What About Us? Let's Start With . . .

1993 Was A Good Year

I have had a dog in my life pretty much forever. I started running with my dogs in 1993 shortly after we bought our first home. We bought a Yellow Lab, Colby, and one year later a Chocolate Lab, Javah. They were truly amazing family pets. Following our labs came our current dog, Moxy. She is the fawn coloured German Shepherd you will see in a lot of my photos. We brought her into our family on Mother's Day 2008.

I made a commitment to look after my dogs' health.

Because they are all breeds that love to run it was a great fit as I had been running for years. Whether it was the streets and trails of Barrie or the campgrounds where we camped, I made sure they got their exercise. At the time I did it just because I felt they needed exercise. As the years passed and I learned more about dogs I discovered there was more to it, way more! I guess this was the beginning of my "dog walking" days in Barrie!

A Slice of Lemon!

Colby was our first dog and man was she amazing. She was simply the sweetest dog we knew. Smart and even tempered, she was perfect. Javah on the other hand was forever the puppy. We found out from other Chocolate Lab owners that this particular breed can be a little whacky. In our case it was true. Even when she was in her last year we would tell people she was 12 years old, going on 6 months! She just wanted to play, all the time. Loved her spirit. So Colby was like the older, mature sister to Javah. The only problem with Colby was . . .

. . . she was a lemon. What do I mean by a lemon? The short story is we got her from an backyard breeder and she was not a registered purebred. Unfortunately, she had many health issues throughout her time with us.

But one particular issue brought to light how important proper exercise is.

When she was about six months old we had to have her X-rayed for a problem she was having. As it turns out the X-ray also showed she had hip dysplasia. And bad. Our vet, who was also a friend of ours, felt she may only have a couple of years of quality life before her hips got too bad. Cripes, the poor girl!

This Is The End, But Hold On A Minute!

Well now what do we do? Our Vet recommended regular, moderate exercise and a good diet. I followed it to a tee. But I also let Colby tell me how she was feeling through her body language. If she felt like a harder run we ran harder and longer. So her life was one of proper exercise and diet. This kept her weight in check and kept the muscles around her hips very strong.

So we were prepared knowing that eventually it would come time for her to cross Rainbow Bridge. And it happened . . . 

. . . thirteen years later! That’s right, eleven more years than we expected!

You might say that convinced me that diet and exercise work wonders. And what’s more, she showed no signs of her hips bothering her until maybe her 12th or 13th year. In fact her hips were not the reason why we had to let her go.

So What Now?

To quote Howard Thurman . . . "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

This has been right under my nose and I have missed it. So would a dog walking service do the trick for me? No. How about doggie daycare? Nope. A dog boarding kennel? Not yet. Why? Simply put, I love to run with dogs.

Not Enough For Ya? I Agree

OK, so real quick here is a little more I have to offer. I am a long time dog owner. All three of my dogs took obedience training. In all cases my dogs and I were used to demonstrate for the class. My instincts for training and reading dogs is good.

It was when we brought Moxy into our family that I rose to the next level. Through our breeder, Alana, owner of Raylex German Shepherds, Moxy and I passed Advanced Training. In fact, I ran a couple of classes that Alana was unable to attend. Her clients were quite happy with my abilities . . . Whew!

Who's The Top Dog?

Because I will be mostly running with a pack there is one thing I must have or my pet service business won't work. Yes, enough water for everyone will be required but more than anything I need to . . .

. . . be the Pack Leader. The Alpha Dog . . . the Big Kahuna . . . the Pied Piper.
So why do I feel I have what it takes? Please indulge me in one last short story.

One winter day we were at Alana's place in the country. I took Moxy and four other shepherds for a walk through the trails. Sure they followed me and stuck close but part way through three of them "had a disagreement". They were slightly ahead of me and were really starting to get into it. I did what came naturally and gave a quick firm "hey!" and they stopped . . .  immediately.

Upon arriving back at the house she asked me if the dogs were fighting (she could hear them from her place). Although happy that I was able to stop it, she was also quite surprised that I could get three hundred pounds of angry shepherds to listen. You see although the dogs knew me, I was not their usual pack leader and this was the first time I had taken them for a walk.

So there you have it. I will work hard to succeed because this is my business. I have a love for dogs and running. I have the instinct to read dogs and become their pack leader. I want to share this with your best friend. But mostly . . .

. . . "this is what makes me come alive!"

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Sweaty Dog Fitness Company 2 Vansittart Court Barrie On Canada L4N 7C6