Friday, July 20, 2012

Adopting a Second Dog--Challenges & Tips: An Interview with Author Peggy Frezon, Part 2

In part two of my interview with award-winning author Peggy Frezon, we are discussing the challenges of adding a second dog to your family, and the challenges of adopting an older dog.

Author Peggy Frezon with Kelly

Donna: Peggy, thank you for being with us again. Many people who have a dog, at one time or another, think about adding a second or third or fourth dog to their family. Not long ago, you adopted a brother for your dog Kelly. Why didn't the first attempt, with Moses, work out?

Peggy: We adopted a 6-year-old, 100 pound, beautiful Golden Retriever. The rescue group gave us a trial period of two weeks. From the start, Kelly did not want this big boy in her house. Moses was mellow and sweet, but he also wanted to be top dog in the house, and Kelly already knew she was top dog, so there were lots of conflicts. Kelly started lots of noisy altercations. She never hurt him, but it frightened me. Moses growled in response, instead of backing off, and I didn't want either one of them to get hurt. The happy news is that his foster mom was so excited to get him back, that she ended up adopting him! He gets along great with her own Goldens.

Brooks looks relaxed in his new home.

Donna: Soon after parting with Moses, you adopted Brooks. Most people who already have an older dog, adopt a puppy to avoid the risk of losing two dogs too close together. Why did you decide to adopt another senior dog?

Brooks and Kelly take Mike for a walk.

Peggy: It was largely my husband's doing. When he saw Brooks' picture, he just melted. Even though Brooks is eleven years old, he didn't think about the number at all. I was a bit more hesitant. I was worried about having my heart broken too quickly. But after we met Brooks, we knew we wanted to give him a nice home and lots of love and happiness in his senior years. No one has any guarantees how long they've got.

Donna: What were some of the challenges of bringing Brooks into your home where Kelly had been an "only child" for so long?
Kelly, no longer an only child

Peggy: It was all challenging! Kelly was jealous over any attention we gave Brooks, his food and water, his toys, where he slept. So, just about everything. She didn't like me patting him, or if he got up in the chair where I was sitting. She wouldn't allow him in the bedroom where she sleeps at night. At feeding time, we had to keep them separate or she would bark and push him away from his food. If he came anywhere near her food, she'd react even worse. About the only thing that went fairly well was walking them. But Brooks is so laid back, he just backs off. Her bossiness doesn't phase him. After a while, Kelly stopped being so noisy about it all. Now, she will still take a toy out of his mouth, for example, but she does it in a quiet and casual way. I tell her "no," and give the toy back and it is usually okay. I make sure to give them attention separately and together. We're all learning.

Donna: Do you have any tips for those contemplating adopting a second dog, especially one that is older?

Peggy: Consider your dog's personality and stage of life. If you have an older dog, don't adopt a rambunctious puppy who might pester and overwhelm the older dog unless you are sure you can keep them separate enough to give your older dog some quiet time. Also, it usually works best to adopt a dog of the opposite sex. If your dog is very assertive, and wants to be top dog in the house, adopt a dog who is more laid back and willing to defer.

Then, have your dogs first meet in a neutral place like a park. See how they respond to each other. If possible, see if the rescue group from which you're adopting, allows for a play date at your house, too. Introduce the new dog slowly. Give each dog time and space to adjust. Take them on lots and lots and lots of walks. A tired dog is a happy dog! Also, many trainers suggest that walking all together helps your dogs bond with you and together as a family or pack.

Donna: Have you seen a change in Kelly's or Brooks' attitudes and actions toward each other now that you've had Brooks for a while? Are they merely tolerant of each other, or are they forming a sibling bond?

Brooks and Kelly together

Peggy: Right now, it's somewhere in between. There are few flareups, but food might trigger a little scene. We are working to introduce toys so that Kelly will let Brooks have some fun and not keep trying to take the toys away from him. They both sleep in the same room with us, each in their own doggy bed. They run around the back yard together, and are basically together all day. I haven't really seen them play together yet, though. Then again, they are 10 and 11 years old, so they might not play as much as younger dogs would; but I'd like to see that happen. And they don't cuddle together, yet, but I've gotten them both in the chair with me at the same time. We've made a lot of progress, and I'm hoping to see them becoming closer as time goes on. It's only been two months.

Books by author Peggy Frezon 
Donna: Last time, we talked about your books, Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw, and Dieting with My Dog and how that was a bonding experience for you and Kelly. And today we talked about the challenges of adopting another dog and how to help the new dog bond with the rest of the family. Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?

