Archives for posts with tag: fun

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We can learn so much from watching our dogs enjoy themselves outdoors

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They know no comparison, or criticism

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They move their little bodies with confidence and curiosity

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They are in touch with the earth, they let the grass tickle them and mud cake their feet.

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They smile

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They are present

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I know some dogs are lazier than others but when it comes down to it, all dogs need exercise.   Just as with us humans the benefits to their health and general well being are countless.  While our two preferred methods are running and fetch, there are of course days when it’s impossible for us to get outside.  This Winter alone we’ve seen blizzards, temps below zero, and I’ve been nursing some knee issues on and off.  Now we’re entering the rainiest season of the year and it won’t be long before temperatures climb into the triple digits.  Needless to say we have to get creative with our entertainment and exercise now and then.

First of all there is tug-of-war! I know this option isn’t for everyone, particularly dogs who get aggressively possessive.  Some people will also tell you not to let your dog “win”.  All I can say is know your dog, read the signs and quit if things get ugly.  But if your dog can handle it and enjoys it, tug can work a lot of muscles your dog rarely gets to utilize.  My dogs love it.  What’s more is a lighthearted game of tug is often encouraged in puppyhood to strengthen the bond between dog and human!

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The  FitPAWS-Peanut  While this won’t necessarily tire your dog out quite as much as cardio, it’s a great option for strength training your dog between cardio sessions as well as rehabilitating injured or aging dogs.

The Chase-It  This one might require you to move some furniture around if you have a big dog or a tiny space but it’s so worth it if your dog has any kind of prey drive.  In fact this is the first “game” that Elsa and Bardia participated in together.  It’s irresistible to my guys.  If we can get outside I swing it around so they can chase at full speed.  Inside I either bounce it around sporadically so they have to hop and dodge or I just run through the house dragging it on the ground.

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Agility.  Many agility classes have indoor options for inclement weather or easily distracted dogs.  Even if you don’t plan to compete, this is such a fun option for a hobby.  Not only will it keep your dog on point during off seasons, but they will love it and you two will be closer than ever.

There you have it! Now, I’d love to hear, how do you keep your dog happy when stuck indoors?

Today I woke up to the best text message anyone who hates their job can receive, “No need to come in today”.  One peek outside revealed a world that looked like thisDSC_4916this DSC_4912and thisDSC_4915 I love a good snow day.  Slow lazy mornings, drinking sweet milky tea in my pajamas, with my two best pups curled as close to me as they can possibly get.  We thought about heading outdoors…DSC_4749We bundled up, and tested out the waters,016

But playing inside seemed like a much better idea 😉DSC_4838DSC_4856This damn frog has been around since Elsa was about 4 months old.  It was a gift from our old Landlords.  It’s the rattiest, stinkiest toy in the house so naturally it is a favorite of them both. DSC_4832DSC_4854And of course, we did lots of laying around.  DSC_4772 DSC_4823 How did you all enjoy your snow day?

Dear BarkBox,

Thank you so much for the R2P you included in this month’s BarkBox.  You know, the big red toy that looks like a cross between a fire hydrant and a football?  Bardia just loved it! Man, you guys must really know dogs over there.  I’m not so sure you’ve ever met a human though.  In fact, I’m not convinced you are humans yourselves, because surely no human, having heard the noise this toy makes, would inflict it upon another human.  You see, the R2P hasn’t even been in our house for 24 hours and it’s already driving me quite batty.  Please, allow me to elaborate.  I arrived home around 8pm last night to our BarkBox sitting at the front door.  I promptly gave Bardia his new toy which he played with ferociously for a whole 5 minutes before I had to take it away, not being able to withstand the caterwauling it produced after a long hard day at work.  I put it on top of the refrigerator where the dog couldn’t reach it.  That sure as hell doesn’t mean he didn’t try though, reaching upward, knocking down all of the pictures and magnets.  Now, normally that would have been enough for him.  He would have sneaked off stealthily with a magnet in his mouth or shred up a beloved family photo on the spot.  Not this time though. Not with the magic red toy just a little higher up.

