Monday, 13 April 2015

Getting Started in Doggy Fitness

This weekend was our first real endeavour in canine conditioning and fitness. My plan was to do a weigh-in and introduce Maizy and myself, but that didn't happen! The weather was gorgeous and we were way too busy playing outside. The weigh-in will happen sometime this week, but for now we'll stick with intros and what we did over the weekend.

Typical Maizy - She's a very bouncy dog!
So without further ado, I'd like to introduce Maizy! She's almost a year old (two more weeks!) and full of energy. Maizy has two modes: hyper and passed out. She's pretty well trained and fairly fit, so we're going into this venture with a good base. Her challenges will be staying focused and hind-end awareness. In addition to getting fitter, we will also be adding more tricks to her repertoire over the coming months.

And then there's me. While this is certainly a canine fitness blog, I'm sure some of the effects will wear off on me. My biggest challenge is that I have a fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. Sometimes it is difficult for me to even walk, but I'm hoping getting fitter with Maizy will improve my condition. Aside from Maizy, I have two horses, three cats and two rabbits. There will be lots of appearances from the rest of the zoo, I'm sure.

We had a very busy weekend and I think we're off to an excellent start! Saturday we started off the morning at the dog park, where she played for about an hour with couple of lovely poodles. We then headed to Ren's Pet Depot - this is my favourite pet store. The prices can be steep and the sales aren't usually very good, but it has high quality items that I know are safe for my animals. We picked up some hay for the rabbits, a bully stick, and a backpack!!! We got the Kurgo Wander Dog Backpack, which we will be using for weight training and camping. I'll do a review on this pack in the near future, so look out for that. After Maizy had a nap, we tried the backpack out (with the very scientific weight of four juice boxes!) and then we went to another park where she spent an hour chasing ducks and about 15 minutes of water resistance training, which we achieved by walking upstream in a shallow creek with a decent current.

Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest for her, but I ended up taking her to the barn with me. The barn is a very stimulating place for dogs, so even if they stay on leash they get quite mentally tired. Maizy spent about 4 hours romping around the farm - playing with other dogs, accompanying me on a trail ride and then we cooled off in the ponds. Maizy had a break through and learned that she can actually SWIM, not just wade. Super proud of her!

Perfecting the dog paddle - her first time actually swimming!
Just as we were leaving the farm, Maizy decided to investigate a "dead" horse. The horse was napping in the sun, on its side with his legs straight out. They really do look dead when they sleep like this - just about every farm has a story of an unknowing person coming to the farm in a panic saying 'There's a dead horse in your field!" Nope, just sleeping. Maizy fell for it too, and when the horse sat up she leapt about three feet in the air, turned tail and ran away. She then barked at the horse from a safe distance. Silly dog.

This morning Maizy did not want to get out of bed. This dog normally follows me around like a shadow, supervising every moment of my morning routine. Not today! I guess the weekend tired her out:

Soft spaniel, warm spaniel, fluffy fluffy ears!
Happy spaniel, sleepy spaniel, woof woof woof.

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