I hope this article finds you enjoying the beginning of this new year! January brings so many beginnings, not just a new year, but New Year’s resolutions as well. Some personal, some professional and then some just for fun!
Lately, I have been thinking about the fun resolutions — what it is I would enjoy, not what I feel I need to do. My idea of fun is walking through the snow in the woods, enjoying the fresh air and watching the dogs be dogs. Sniffing, chasing, marking, digging, what ever natural behaviors they choose as no leashes are ever used here!
On our early morning walk today along the snowmobile trail with my 4 dogs, I realized my old girl Annie, who just crossed her thirteenth birthday had decided to wander off the trail into 8 inches of soft snow and was having difficulty backing up. As I headed her way she gave a big wag of her tail and managed to get herself back on the trail. She must have either been thrilled to be free or simply didn’t want the others to get too far ahead because she lunged and actually ran several strides along the trail. With an open mouth soft body wags, she was one happy girl to be included on this adventure. While it is true an older dog can not always join in the fun, I can tell when Annie is at the door waiting and bouncing with the others she is ready to go. Other times, she does not get out of her cozy bed which tells me she is taking a pass.
So, my New Year’s resolution is to spend more time and attention to my oldest and most loyal girl. While I believe these winter walks are certainly life enrichment, I also believe there are several classes an older dog would enjoy! Even a dog over 10 years of age can enjoy the following:
- Nose Work
- Control Unleashed
- Loose Leash Walking (star of the class:)
If you have an older dog, I hope you have time in your busy life to add some life enrichment activities for him or her! I believe you will find it both relaxing and rewarding.