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Winter Support Group

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  • Winter Support Group

    The riders have one; we need one! I know I’m not the only one shortening walks because it’s dark, cold, nose is running, taking off slippery gloves to open poop bags is painful; and the couch, blanket, and breathing heat pad are way more comforting.

    Our formerly ‘short walk’ (30min) has, for the past couple of weeks, become the normal walk. Walking in the dark, especially with a black dog -leashed or not- is dangerous. Dressing up like Inspector Gadget is discouraging plus a waste of precious daylight: reflective belt, flashlight to find poop, glow in the dark sticks for black dog, gloves, tissues because my nose is like a faucet, brightly colored jacket, possible coat for old dog. Hassle.

    The boys haven’t been off leash in weeks because by the time I drive to where that is do-able, it is realllly dark in the woods where the trails are. Not safe for me.

    Lots of cons. Let’s hear the pros. Let’s motivate one another! I really need it. Since my ear, sinus, and strep trifecta of ick Election week, I haven’t truly exercised them (or me). A couple days this week, I wind up napping then going to bed instead of washing dishes, training dogs, grooming, etc.

    I'll start. I promise to walk 30mins (the 'short walk') PLUS train weaves tonight. Not promising on the dishes .

  • #2
    I'm with you. It's dark when I get home, plus been bitter cold. The dogs, who are used to LOTS of exercise, are going a little nuts. I did buy some Nite Ize products for our walks in the dark, but I hear you about coming home exhausted from work in the cold & dark and going to bed.

    So. What's helping me & them when I can't do the big things we used to do outside is do little things inside that get their minds working. I still let them get a little blow out in the fenced backyard, but I don't leave them alone out there. The 4th side of the fence is only 4 feet high - it won't keep them in. Anyway. For one I do clicker trick training. He loves it. He can bow, spin in a circle, speak, fetch, etc. For the others we learned how to sit up, how to "Find" hidden toys & treats, and other mind games & tricks that give them attention & movement. Not the same as a 5K trot with me on the bicycle that they're used to, but it gets us through.


    • Original Poster


      The day I posted this thread, I walked em for 30min plus balance work AND I cleaned those dishes.

      They got a different 30+min walk twice since then. That's it. We worked on tricks once and balance work once. I could have walked em plenty over the weekend but I didn't . We napped instead.

      The work week is a more consistent schedule which keeps me on track.


      • #4
        We don't have a yard since we moved to VA a few weeks ago, so the walks aren't optional anymore. I've even gotten to use my rain gear a few times which I normally use just once a year at Rolex! LOL It hasn't been too cold here yet.

        Since I'm not working, there's not reason I can't do a good walk each day if I'm home but I'm interviewing a dog walker tonight so I can be gone during the day if I need to be. (my older dog can't go more than about 2 hours without having an accident right now.)

        I'll have to look into doing some clicker training too. That might be fun!
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


        • #5
          Winter, what winter?

          It was 79 here yesterday, probably for the next week or two.
          Have been working in our short sleeved shirts.
          On the other hand, I went to feed horses at 7:15 and it was still dark, had to use a flashlight.
          It also gets dark very fast, that I grant you.

          Still, I say, where is winter?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            Winter, what winter?

            It was 79 here yesterday, probably for the next week or two.
            Have been working in our short sleeved shirts.
            On the other hand, I went to feed horses at 7:15 and it was still dark, had to use a flashlight.
            It also gets dark very fast, that I grant you.

            Still, I say, where is winter?
            Hush, woman!
            Talk like that will get you a snow load like the infamous Blizzard of 93!

            Not that you would mind the precipitation, I am sure, but pancaked barns are not so nice.


            • #7
              I like winter. Dog, who swoons and languishes all summer from heat and humidity, is fresh as a daisy all winter. Crisp air, clear nights, no insects - what's not to love? And the worse the weather, the more you have all those lovely parks to yourself.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                And the worse the weather, the more you have all those lovely parks to yourself.
                I thought this would be a perk. Instead, I'm finding more dog owners out while I'm out. I guess we are all cramming our walks into the same last ray of daylight.

                Yesterday I walked a new route for 35 - 40mins. It was good for the pups -and me- to change the routine by walking somewhere different. Then we shaped balance work for a few minutes each.


                • Original Poster

                  Leaving work to go home soon. I really just want to kick off my shoes and veg before agility class. This class is dog-less so I must thoroughly exercise the pup. That "must" and -belief the task is impossible- is probably what is demotivating me.