Peggy: If you and your dog are trying to lose weight, seek out support from others. Walking your dogs together with family or a friend is a great way to bond, but also a great way to make losing weight more fun.

Donna: You have a book signing coming up soon in Burlington, Vermont. Can you tell us when and where you'll be?

Peggy: I will be signing books at Pet Food Warehouse, 2500 Williston Rd., in South Burlington, VT, on Friday, July 27, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

Donna: This is a great opportunity to meet Peggy, Mike, Kelly, and Brooks in person, and get a copy of each of Peggy's books. And if you already have them, bring them along and she'll be happy to sign them for you. And, once more, can you remind people where they can find your books besides at the book signing?

Peggy: If you'd like a signed copy, you can contact me directly by leaving a message on my blog or Facebook. Books can also be ordered on here: Dieting with My Dog and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw.

Kelly says, "Can I pick the winner?"
Donna: I also want to remind everyone that we are giving away a copy of Peggy's book Dieting with My Dog to one lucky reader. To enter for a chance to win your own copy, complete the following 4 simple steps:
  1. Leave a comment or ask a question in the comment section below.
  2. Send me (Donna) an e-mail at PetWiseDBR (at) aol (dot) com with your name and e-mail address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. Put "Peggy's book contest" in the Subject line. If you win, I will send you an e-mail letting you know, and you can then send me your mailing address. Your personal information will only be used for the contest.
  3. Go to Peggy's Facebook page and click "Like" and leave a message saying you saw her interview on PetWise Online.
  4. Finally, leave another comment here confirming that you "liked" Peggy's page.
The contest will be open from midnight EDT July 13 through midnight EDT August 24, 2012. All qualified entries will be included in the drawing. You must be a resident of the US to be eligible. The winner will be contacted by e-mail following the close of the contest.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

An Interview with Author Peggy Frezon, part 1...

Today, my guest is award-winning author Peggy Frezon. Peggy has written two books: Dieting with My Dog and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw, is a regular contributor to "Guideposts" magazine, and a staff writer for "Be the Change for Animals." She also writes the web columns "Pawsitively Pets," "Animals4People," and the popular "Peggy's Pet Place." Peggy's stories appear in books such as Animals and the Kids who Love Them, The Ultimate Dog Lover, Miracles and Animals, and more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. We will also be giving away a copy of Dieting with My Dog to one lucky reader, so look for details on how to enter at the end of today's post.

Donna: Peggy, welcome to "PetWise Online" and thank you for being my guest today.

Peggy: Thank you for the opportunity.

Author Peggy Frezon with Kelly

Donna: Today, I'd like to ask you about your books, Dieting with My Dog and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw. Readers always want to know how writers get their ideas for books, so let me begin by asking what gave you the idea of writing about dieting with your dog. Did you know right from the beginning that you would write a book about your experience, or did that come later?

Peggy: I first wrote about dieting with my dog for "Guideposts" magazine; and the story, "The Doggy Diet," was published in January 2008. When the story came out, we got such a good response, I wanted to write the book to encourage others who were in the same situation.

Donna: In Dieting with My Dog, you said that having Kelly as a weigh loss buddy was a bonding experience for the two of you. How do you feel the experience deepened your bond with her?

Peggy: Kelly and I have always been close; but through dieting together, I saw how we could work together toward a common goal. I also took more time with her to walk her more often, knowing that was healthy for both of us--not only physically, but it was more time spent together to deepen that bond.

Donna: Kelly only had a few pounds to lose. Once she had lost that excess weight, what kept you motivated to continue until you reached your goal?

Peggy: As I write in the book, losing and maintaining weight loss is a lifetime journey. We both became healthier due to our weight loss, and I know if I go back to my old habits, that weight will come right back.

Donna: Some say it takes 21-28 days to form a new habit, and some say it takes 66 days. Now that you've been eating a healthier diet and exercising for a longer period of time, has it become a habit for you, or is it still a struggle sometimes? Are you still tempted to slack off at times? If so, how do you overcome that temptation?

Kelly looking fit and trim.

Peggy: Parts have become a sure and fast habit, and I've slipped in other parts. A lot of my diet changes have stuck, such as eating whole grains, more fruits and veggies, low fat and smaller portions. The exercise has stuck, in fact I've added more walks and going to the gym. The part that is the most difficult for me, and where I slip the most often, is with sweets. I am still tempted by ice cream in particular. I do allow myself to have it sometimes, but try to keep it for special treats.

