Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mom Was Right!

Me at 66 pounds
Me slimmed down to 56 pounds
Holy guacamole!  Who is that dog?  Flipping through my blogs, looking for ideas, I saw a photo of me from August 2014.  

Mom said I needed to go on a diet and at the time I thought she was bonkers.  
I’m part lab and labs tend to be stocky, right?

Well, here we are, just over one year later and what a difference!

 Mom’s a healthy living nut. She watches what she eats and goes to the gym every day.  DixieLee, Dad and I, well we like being retired and hanging out around the house.  We do yard work and such but we really like napping on the couch and watching TV better.

I hate to admit it but Mom was right.  She made all of us go on diets and get more exercise.  It’s not just about looking good it’s about feeling sooooo much better.  Since Mom made us all be better eaters and exercisers we all lost weight and have much more energy.  I lost 10 pounds! We all still grumble that we are starving but we really do like carrots and apple slices as much as cookies and even Dad has discovered that he actually likes vegetables.

I think the bestest part of getting healthy is the walks.  Mom makes us all go on big walks.  It’s so much fun that the minute DixieLee see that both Mom and Dad have their coats on, she runs to the rack where the leashes are an tries to get her halter down.

We never know where we are going which makes it very exciting.  Not going to the same places all the time gives DixieLee and me a chance to explore.  Sniffing out our surroundings is important so being in different places is lots of fun.  Sometimes we walk around one of the towns.  Sometimes we go to the dog park or to one of the hiking trails our part of New Hampshire if famous for but the best times are when we go to walk on the logging road up to the old orchard.

Mom and Dad like the logging road because it goes up a mountain so we get more cardio.  I love it because I get to be off leash.  I only get to be off leash when Mom knows there is no danger to me.  I NEVER get to be off leash where there are cars or even where there are going to be lots of people.  DixieLee doesn’t get to go off leash because before she came to live with us, she must have been trained as a hunting dog because she loves following a scent and would get lost for sure.

We didn’t start out walking up mountains or going for big hikes.  We started by taking short walks around town.  Yesterday we walked a trail that was three miles long.  That’s far!  It was a nice walk cuz we got to enjoy Nature.  It was peaceful, no traffic sounds or other people, and there were lots of scents from the animals who live in the forest.   

Walking with your humans has lots of other Ben Fits.  We are a pack of two humans and two dogs and walking is a way for us to get to know each other better and strengthen our bond.  Walking is a great way for humans to get rid of stress too.

So, if you or your human is a little on the chunky side, consider taking more walks.  Seriously, I know you’ll like it.

Your slimmed down friend,

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Queen of the High Jump

One of my BFFs Miu is a chronic fence jumper.  I can’t understand why she would want to do that.  DixieLee and I have a really nice fenced yard where we can run and play all we want.  Our fences is a linky chain kind so we can watch the squirrels and chickens run around on the big yard and watch the people and cars on the road.  DixieLee likes to sit in the sunny part and I like to sit in the shade.

Miu also has a nice garden where she and her sister Bumo can run and play too but she says she jumps her fence because she loves being free to find other dogs and critters to chase. Her Mom isn’t so happy about the fence jumping because lots of the critters where they live have rabies and there are many other dangers awaiting a dog on the run.

We can play alone in our yard cuz our pen is right outside of our office windows and Mom can watch us without having to be outside but if you are an escape artist, having your human stay in the yard with you is a good way to break the habit.

When your human is in the yard watching you, he or she can distract you as soon as you get ready to bolt.  We use lots of what our friend Eric the Amazing Dog Training Man calls “positive reinforcement” to break bad habits

Positive reinforcement means offering an alternative to jumping.  Like when your human calls you and offers a toy or a treat or tells you what a good dog you are.  We never get tired of hearing what good dogs we are.  I’m pretty good about going to Mom when she calls but sometimes DL gets so into whatever she is doing, it’s like she doesn’t hear.  That’s when Mom says AAHHHHH using her Stern Voice or shakes THE CAN.  THE CAN is a soup can with a bunch of pennies in it that makes a horrible racket when Mom shakes it.  It’s so horrible that it startles DL long enough to get her back in listening mode.

Dogs need lots of exercise and attention.  If we aren’t getting enough of either, we get bored and look for ways to amuse ourselves.  We get walks and Mom and Dad pet us and talk to us all the time.

Mui’s Mom has tried all kinds of tricks to keep her in the garden.  Their fence is a garden wall which sounds very pretty and her Mom put big colorful pots along the top but Miu knocked them off and broke them.  Needless to say her Mom was not happy.

Dogs are pretty smart when we want to be. Can’t get over the fence, go under.  Dogs can fit through the smallest holes or gaps in a fence.  When we had the fence built, there was a six inch gap between the fence post and the house.  You guessed it!  DL found it right away so Dad banged a pipe in the ground to make the space to small even for Houdini Dog.

Chicken wire can also be used in lots of different ways to help fortify a fence.  There are way too many to make your fence jump proof for me to talk about in this blog so if you are a jumper or digger, tell your human to go on line and find out a way that works for you.

The yard should be a place where it is fun to be and a fence is the best way to keep us safe while we are having fun.

Your Friend,

P.S.  Blatant Self Promotion.  Our Paw Pal Gift Basket is filled with so many toys and treats you and your best friend will want to spend lots of time playing and training.  Remember, a tired dog is a good dog. Check it out at