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