July 28th, 2015
Raising a Newfoundland puppy comes with an unexpected benefit as we have discovered this past week. The bathroom scale indicated that there was “less” of us. Why? Our family has its own personal trainer to help us stay fit. After a long cold winter, the four of us had managed to put on an extra layer (or two) of padding. We needed a push (or pull in Bailey’s case) to get back into better shape. Bailey came to our rescue. Poor weather does not discourage her like the rest of us. The colder, windier and wetter that the outside is, the more enjoyable Bailey finds it – only thunder seems to make her scramble for the house. Our family is adapting to Bailey’s exercise program of low impact activity several times throughout the day. She will not accept any excuses to not go outside and get daily exercise. Bailey also prefers that the entire family participate in these outside jaunts. It does not always happen. When it does, I swear she is downright gleeful to have two members in front of her and two of us flanking her sides. I guess she really has become the centre of our world.
Once she has motivated us to go outside, Bailey sets the pace for “the walk”. We sometimes have a longer warm up period before “the walk” begins. While we stand waiting for her, Bailey will tend to her business needs. She just has to find that perfect spot. It mystifies us why she takes even longer in a downpour. One only wants to scream, “Bailey, just do it!” Unfortunately, Bailey is not one to be rushed under such circumstances. We are trained enough to know when “the walk” can start. Where our walk takes place varies depending on the time available, weather, presence of black flies and Bailey. Afternoon strolls usually involve Bailey getting wet in the lake as a means of cooling off. Often, one or more family members can be enticed to go in with her for a little extra water work.
Bailey always makes sure that we have plenty of opportunities to work more than one muscle group on these walks. Our town is built on a hillside. Hence, our legs naturally get a workout from going up and down the streets, parks and trails. From picking up her waste to wrestling contraband items from her mouth as she pulls away, Bailey makes sure that our abs are put through their paces. All of us are sporting leaner, more muscular arms due in part to maintaining control of Bailey. Control is important when she attempts to lunge towards other dogs and those people who seem to be her favourite ones. Thankfully, these moments are becoming less frequent as Bailey moves toward maturity and progresses with her training. Our walks also include a couple breaks so we can throw sticks for Bailey to retrieve. Everyone enjoys these interludes.
The weight has come off us at a slow, steady pace. It is not the huge amounts that the latest diets promise. However, the Bailey regimen is a healthy method. As each day passes, we become fitter and stronger as does Bailey – our fitness trainer.
P.S. At 26 weeks, Bailey is now 34.75 kg or 76 pounds 6 ounces.