Oh, Summer

Oh, summer. Between the awful heat wave, being on vacation, covering other people’s vacations, Squash’s PT and chiropractic appointments, and all the usual business of ordinary day to day life, we’ve barely done any scootering for several weeks. It’s becoming usual for us to have a summer slowdown, but this morning I woke up to a beautiful, cool day off with no rain, no appointments in sight and so I threw some dogs and a scooter in the car.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. The dogs have been doing their home exercises and, in Squash’s case, working the underwater treadmill, getting acupuncture treatments and been to the chiropractor. So on one hand I thought they might burst out of the gate with a renewed zest and purpose. On the other hand… during the worst of the heat wave we were all flopping around a lot like overcooked fettucini, and it’s always hard to get back on that exercise wagon so maybe they would be a little sluggish. I decided to keep the run short and take a nice long break; that way, either we would end up stopping while we were ahead or the miserable agony and frustration wouldn’t last TOO long.

It was kind of a mixed bag. They were clearly excited and glad to be out, but a little disjointed and not exactly the epitome of well-oiled machinery. It took them a while to get their groove back and their attention and effort waxed and waned a little bit (even Maisy!!). In short, it was a bit like like we were all out of practice.

It was really a good lesson for me that even when stuff like the weather and our schedule is uncooperative for scootering, canicross, or long walks I really should get out and work with them in harness every day even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. After all, a typical single city block gives us a dozen opportunities to practice ON BY.

Having said all of that, the new tug arrangement continues to work well. Snug Squash tug:

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We practiced some stretches at our water/snack/rest break. Ever since learning to do his stretch on the stool at home he likes to get up and stretch on ALL the things, but Maisy decided to improvise a little bit:

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After rediscovering the timer on my camera, I was trying to take some pictures of us together. But Maisy hates the camera so much she usually looks miserable.

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Don’t be sad for Pip, Pip fans: He got to get out and enjoy the nice weather today, too:

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This nice weather is supposed to hold for awhile, so I was hoping to get out on the scooter more this weekend… then I realized Squash has a rally trial this weekend. OH, SUMMER.

ALSO, before I leave you today, I would like to give a shout out to Alpine Outfitters, who made the Mush Puppies’ x-back harnesses. Squash’s chiropractor mentioned that a lot of dogs who pull (whether mushing, weight pulling, or carting) have some tightness and compression in their upper back behind the withers/shoulders, but he was really nice and loose there. She attributed it to his harness and how well it keeps the weight distributed to his chest instead of putting stress on his back (which is the job of a well-fitted x-back). They are very nice and helpful to measuring-challenged mushbabies, and I really don’t have enough good things to say about them. So there’s that.

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