For Kelly, it is pretty easy to keep up the good habits. I consistently measure her food and feed her the proper amount. I'm conscientious about giving her healthy treats and making sure I calculate the treats into her daily intake. She still loves baby carrots for snacks.

Books by Peggy Frezon

Donna: Now let's turn to your other book, Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw. What was your Mom's reaction when you first approached her about writing a book about her life and the role animals have played in it?

Peggy: She was thrilled, but she also didn't realize that her experiences could be interesting to anyone else. Through daily interviews over the course of many weeks, she shared such touching tales of struggles and hope, and, of course, the inspiring animals in her life.

Donna: How much influence did your Mom's relationship with animals have on you? How has that carried through to your own children?

Peggy: It had a huge influence. I remember watching her loving care of any injured or stray animal she came across, and I love that quality in her. I've always loved animals, and have never been without a pet in my life. My husband loves animals. And our kids love animals, too. Right now, my daughter and son-in-law have a cat named Cinnamon, and hope to get a dog when they buy a house. My son also wants a dog, but right now he's in an apartment that doesn't allow pets.

Donna: What is the most significant thing you learned from your Mom about animals?

Peggy: That animals deserve to be treated with respect. And, every animal, no matter how small, homely, or seemingly unwanted, has something wonderful to offer.

Donna: Thank you, Peggy. I've read both of your books and found them really inspiring. My own dog, Paige, needed to lose about three pounds, and I needed to lose a "bit" more. It hadn't occurred to me that Paige could be my weight loss buddy, but after reading Dieting with My Dog, we implemented some of your suggestions, and we are both losing the excess weight. So, would you tell our readers how they can get their own copies of Dieting with My Dog and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw?

Peggy: If you'd like a signed copy, you can contact me directly by leaving a message on my blog or Facebook. Books can also be ordered on here: Dieting with My Dog and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw.

Donna: Recently, Peggy and her husband adopted a second dog. Next week, she  will be back here with me to talk about the challenges and rewards of adding another dog to the mix, especially since Kelly had been the only one for so many years. If you're thinking about adopting a dog, or adding a second dog to your family, you won't want to miss what Peggy has to say.

Kelly and Peggy hope you win!

Also, we are giving away a copy of Peggy's book Dieting with My Dog to one lucky reader. To enter for a chance to win the book, complete the following 4 steps:
  1. Leave a comment or ask a question in the comment section below.
  2. Send me (Donna) an e-mail at PetWiseDBR (at) aol (dot) com with your name and e-mail address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner. Put "Peggy's book contest" in the Subject line. If you win, I will send you an e-mail letting you know, and you can then send me your mailing address. Your personal information will only be used for the contest.
  3. Go to Peggy's Facebook page and click "Like" and leave a message saying you saw her interview on PetWise Online.
  4. Finally, leave another comment here confirming that you "liked" Peggy's page.
The contest will be open from midnight EDT July 13 through midnight EDT August 24, 2012. All qualified entries will be included in the drawing. You must be a resident of the US to be eligible. The winner will be contacted by e-mail following the close of the contest.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh, the Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise...

Photo courtesy of
Public domain images 
Dr. Seus's Grinch, in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, isn't the only one who hates noise. Many dogs suffer from phonophobia, also called ligyrophobia, which is the fear of loud sounds. They might react fearfully to thunder, fireworks, loud mufflers on cars, motorcycles, or even loud voices.

Although Paige doesn't seem to be bothered by loud sounds, my former dog, Mindy, was. Long before a storm would hit, we'd know one was coming because she would begin pacing back and forth, from room to room. Then, as it drew nearer and began to rain, she would scurry upstairs and climb into the tub behind the closed shower curtain, and lay there until the storm was over.

Did you hear that loud noise?
When she was no longer able to 
climb the stairs, because of age 
and arthritis, she would hide behind
the recliners in our living room, or 
try to crawl under an end table or 
any small space that she deemed 
"safe." During the first few days of 
July, when neighborhood teens 
would start setting off firecrackers, 
and during the city fireworks displays (which we could hear at our home from both Burlington and Colchester), she would act very nervous and run for cover.

