Monday, November 25, 2013

Wanna get in shape this winter? Adopt a dog.

Lookin' sharp in his new winter coat.
And not just any dog. But a dog with an energy level high enough that skipping a walk or a play session will result in a thundering tornado of energy running through your house with no regard for what (or who) is in his path. Because nothing is a better "get your ass off the couch" motivator than knowing that your winter laziness could result in a dog head-shaped hole in your drywall.

Although that wasn't our reason for adopting a second dog, I am now keenly aware that Gomez is going to help me keep off that winter hibernation weight. Asha loves to play and go for walks, but she's also a total enabler. If she could talk, I bet we would have had this conversation several times last winter:

Asha: You could take me for a walk or we could play with toys. OR... tonight we could just snuggle and watch a movie film. It's cold outside!
Laura: It is cold outside. You've got a good point. And you like snuggling, so it's not like you're being deprived if we don't brave the winter weather.
Asha: I don't even care that you're getting fatter. It's fine!

Based on his energy level, I am guessing a conversation with Gomez would go more like this:

Gomez: You could take me for a walk or we could play with toys. OR... I could just repeatedly launch my 60 pound dog body across the room onto the couch over and over for the rest of the evening. Or if that won't work for you, I'll knock everything off your nightstand then occupy myself by vigorously chewing up those expensive wrist guards your doctor gave you for your carpal tunnel that you're still paying off. Or I could push the stove around the kitchen floor with my giant noggin for a bit. You might want to disconnect the gas line first, but that's your call. It's cold outside!
Laura: It is cold outside. Um, let me get your leash.
Gomez: Probably a good call.

I don't particularly like to exercise. It's not that I'm lazy, but if I'm going to put that kind of sweat equity into something, I want tangible results. Yes, I know you can make the case all day long that by going to the gym I would get tangible results - more energy, a more toned physique, etc. But if this line of reasoning worked with me I'd have a gym membership already. But I'd do just about anything for my dogs, so being forced to up my physical activity level for the sake of a sweet-but-hyper knucklehead is just the work out push I need.

Of course, Gomez hasn't even been in our house for a month yet, so I know he'll start to settle down a bit and get the hang of things. But even so, his energy level ain't no joke, and if he's going to live peacefully with us, there's no slacking allowed exercise-wise. I've already read the Whole Dog Journal article, "Training a Hyperactive Dog to Calm Down" twice and plan to use it as my go-to source with this guy. Anybody have any interesting suggestions for ways to exercise (physically AND mentally) their high energy dogs in the winter?

Oh, and for those of you who might be in the market for a good dog coat, I highly recommend a Richards Harness Coat. That's what Gomez is modeling in the picture above. I bought one for Asha last winter and was really pleased with it. These coats are easy to put on, have no "sleeves" which always create a hassle and they're a perfect length so leg lifting boys won't pee on 'em. As an added bonus, they're designed with a built in harness for easy walking. Just put on the coat, clip on the leash and go. They sell them at Community Pet Supplies in Royal Oak and will gladly fit your pup for a coat, so stop in and see them!


Courtney said...

I came across your blog post after Your Pit Bull and You shared a link via their Facebook page.

You might want to check out the archives of Love and a Six Foot Leash ( The blog owner talks about giving her boys frozen Kongs for all their meals - it tires them out mentally, so they're less likely to get into trouble.

Good luck with Gomez!

(Laura) said...

Thank you, @Courtney! I am a big fan of Love and a Six Foot Leash and an even bigger fan of the "frozen Kong feeding system." Though I DID feel a little guilty giving my pups frozen Kong breakfasts today seeing as it was about one degree outside at the time (they were in the warm comfort of their crates, but STILL!). :)