s Pet Place and You Did What With Your Weiner. She loves how the challenge gets us out and getting fit together and she can’t wait for the next Kamp in October, but sometimes, she needs a bit of help & encouragement between Kamps.
She loved Peggy’s book, Dieting with My Dog and so, she’s SUPER excited for it’s new companion: the Dieting With My Dog Guide to Weight Loss & Maintenance.
Mama was a big fan of the first book. She hates diet books written by fitness gurus. She’d much rather read something by someone who “gets” her. Someone who struggles with fitness and just wants to do their best. She really enjoyed reading Peggy’s story and since we kind of have an in with the author, she decided to abuse the connection and ask Peggy a few questions about the new book, life with two dogs and her own fitness ideas.
Q: When we last left you and Kelly, at the end of Dieting with My Dog, you were working on a weight loss program and getting fit together. Where does the new book pick up?
A: One of the last lines of Dieting with my Dog is that it is a lifelong journey. We are always working on keeping up the good habits and making good choices. The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance is a companion book to the first book.
Q: Dieting with my Dog was more of a personal story that shared yours (and Kelly’s) journey with weight loss. This book is a guide book. What differences can we expect to see? Is this book more hands on & “do this” type advice?
A: Yes, exactly! This book contains “how-to” information on losing weight, eating healthy and exercising for people and dogs! Additionally, it’s not just my experiences, but also many other devoted dog lovers who share how-to tips on the sports and activities they love to do with their dogs.
Q: Has anything changed about how you and Kelly tackle fitness and diet? Have you learned anything that really swayed you to try something different or has this been a process of discovering (and sticking to) the things that really work for you guys?
A: A little of both. We’ve learned that you have to do what works for you, and you have to constantly motivate yourself to keep up the good habits. But, in writing the book I discovered new activities that Kelly, Ike and I can do together to vary our routine and make keeping the weight off more fun.
Q: You’ve called this book the Guide to Weight Loss & Maintenance. To you – what is the difference between the two? Do you have a different strategy for when you’re losing weight vs. trying to keep it off?
A: I do look at them differently, because so many diets work, and then you think There! I did it! That’s the end! It’s such a relief to get to that goal weight, it feels like you’ve reached the finish line. But you haven’t, because keeping weight off is the most difficult part. At this point, it’s not so much learning new things, but how to keep your head in the game. I’ve included motivational strategies to focus on how to keep those goals in focus.
Q: Do you have a go to snack for when you’ve got the munchies? Does Kelly?
A: I usually crave something sweet, so I’ll grab a banana. It’s quick and easy and filling. I know some diets say avoid bananas because they’re actually high in calories. But weight watchers says you can have unlimited bananas for zero points, so I’m going with that.
Kelly still loves baby carrots. And they’re not gone in one gulp, it takes her a few seconds to chew them!
Q: How has adding Brooks and later, Ike to your family changed the dynamic of your fitness routine? I know Brooks had some health issues. Was that hard to work around?
A: Adopting another dog actually helped, because we were more diligent about getting out and walking the dogs together, partly as part of a pack-bonding routine, and partly for exercise. Kelly is 11 now, and spends more time lying around and sleeping. But the golden retrievers needed more exercise. Brooks did well on his walks up until the last few weeks. Ike is younger, he’s 6, so my husband takes him running and he loves it!
Q: Do you, Ike and Kelly have one fitness activity that you both love? What about one you hate?
A: Ike loves chasing a tennis ball, he could do it all day. Kelly could care less about the tennis ball. We all love walking together as a family, we do it every morning and most nights. And any time before we have to go out and leave them for an hour or two, they get another walk. We also love to go to the park and put them on super-long leads and let them have room to run or sniff about wherever they want. My husband and I have added the gym to our workout. I’m not crazy about going to the gym. In the book, I have a large section on Woof Workouts from the K9 Fit Club, a gym that actually allows people and dogs to work out together! There are now more than 30 K9 Fit Clubs nationwide. I’d enjoy going to the gym a lot more if we had one near us, but unfortunately there’s not one yet.