So, if your dog is a "nervous Nellie," here are a few things you can try that might make her (or him) more comfortable, and the holiday more enjoyable for both of you:
  1. If you plan to attend a fireworks display, leave your dog at home. A frightened dog might nip or try to run away. Better to leave him at home where you know he'll be safe and feel more secure in familiar surroundings. It also might be helpful to leave some soothing music playing to mitigate the impact of the loud noises that disturb the dog.
  2. Some dogs respond well to a Thundershirt which works by applying gentle pressure to help relieve anxiety and calm the dog. The Thundershirt website claims an 80% or higher success rate, and the shirt is available through their website,, Victoria Stillwell's website, and other venues.
  3. There are a number of conditioning techniques that also may be effective in helping your dog be less stressed out in the presence of loud noises. This usually involves a tape or CD with the triggering sounds on it, playing it very softly at first, then gradually increasing the sound level as the dog is able to tolerate it without reacting in a fearful manner. Again, Victoria Stillwell has a 4-CD set called "The Canine Noise Phobia Series," available on her website, which helps to recondition the dog, over time, to associate the sounds with positive feelings rather than fear.
  4. Meet with a trainer or animal behavior specialist if you need assistance in helping your dog overcome his fears.
  5. If all else fails, there are anti-anxiety medications that your veterinarian can recommend. Please do not give your dog any human prescriptions on your own, even if it is one that is also approved for animals, because the vet will need to prescribe the proper dosage for the size of your dog.
What NOT to do:
  1. Don't yell at, scold, or punish your dog for being afraid. He isn't being stupid, ornery, or bad. He's afraid, and yelling will only increase his fear.
  2. Don't try to force the dog to confront his fears. This may only make him more fearful and react by trying to get away or biting whoever is closest to him.
  3. Don't expect the dog to be something he's not. Each dog has his own unique personality. Accept him as he is, not as you want him to be.
  4. Don't get impatient and frustrated if your dog doesn't seem to "get it" right away. If you remain calm, it will go a long way in helping your dog to calm down, though it may take time.
  5. Don't try to go it alone if what you're doing doesn't seem to be working. Get professional help from a trainer, animal behaviorist, or your vet.
If you develop a close bond with your dog, based on mutual respect and affection, he will learn to trust you when those fearful situations occur. Even if his fears don't completely disappear, if he knows he can trust you, they may diminish over time.

Is your dog afraid of something? What have you done to help him overcome his fears? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

Paige and I hope all of you and your dogs have a happy, safe Fourth of July! 

Peggy Frezon and Kelly
**NOTE: Coming up this month, I will be interviewing award-winning author Peggy Frezon. Peggy has written two books: Dieting with My Dog and Heart to Heart, Hand in Paw,  and is a regular contributor to "Guideposts" magazine and a staff writer for "Be the Change for Animals." She also writes the web columns "Pawsitively Pets," "Animals4People," and the popular "Peggy's Pet Place." Peggy's stories appear in books such as Animals and the Kids who Love Them, The Ultimate Dog Lover, Miracles and Animals, and more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. We will also be giving away a copy of Dieting with My Dog to one lucky reader, so be sure to watch for the announcement on Facebook and Twitter for the date of the first of this exciting two-part interview.

[Disclaimer: I have no vested interest in the Thundershirt company,, or Victoria Stillwell's website, and have not received any compensation for mentioning their websites or products. I have provided links to their sites solely for the convenience of my readers.]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

K9Kamp Wrap-up and Keeping Cool...

K9Kamp is over, but the fun continues as prizes are drawn and awarded to those who participated, or those who enter before June 23. Paige and I received an award along with two other campers, which you can see at the end of this post, and a prize package that includes toys, a gift certificate, and a copy of Dieting with My Dog by Peggy Frezon, one of the K9Kamp coordinators. We had a great time, and hope some of you will join us for next year's fun.

I must admit, we're glad Kamp didn't extend through this week, with its record-breaking temperatures: 95 degrees Wednesday, and 97 Thursday. Earlier in the week, Paige and I did some stair exercise, played with her toys, and worked on training. But the past two or three days, in spite of the air conditioning, our energy seemed to be sapped, so we engaged in quieter pursuits.

It's too hot to play, Mom!

However, there is one word that always gets Paige's attention...even when said by someone on television! When it's this hot, though, we skip the walks and do indoor activities, instead. If you do walk your dog on hot days, do it early in the morning or in the evening when it's a bit cooler. Let the dog stay on the grass to avoid burned paw pads from the hot pavement, and try to keep him/her in the shade to avoid a sunburned nose. Short-haired or hairless dogs can also get sunburned on their bodies, so never completely shave off a dog's coat unless there is a medical reason for doing so. The same coat that keeps them warm in winter also insulates them against heat in summer. And, remember that dogs also suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion just as humans do, so keep the walk short, forego jogging and running, and be sure to give them plenty of water.