Of course this tugged at my weak human heartstrings so I offered him another five minutes with it before I would put it away for good.  Luckily he can’t read a clock because 5 minutes was probably more along the lines of 97 seconds.  I moved it to the laundry basket behind the closed door of the linen closet.  Sure he cried and scratched at the door for a minute or two but quickly forgot about it.  I was not so lucky.  Just the knowledge that the toy was still in the house was enough to reproduce the noise in my mind all throughout the night.  Of course, it didn’t take long the next morning before one of us made the dire mistake of throwing new clothes into the hamper.  Bardia must have remembered where we put it (or perhaps he too heard the tell tale football) because  like a bat out of hell he was racing through the house with the toy in his mouth.  We heard the squawking before we even knew what happened.

You know something though, BarkBox, I think my dog may be even more human than you, because before I accidentally smothered myself by piling one too many pillows over my head to shield my senses, he destroyed the R2P himself.  That’s right, tore it to shreds.  Thanks anyway, it was a valiant effort on your behalf…or a diabolical plan, in which case I salute you, evil genius Overlords, and I’ll obey you ’til the end 😉  Can’t wait for next month’s box.

Best,

Tina

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This past weekend, we had the wonderful opportunity to stay at Glen Highland Farm, an off leash ‘Canine Country Getaway’ in Morris NY.  This place is a paradise for dogs. 175 acres of grassy hills, woods and crystal clear creeks for dogs to explore OFF LEASH.

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Settled on an abandoned dairy farm, the property contains 5 miles of trails, each chosen by and named for the dogs that blazed them.  The owner, John, explained that he literally let the dogs go and followed behind with a tractor and a chainsaw… meaning some of the trails are not for the faint of heart.  The climbs are steep and riddled with slippery roots, mossy patches and shoe sucking mud.  That being said, this isn’t your grandpa’s camping.  Our cabin had lights, working outlets and a fan.  The facilities had hot running water and flush-able toilets.  The cooking pavilion had wi-fi and though it feels like you are in a remote corner of the world, you can leave the campsite at any time to drive into town for supplies.  We even picked up a (delicious) pizza our second night there.DSC_0618 DSC_0644 DSC_0652 DSC_0693 DSC_0781 DSC_0828

What was especially wonderful was the freedom.  No guided hikes or scheduled activities.  We let the dogs lead the entire duration of our stay.  What’s more is, at full capacity the camp only has 26 guests total, giving you plenty of privacy on the trails.  In fact my favorite experience was finding a secluded little stream where we could break and swim and play, and not another soul disturbed the four of us.   If you’re a little more social than we are, there’s an area for a bonfire near the cooking pavilion surrounded by a number of cozy lawn chairs, where guests can relax and chat at the end of the day.DSC_1028 DSC_1310 DSC_1368

As if this place doesn’t seem enough like dog heaven, the farm’s most base job is rescuing Border Collies.  They have a full time staff on board to  care for homeless Border Collies and rehabilitate dogs who had rough starts to life.  Lovely no?

Sound like something you may want to do?  A few things to remember:

  • Bring bug spray.  Extra strength.  Bring like 5 bottles.
  • Bring twice the amount of clothes you think you’ll need and quadruple the amount of socks.  You will sweat and get muddy and the grass is perpetually wet.  Bring two pairs of shoes too.
  • Bring dog shampoo and grooming supplies-especially if you’ll be visiting with your very hairy Cavalier like myself.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I completely underestimated the mud and muck.  I mean, we actually pulled a leech off of Elsa.  It was…unspeakable.
  • Bring booze, cuz hey,  you’re allowed to.
  • Bring bug spray…just bring a lot of it.

In case you ever wondered why I named the blog as I did…Check these guys out

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We love the beach in the Summer

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Still can’t get Bardia to swim!

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