Sunday, September 19, 2010

Getting in Shape 2 OR Taking in your daughter's 100 pound Chocolate Lab

When Deanie moved NINE hours away, she needed us to take her dog for a bit--just until she finds a place with a yard. Um...right.  The dog, Becks, IS very sweet and he really does try to please.  As soon as he understands what you want him to do, he will do it.  However, one would have thought that, after seeing the movie MARLEY AND ME, I would have thought better about taking the dog in.  It is going to take a bit of time to adjust to having a big dog in the house.  Becks is very different from Tucker and not just because he weighs 93 pounds to Tucker's 9 pounds.  Everything is different.  Tucker is a quiet little dog who follows me around the house and in the yard disturbing nothing in his path.  Becks is a loud, large dog who follows me around the house and in the yard not only demolishing everything in his path but everything within tail's reach as well.  And, speaking of tails, Tucker's little tail is about three inches long and swishes back and forth like the wings on a bee.  Becks' tail is about 12 inches long and leaves red whelps and bruises on everyone's legs and destroys perfectly innocent objects sitting on end tables.  When Tucker runs towards me with a frisbee or ball, I bend down to greet him.  When Becks lumbers towards me at the speed of light, I cringe, hoping beyond hope that he will be able to stop before taking me out.  Tucker goes to his water bowl a few times a day and has a refreshing drink of water.  Becks goes to his water bucket about one hundred times a day and leaves puddles from the bucket all the way to his destination which is usually followed by a return trip to the water bucket.  When Tucker sees someone outside or hears a noise, he perks up his ears and, after assessing the situation, will either leave it alone or give a little "ruff."  Becks, as soon as he THINKS he sees or hears something, immediately jumps us and lets out a bark that rattles windows, simultaneously startling me and taking a year off my life (seriously, how many of these sudden scares can a 52 year old heart take before the next sound is the four horsemen coming to take me away?).  Tucker plays with his stuffed toys every once in awhile and, at the end of the day, I pick them up and put them back in his toy box.  Becks plays with Tucker's stuffed toys every day and, several times a day, I pick up what's left, including the tuft that's all over the floor, and put it all in the garbage.  Tucker loves to play with his squeak ball.  He loves to chase it, squeak it a few times, play keep away with me, and then give it up for me to throw it again.  Becks loves squeaky balls too.  He loves to squeak them as hard and loud as he can for what seems like an eternity, over and over and over and over again and again and again and again and then play tug-of-war, while still squeaking the ball.  I buy Tucker's dog food (California Naturals) in a 15 pound bag that lasts him at least a month and it costs around $10.  Becks eats California Naturals too.  It comes in a 30 pound bag, of which you must buy two bags every month, and costs $40 each time.  In an earlier post I wrote about Tucker's nicknames such as Puppy-Wuppy woo woo woo and Tuckeriffic.  Becks has nicknames also.  Big Hoss and Big Galoot.  

Birdie has brought her lab mix, Strider, over a couple of times to play with Becks (and give Tucker a break) and they have a great time chasing each other and playing soccer and tug-of-war.  They grab a stick and tug like crazy.  When Becks tries to play tug-of-war with Tucker, the latter goes air borne.  I take my camera out there and  get some very interesting action shots of the two big dogs.  Tucker is usually on the deck barking at them because he's way too smart to get involved.

Becks, Tucker, and Strider
So, how does this aid in my getting into shape?  First of all, I am constantly bending and straightening as I pick up the things Becks has chewed up and strewn all over the house and following him around wiping up the puddles of water he leaves in his wake AND tug-of-war with him is excellent strength training.  Secondly, I have gone from vacuuming once a week to once every single day.  And then, there are the walks.  All of those pleasant, enjoyable bike rides and walks that Tucker and I USED to take every day are a thing of the past.  They have turned into invigorating, exhilarating walk/runs that have given strength training AND cardio a whole new meaning.  We have to drive the car to the place we walk, which is right beside our subdivision, because I can't keep Becks out of people's yards.  The bike rides are a thing of the past because Becks doesn't fit into a basket.  It is getting better though.  Becks is beginning to understand that it's not cool to bark at everyone and their dogs who are out walking at the same time as us.  And he isn't pulling nearly as bad as he did at the beginning (Thank GOD for the Gentle Leader!).  So, there is hope.  But mostly what I'm hoping is that someone finds a place with a yard in the very near future.  This is not really what I had in mind for refilling our empty nest.

Just a thought:  I wonder if I could find one of those cart like thingys that people with little kids put on the back of their bikes so their kids can go on bike rides with them (I think they're called bike trailers.)?  Surely Becks would fit into one of those????  PLUS, if we EVER get any grandchildren, we'd be all set to take them on bike rides!

1 comment:

  1. proud of you & LOVE your writing. Hope you're having fun.
    Tina : )


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