Did somebody say, "WALK?"

Paige and I are doing another kind of "camping" this week: we're camping out downstairs where it's air-conditioned. Paige really enjoyed being able to cuddle on the couch with me overnight. A couple of times, when she heard cars pull into the parking lot behind our building, she jumped down, ran to the door, and gave one "woof," then came running back to let me know she was on duty. She's an excellent watch dog, and I told her so. When all was quiet again, she curled back up with me and went to sleep. At one point, she flipped over on her back and was snoring so loud she woke me up!

When she can't cuddle Mom
Paige loves to have a couple
of couch pillows to cuddle.

After a couple of hours, though, I had to move to my recliner because of my back. She wasn't happy that I moved, but settled down on the end of the couch nearest my chair.

Mom, you need a double wide
recliner so we can share it!

Paige and I are grateful that we can be inside where it's cool. Because it's so important, we just want to remind our readers of one more thing: NEVER leave a dog in a car when the temperature is 70 degrees or above. Even with the windows open part-way, the internal temperature of a car can rise to 116 degrees or higher in just ten minutes! When dogs inhale hot air, they can't cool themselves enough to avoid heatstroke. So, please, leave your dog at home where it has access to shade and cold water. With a few precautions, you and your dog can have fun with each other all summer long.

For participating in K9Kamp
in spite of chronic health issues.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

K9Kamp Week 4, Kamper's Choice--results...

It's hard to believe that K9Kamp is over! Paige and I had a lot of fun participating, getting a bit more active (not that Paige needed any help with that), and incorporating her training with the challenges. For the final week, we were able to choose activities from the previous challenges, choose from the suggestions given by the camp organizers, or come up with our own ideas.
Paige races around the
corner during a game of "fetch."

Since "fetch" is one of her favorite things (especially when she gets a training treat for placing the toy in my hands), we did that almost every day. As we progress with training, she'll graduate from bringing me toys to bringing me objects I ask for, and picking things up off the floor for me.

"Here I come. Get the
treat ready, Mom!"

And after a few rounds of "fetch," we played "tug-of-war." Sometimes I'd win, but mostly Paige did. And she seems to understand that when we play tug, she doesn't have to let go; but when I say "give," it's time to release the toy. She's very strong, and smart, too!

Paige and Mom play "tug-of-war."

We did some more stair-walking, and she really improved on letting me ascend and waiting for the "okay" to come up or down herself. This is very important to her service training so she doesn't bump against me and make me lose my balance, or trip me up.
"Colby may be Mom's grandson,
but he's my buddy!"

Our daughter Sarah, son-in-law Louie, and grandson Colby spent time with us Sunday and Monday while back in Vermont for the closing on their house here.

Paige enjoyed her time with Colby, let him play with her toys, and even sit on her bed.

"Colby can play with my toys and
sit on my bed because we're buds."

She is very tolerant of him, too, not even raising her head when he stepped on her tail once, and twice lost his balance and sat on her back. I just want to add here that, even though we trust Paige and she is well-behaved with Colby, we never leave her alone with him, and we're always watchful to make sure that all interactions between them are positive ones. And Colby is learning how to properly pet her with "gentle touches." (Way to go, Mama Sarah!) After they left, though, Paige was worn out!
After playing hard, Paige conks out
on the couch.

We also played with Paige's gobble ball and rope ball, played keep away, and practiced recall. All-in-all, it was a good week.

Thanks so much to Peggy Frezon and Koly for sponsoring this year's K9Kamp. Paige and I plan to continue the "Doggone Minute to Win It" challenge because that's the one I can do consistently, and appreciate all the other great ideas for exercises we can do together. We can't wait for next year's K9Kamp!

PhotobucketPeggy Frezon Book Tour

Thursday, June 7, 2012

K9Kamp Week 3: Doggone Minute to Win It...

What can you do in a minute...or two, or three, or five? Quite a bit, it turns out. This week's challenge was right up my alley: Use spare minutes to have some fun exercising with your dog.

After doctor appointments and extra trips to see my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson before they moved out of state, I was exhausted. The weather turned cooler, which was great; but the sunshine turned to rain, which aggravated my pain, so those random minutes were about all I could handle. Paige and I made them work for us, though, and in the process, had a lot of fun.
What? You want ME to
get the ball?

