Beyond the Dog Kansas City Dog Training and Behavior Solutions

Bringing Spunky Back

I have to admit it. I wish I could say I was one of those people who gave my dogs heavy exercise each and everyday. Let’s face it I have two pretty low energy dogs and I should be able to do that. Frankly, we used to and then life happened. As my 11-year-old gimps around and flashes those big brown eyes I realized I needed to do much much more and I’ve made a big effort this past year. Her life has changed tremendously in the past few years as both our business and family expanded and I realized I needed to commit more time to her.  

I kept up my end of the deal throughout the winter. We’d go for strolls across the street or a quick hike. Then spring hit. We had massive outdoor renovations. It all seemed too much for a working mother of a toddler. There was no way to fit everything in. It seemed like we’d been extraordinarily busy spring and early summer…just like everyone else. As the temperature warmed up, I started getting a little concerned. She appeared sad, warn out, and just done with life. She was constantly wanting inside when she was out with us. “Her” pool was under construction so she couldn’t swim. Who could blame her? She was a Newfoundland living in Missouri and it was June! I assumed it was her age and the heat and I began realizing that I should prepare myself. This was likely her last summer. Again, I recommitted to making this the best summer of her life. What that meant was swimming in the nearby lake as much as possible. I made a promise to her that she would go a minimum of 3 days a week. 

The first trip to the lake was, well interesting. Let’s just say, I thought I was going to have to kick my nearly 2-year-old son out of the stroller and push her home instead! The next trip was much different. Her stamina increased almost overnight. She was swimming, and making the walk back home, with ease. Well, at least the swimming part. What was more shocking is that her whole demeanor had changed. My old girl was now acting like a puppy. Every time I started out the front door she would bound up to check if we’re going for our swim. The once old and tired look has been transformed into and ever ready, ever excited spunk. With the feedback I was receiving from her, I was definitely able to keep up my end of the bargain. My first baby and best friend had once again taught me a few great lessons: 1) you’re never too busy to change someone’s life, 2) it’s not really about wearing someone out, it’s about giving them a burst of active happiness, and 3) you’re never too old to get your spunk back. 

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