Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Hounds still Abound

Sometimes it takes awhile for an old dog to learn a new trick. In this case I am not speaking of HoneyDew but of myself.

Honeydew will be 9 years old this fall. She has never been what one would call a speed demon. I think that you have heard me refer to her gait as schnufflin. Something between sniffing and shuffling, you get the picture. In any case she really is at the point where she lallygags, no hurry at all, unless a piece of food is dropped, a stranger is approaching to whom she would like to be introduced, or some type of new smell has her on the trail.

Sampson on the other hand is more of the lets go hurry up, lets see what is around the next bend,  "Are you coming mom? Huh? Huh? What's taking so long!" variety.

Now the other dilemma. My time (especially in the summer) is very limited, so I like to multi-task. And I really need to shed a few pounds...ok, a lot of pounds. I love walking the dogs and up until now never would think of not taking both the dogs at the same time as well as get my exercise in. I wouldn't want to play favorites, or leave one out plus I want to spend as much time with both of them as I can.

This year especially with the hotter then normal weather, and everything else going on (another post, another time), our outings have not been very enjoyable, and really I think quite frustrating for us all, (unless the walk has been an off lead walk then everyone is happy!).

This week I finally hit upon a solution which seemed like quite a revelation to me but you all probably have already figured out the obvious (hence the old dog comment). I really want to just relax and enjoy my time with my hounds. It finally came to me that I should appreciate the uniqueness of both dogs' character while getting my need for exercise towards a goal of weight loss met.

I decided to give each dog their own time with me, and utilize their style. So first Sampson and I go for a power walk in our neighborhood, talking and stopping for pats and rewards, with Sampson getting my undivided attention. Then I bring him back to the house and Honey Dew and I set off in the opposite direction, but at a slower pace which is my cool down. As she schnuffles along I do lunges, yoga poses, or stretches. I don't rush her, she enjoys herself sniffing every step along the way and again, talking to her the whole time, stopping for scratches behind her ears, with lots of petting and praises.

They love it! They are satisfied, happy and relaxed. And so am I. I love the power walks with my energy dog as well as my cool down with HoneyDew savoring the scents along the way.

I even had a chuckle as the first night we tried this my husband was not aware of what I had come up with and he had come home to find HoneyDew home alone, Sampson and I gone. He went to take a shower and in the mean time I had come home and switched dogs. He came downstairs and found Sampson waiting for him but not me and now HoneyDew was gone! He was confused because he thought he had mistaken which dog was there when he came home, and what in the world was going on? Too funny!

Of course we will still do the majority of activities all together, but I think we will make this a priority everyday. I will keep you posted as I hit some goal markers on my journey of health and wellness.


  1. This worked VERY well for us when Fred - our first basset - reached a senior state. The JRT and I still were racewalking several miles most days, and the old dude just wanted to plod, sniff, mark, stare, and then amble back home. I generally used the old guy walk as my cool-down.

  2. Nice to see you blogging again ;-) Looks like you have come up with a workable system and I cheer you on! Enjoy!!