Friday, I played "fetch." That's right, "I," not "we." I would throw the ball, Paige would look at it, then look at me as if to say, "Go fetch it yourself." Apparently, she was tired from playing with Colby the day before. I tried several times throughout the day, but the most she could muster was a half-hearted attempt at tug-of-war later in the day.

It's right over there, Mom--
YOU fetch it this time!

Saturday was a different story. At various times throughout the day, we played tug-of-war with her plush rope softball toy, "fetch" with the same toy (and this time shd DID go get it) and incorporated "give" with it, and had a fun game of "keep away."

Sunday, rest.

Monday, Paige couldn't get enough of "Fetch." Finally, I had to sit down and just exercise my throwing arm!

Bathed, trimmed, and
pretty as a picture.

Tuesday, Paige had her first grooming appointment, and behaved very well. They said she loved being scrubbed when she had her bath, enjoyed the blow drying and brushing. The only thing she was a little nervous about was having her nails trimmed, but she allowed them to do it. She came home all soft, fluffy, and pleased with herself. I think she looks great, don't you? Thank you, Pampered Pets, for making Paige feel special!

Paige looks shiny and fluffy, especially
her tail, after a trip to the groomer.

Wednesday, we did some stair work, and Dad took her for two walks. We also played with her balls, again, and got in some recall practice.

Paige lovin' on Daddy
after their walk.

So, what can you do with a few odd minutes here and there? You can bond with your dog, have some fun, get some exercise, maybe lose some weight, and feel good knowing you're doing something good for yourself and your canine companion. 

Only one more week of K9Kamp. If you'd like to get in on the fun, just click on one of the badge links below. Paige and I can't wait to see what the next challenge is! And, if you're doing K9Kamp, leave a comment about how your week went in the comment section below.

Peggy Frezon Book Tour

Thursday, May 31, 2012

K9Kamp Week Two: Play with!...

Mindy never cared much for balls, so when we adopted Paige she inherited a fair number of them: tennis balls in various colors, hollow rubber balls that squeaked, a hard rubber ball that sounds like a turkey call when rolled or bounced (dubbed the "gobble" ball), balls on ropes, even a ball that looked like a relief map of the earth complete with blue oceans and green continents. Within a few minutes of being given each one, however, Paige had reduced most of them to unrecognizable shreds! She acted more like a puppy than a three-year-old dog. Never having had toys to play with, she didn't have a clue what to do but to chew!
Part of Paige's ball collection.
So, in addition to the three balls that survived (the gobble ball, a puzzle ball that holds treats, and a fuzzy, squeaky one that looks like an over-sized softball with a rope through it), we bought her a Kong ball (virtually indestructible) and a squeaky soccer ball.
Paige pauses to gobble a treat from
her puzzle ball.
Paige's favorite is the puzzle ball. Mindy never felt the amount of effort required was worth such a tiny reward, but Paige LOVES it! In no time, she had figured out how to roll the ball upside down to get the treats. She spends about twenty minutes rolling it all over the house, pausing to gobble its delicious contents (the liver-flavored treats are her favorites), before pawing the ball, or nosing it across the floor, and resuming the game. If it rolls under a table or chair, she will retrieve it and carry it in her mouth to her dog bed (home base), and the game begins again. We now use the puzzle ball twice a week as part of a meal.
Paige carries the puzzle ball
back to  her bed.
I was a little nervous about giving her the soccer ball because it's hollow, and I figured she'd have it demolished in no time. But she seems to have learned that if she wants to be able to keep playing with it, she has to leave it intact. She loves the loud squeak, chases after it, skidding to a halt (or into the wall or door, if inside), then bounds back proudly bearing her prize. 

Game called on account of rain?
No way!
Paige thinks the best part of the game is playing "Keep Away" when I try to retrieve the ball from her so I can throw it again, so I got a lot of exercise this week, too. When I say, "Paige, give," she will--but not until I actually have my hand on the ball. Until then, she'll bob and weave, duck and run, until she thinks I've had a good workout. Talk about a tough personal trainer!
Paige runs to score a goal!
In spite of a week filled with doctor appointments, thunderstorms, and farewell activities for our daughter Sarah and her family, who are moving out of state, Paige and I were able to do between ten to twenty minutes a day of ball play. By the end of the week another three pounds had vanished!

What do you like to do with your dog? Does she have a favorite toy? Does he love to exercise, or is he a couch potato? There's still lots of K9Kamp left, so why not join us--have some fun, shape up for summer, and enjoy special time with your furry best friend! For more information, just click a link below:

Kol's Notes

Peggy's Pet Place