Barley's favorite season is winter, but I think fall comes in at a close second. By the time fall hits, we're desperate for it. Summer is always nice with our usual two-walks-a-day routine and the freedom to go on adventures, but often our walks our neighborhood walks since they have to be squeezed in quickly during the cooler morning and evening hours--and those can lose their excitement quickly.
Fall makes the world seem new again. The tourists have left the beach that we haven't visited all summer, so we get to see the little reminders of them that have been left behind. Summer storms have changed the shape of the beach and washed up new things onto the beach. Often, they help us add in a little more variety to our walks.
|Someone made a stool out of a stump and a slab that's a great perch for a dog.|
|This tree is a good balance beam.|
Adding in balance activities to our walks helps keep Barley even more fit and helps get her ready for agility class each week. Dog walks are expensive--and way too big for an apartment--so we love that we can use nature to still incorporate exercises that otherwise we'd only get to see once a week in class.
We've also been sure to incorporate lots of stretching into our walks as well. Barley loves to turn and twirl to stretch out her back, but we also make sure to do some paws up and bow to work even more muscle groups. (Plus, they make for really cute pictures at the lake.)
In addition to adding in various balance and strength activities to our walks, we're also sure to add in some mental exercise. Last week, you got to see a lot of our sit-stay and focus work with the fun scarecrows at the arboretum. We usually don't have that level of distraction, but we do try to work those elements into as many walks as possible.
Our sweet little town has helped us out with distractions this week with the GhoulFest scarecrows. Most of them are too close to the edge of the sidewalk to get good pictures of without risking being run over, but there are a few that we can practice with.
|"Shouldn't this guy have a snack for me in that apron?"|
|"I'm your little angel, right?"|
We've been working on adding in more intensity with our Couch to 5k training, which has had to be adjusted a bit--but that's another story for another day. Even with our struggles, though, it's paying off. Our agility trainer commented on how trim Barley's looking during our class this week.
We got in 24.8 miles this week and our goal for the year is looking unbelievably close as we're now at 930.22 miles for the year.
We had a great time participating in Dog Walking Week. Day 3 was our biggest struggle because of a cold, rainy day, but we managed to get a short walk up to the dumpster twice that day--definitely not our normal definition of a "walk," but it did get us out of the house a couple times and after getting 5 mile days on Day 2, Day 4, and Day 5, our short "walk" was a nice rest day. Hope everyone else had a successful Dog Walking Week and is enjoying lots of fall fun.