Monday, November 8, 2010

Doggies keeping each other fit

Before we got Barbie, Bender had started getting a little hefty. The heaviest I weighed him at was 27kg. His ribs were nowhere to be seen though you could feel them if you poked him hard enough. Noone noticed the extra weight, because the majority of dogs in Australia are overweight. Given how hard he is on his joints though, particularly his wrists, I wanted him to be as lean as possible.

Then Barbie came along. If anything Bender is getting more food than before because they both get a lot of treats, treat to go out in the morning, treat to go to bed with at night, and training treats. When Barbie arrived she weighted about 24kgs (I can't remember exactly)

They both recently went to the vet for their annual vaccinations. Bender now weighs 22kgs. We noticed he had thinned out around the middle though his shoulders and thighs are starting to resemble greyhound proportions. When the vet examined him he said 'wow, he's really fit'. I will get some extra weight on him soon before he goes to the kennels in January because he seems to shed fat there too. I don't want him getting much thinner. Being at a lighter weight, and getting daily glucosamine supplements, have meant that he no longer pulls up lame in the front end after a running session at the beach/river/park. He is 5 years old next March and he is still the fastest dog at the park (except for Barbie).

Barbie weighs 25.8kgs. Most of that weight gain has been muscle, and she had lost weight after being spayed when we got her. She is leaner than the majority of adopted greyhounds that I have met.

Even though our yard is small, the dogs chase each other around for stints during the day. They get to run off leash a couple of times a week, and get walked every other day for at least half an hour. On the weekends if they are lucky they get to go out on individual outings.

Yesterday I went to take Barbie out first. I took my keys, and walked down the driveway to my car, and realised that the rear right hand tyre was dead flat. My car is a fourby with big fat tyres, fitted out for off roading. It is very noticable when one of the tyres is flat! I took Barbie back down the driveway, and attempted to go inside to swap keys so I could take N's car. Barbie refused to enter the house! She thought I was going to con her somehow. I pushed her in from behind, and swapped keys. She was very happy to be led out again and jump into N's car with a tiny piece of Schmacko as a lure. We were going to a street festival down the road and I wanted to know how she would deal with crowds of people. I didn't account for the drumming troupe and the brass band though. She dealt with the multiple popping balloons well. She reacted but recovered quickly. When the drummers started up though, she retreated to what she thought was a safe distance. This meant that I couldn't sit at the table with my mates! She also refused to lie down at the cafe. I am not sure if it was a fear of being stepped on or the uncomfortable nature of the paving. After we had been there for over an hour, we left. She jumped into Nic's car without a treat lure being thrown in first. A lot of people randomly patted her. She didn't know they were there before they touched her most of the time. She dealt with this very well. Bender doesn't get that kind of attention. I think it's because people are a bit more wary of him with his big fat head and excitable ways.

She was exhausted and slept. I thought about changing the tyre on my car but decided to take Bender to the river instead. I threw his ball for him for an hour or so and then went back home.

Took longer than anticipated to change the tyre as I had to jack the car and the axle up to get the wheel up high enough to swap. The spare was also a little flat so I had to pull out my little battery operated pump. It took about 20 minutes to get it up to reasonable pressure but it's all good now. The tyre was flat because it was pierced by a carpentry type screw. I think I ran over it when I was coming back from Barbie's second last CGC class. I need to find some time to go to a tyre place and find out if it's worth plugging or if I need to get a new spare. They are expensive tyres so I think if I need to replace it, I'll be looking at something second hand.
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