Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter Blues

I'm trying to embrace my inner Elsa and convince myself the cold never bothered me anyway, but, y'all, I'm struggling.

It's been stupid cold lately and that's just getting me a little discouraged. We'd been on such a roll for the last six months and hitting every single goal we set. Now, we're back to square one and it just makes me a little bummed.

After seeing this, for 25 days . . .

. . . it's difficult to go back to seeing this.

I know that I should feel good about the fact that we've gotten out there and walked every single day despite the cold. Despite the fact that most of our walks have been less than a mile long, we're at 30 miles so far this year, which means we're averaging 2 miles a day. I know that's great considering Mother Nature's crankiness this month.

The crazy has entered our house, though. Barley has been getting into mischief like you wouldn't believe. The majority of the steps I've been getting with my Jawbone Up have been to go chase her away from the cat food (which she has to climb on the counter to eat) or away from the litter box or to see what non-existent snow monster she's barking at out the window.

One day, Barley went into her agility bag--which I usually leave near the front door since she never goes in it--and took out one bag of treats and started trotting towards her crate with it. I went and took it away. As soon as I sat down again, she went and got a second bag. I took it away. After she got a third bag, I decided she was clearly tell me she wanted to work.


I got down on the floor and we started a rousing game of It's Your Choice. We hadn't played for a while, so we kept it simple and didn't put more than a few treats on her paws at a time, but she was excited to be doing something and she stayed out of trouble for a few minutes after we finished. We've been working in as many indoor games, like nose works, as possible, but it's just not enough to wear her out and keep us both from getting bored.

The crazy has even taken over sleeping Barley.

Our walks have been very limited, too, which is contributing to the crazy. Nobody in our neighborhood--and I mean nobody--shovels their sidewalks, so we have to walk in the street if I don't want Barley's toes to be in the snow. Our apartment complex is in the middle of two busy roads, so that means we're limited to three different streets. It's getting old pretty quickly.

We're trying to find joy in these short little walks, but I can tell Barley's not looking forward to them as much as usual. We alternate sides of the road, so she gets to sniff different smells, but we're holding out hope that the weather reports that are calling for almost 40 degrees on Saturday are true so that we can get out of our neighborhood for a change!



We got to enjoy a nice sunset walk yesterday, so I'm hoping that glimmer of beauty amongst all the slushy street snow is a sign that we'll start finding joy on our walks again soon.



 What about you? How do you find enjoyment when your walking routine is limited?

(P.s. Don't forget to visit last week's post and let us know where you'd like to see the thank you donation's go!)

20 comments:

  1. We don't have to deal with snow, but we do have to deal with mud on our usual walking routes. When that happens, I just load them up in the car and drive a few minutes away to an area that is paved without much traffic so we can walk in peace...without mud!

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    1. We try to stick to the paved trails in rainy season, too! I'm glad you have some good places to avoid the mud :) Unfortunately, the paved areas without much traffic aren't plowed, so we're stuck with the same problems we've got with the sidewalks in our neighborhoods. Hopefully Mother Nature takes pity on us soon!

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  2. We love walking in the snow and in the cold. Maybe you need to go to a place where there are trails to walk? If you walk at a good pace, you will stay plenty warm, my mom does. My guess is Barley senses you don't want to walk, so neither does he then. Make it fun, maybe jog, walk, have Barley sit and stay, you run ahead and then call come to make it more fun. Winter walking is partially a mindset thing. If you want to love it, you can :)

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    1. We actually love walking in the cold, too. Barley loves romping in the snow, which makes it fun for me to walk with her. Unfortunately, with this really bitter cold we've had all month, we can only be out for about 10 minutes at a time before she starts having trouble with her feet (I wish she'd tolerate boots!). The trails in our parks aren't shoveled in the winter, so we have to wade through a foot or more of snow right now to walk on trails--which is a great work out, but also not one we can keep up for very long :) We're hoping that the warmer weekend weathers help us out with that because it would be nice to get even just one walk with different scenery!

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    3. Have you given Pawz a try? These are the only boots our dogs will use and they really help in the bitter cold!

      I hope the weather warms up a bit so you both can enjoy your walks a bit more!

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    4. We haven't given them a try yet. She'll tolerate me messing with her feet, but only if I tackle her first and then I've got about 30 seconds before she squirms away. I've heard great things about them, though, so I might have to pick some up and see if we can get them on. We got in two nice 2+ mile walks today, though, so we're feeling much better about life :)

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  3. It can be a little tricky getting rid of pent-up energy when mother nature lets it pour & snow ~ thankfully, our pups don't mind wearing boots and have a blast racing around in the snow. Maybe you could bring some of Barley's food outside with you, or a favorite toy, and bury it in the snow, then let her dig it out! Repeat, repeat, repeat if she takes to it :-)

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    1. She does love romping in the yard with her toys. I've just been bad and haven't gotten her out there in it as much as I probably should have. It takes longer to bundle up to go outside than we can actually be out there to play, so I've just settled for tossing toys around inside. I'll have to start motivating myself to go out in the yard so we can play a little fetch, too.

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  4. I am really hating winter this year. It has just been so darn cold and the snow and road conditions have been awful. I just can't talk myself into getting out there, and I really, really miss our walks. We have at least been getting out in the yard playing some, which is better than nothing, but we need more. I just need it to be at least 20 degrees, that's not asking that much is it? :)
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. I'm glad I'm not alone! I've been good at getting us out for at least little walks, but not very good at getting us out in the yard to play. Since I have to take her out on the long lead to play, I have to be out in the snow, too, so it's easier to motivate myself to walk since at least I'm moving around a little more. 20 degrees would be beautiful (I never thought this Georgia girl would say that!!), wouldn't it? We finally got into the high 30s today--hope you've gotten a little bit of a break this weekend, too!

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  5. Oh geez, hope you have some good weather this weekend. We're pretty lucky in Atlanta that we don't have too much bad weather. But if it's cold or rainy for a few days we spend a lot of time running around the house or doing tricks indoors. And, we'll pull out some of our Fit Paws balancing equipment too.

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    1. We've been working with our balance board and nose works, too! I think we just both got so used to walking at least 3 miles a day for the last several months that we're having trouble adjusting to other types of exercise. We're trying to decide which trick we want to work on training next to switch things up a little bit :)

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  6. Dog play dates (one of our neighbors has a Coton that Mr. N plays with), work on the FitBone, and various tricks. And Mr. N goes with me to run errands and hang out with friends.

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    1. I love that Mr. N gets to run errands with you! We don't have too many dog-friendly places for Barley to run errands with me, but occasionally I'll let her ride along to grab Chinese or pizza since she only has to be in the car for about a minute by herself.

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  7. We are supposed to have some very warm weather this weekend, but they are predicting a wet spring. It'll be fun to see how much riding/walking we can get in.

    Monty and Harlow

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    1. We got some warmer weather this weekend, too! Today was so refreshing to be able to go to the other half of our neighborhood that's been inaccessible without the sidewalks.

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  8. Aw hang in there!!! It will be spring before we know it! (Right?! That's what I keep telling myself...)

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    1. We would like the weather we had when you and Mad Dog were here for Thanksgiving to come back. A little bit of snow on the ground for romping in, but relatively clear sidewalks and not face-freezing temperatures :)

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  9. I'm struggling this winter. It's been super cold and now it's super icy and I just don't want to go out there! I can't wait for flip flop weather again!

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