Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowy Days, What's A Dog To Do?

We are having a snow storm. About 10 inches has fallen, another 5 to 10 coming our way. What to do with a young dog on days like today? Borzoi Melissa is 16 months old, she is not content to lie on the couch for most of the day. She needs to be monitored around the house as she is still curious and learning what are appropriate play objects and what are not. She needs to be kept well exercised, both physically and mentally.

Melissa gets lots of physical exercise. She has lots of opportunities to run in fenced areas and play with other dogs.

We play come when called games.

We play fetch.

She searches for food I have hidden under the snow.

She encourages Puff to play in her games.

She runs until she is tired, she is continuing to build muscle and stamina.

It is a mere 18 degrees out there. I bundle up but do get cold, I have yet to find the perfect pair of gloves to keep my fingers from getting cold after an hour in the snow. A few hours outdoors with me, so what is Melissa to do with the rest of her winter days? She could stay outdoors, I could put a heater in the cottage for her. But I prefer her to be indoors with the family and the other dogs. To me, the reason to have a dog is to interact with them, to have them close by, to enjoy their company.

So what about activities to keep Melissa occupied while she is indoors? I already rotate interactive toys. Some of Melissa's favorites: I have a list of tricks I would like to teach Melissa. I will engage her mind; mental exercise. She will learn how to use her nose, her paws, and learn body awareness to perform specific skills. I will discover new ways to keep her motivated to stay in the game with me. Follow along in the weeks and months to come as Melissa and I learn together.

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