Tag Archives: Recreation

Little Italy, Boston, MA -Abby & Emmie

north-end-boston-sept-17-20161Yesterday, Saturday, was a gorgeous day so we decided to go to Little Italy, also know as the North End, in Boston, MA.  Cynthia and I agreed that we are going to do our best to see as much of Massachusetts as we possibly can while we live here.  When we lived in Maryland, DC was a 20 minute drive from home and we failed to see a lot of it and so we don’t want to make the same mistake again.

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Abby, “I am posing, therefore I want a treat.”

We took Abby and Emmie for a nice walk around Little Italy, and Cynthia found 2 bakeries, forgot the names, where she got some delicious bread.  I am sure we’ll be heading that way many more times in the future.

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Abby and Emmie, “No more pictures. We are tired.”

Our trip was about 3 hours long, let’s not forget the traffic coming and going, and afterwards everybody was tired, thirsty, hungry and sleepy.  After we all had a nice lunch, we took a well deserved nap.  And that’s what I call a well spent Saturday.

Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton, MA

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Abby, “Mom, tell me the truth. Are we lost?”

On Sunday, we went to Blue Hills Ski Area located in Canton, MA to do a little hiking and sightseeing but also to see how Abby would behave or in her case misbehave.

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Picture courtesy of Cynthia, our own photographer:-)

We did a lot of walking, but the day was quite conducive to being outdoors, a bit cloudy with a nice breeze and with an amazing view.

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Abby, “Mom, am I supposed to pose for this picture? Where’s my treat?”

We all enjoyed our outing, but I think Abby enjoyed it the most.  She met a lot of people, dogs, and scents that would bring the Beagle out of her.  How did she do?  She did well.  But, we still need to continue working on behavior.  Before I forget, she tried to eat a french fry she found on the floor.  I said she tried because I was able to get it out of her mouth before she ate it.

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Abby, “Mom, let me kiss you.” Cynthia, “No!”

Abby is a handful, but she is a really nice puppy.  Just like our Alex, Abby is friendly to all dogs and people.  One thing surprised me though, Abby greeted all the humans she met along our hiking path with all paws on terra firma.  Yay!  As you can see, Abby is improving.

Alex Sunbathing

Alex loves to sunbathe regardless of what time of the year it is.  You look at her and she seems to be in heaven.

wed1Dogs with short hair like Alex tend to get cold very easy and maybe because of that they crave the sun.  I was reading not too long ago about senior dogs, now one of my many favorite subjects since Alex is a senior doggie, that discussed things that senior dogs should do such as: exercise, proper diet, message, and sunbathing, to name a few.  I remember the article about sunbathing because Alex enjoys doing that, and according to what I read sunbathing is good for them because it gives them a, “healthy boost of sunshine into their systems.”  If you want to read more about it, check out this website,  http://www.pekinews.com/why-do-dogs-like-to-sunbathe-the-reason-behind-your-pekingeses-sunbathing/

wed2Now that the days are pretty cold, Alex prefers to sunbathe inside by the sliding doors.  What a life!  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Luca Passed His Canine Good Citizen Exam

I met Luca, a tall and handsome GSD mix, a little over a year ago, and he was a very challenging dog because he seemed to be afraid of so many things.  His pet parents worked with him under the guidance of a trainer, and the “new” Luca is so different from the dog I met a year ago.

20131004_113437Isn’t he handsome?  I took this picture during one of our many walks in Crofton.  Luca’s pet parents put a lot of work with him, along with patience, consistency, and money, of course, but I do believe it paid off.

20131103_124753Today, Sunday, Luca and his mom Holly took and passed the Canine Good Citizen exam, and I was able to see them in action and provide moral support, although between you and me I don’t think they needed it, but I went anyway.  I was so proud of him, of his mom too, let me not forget that, that I think I squeezed her arm a little too tight.  Sorry about that Holly, but I was just so happy to see them work together so well.

20131103_133606After I congratulated both Holly and Luca for passing the CGC exam, I went home and took out my girl, Alex, to stretch her legs for a while.  By the way, I think, I might be wrong, but I doubt it, that the sweater that she is wearing is the first one that she actually likes.

Whatever you decide to do with your dog regarding, training, exercise, behavior, etc., make sure that you set up your dog for success.  Work with reputable trainers, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Have a great Sunday.

Cold Weather Is On Its Way

I used to love tropical weather for many years, on my defense I’d like to say that I grew up about 10 minutes from the beach so hot weather and fun went hand in hand, but now I prefer any season except for Summer.  Could you believe that?

justalex2This is what Alex wears when the weather starts to get chilly, but once it starts to get cold she wears 2 sweaters because she gets cold very easy.  When she was a puppy I took her out so she can see snow for the first time and play with our other dog, Casey.  She played for about 2 minutes or less, and then she started to shiver uncontrollably while looking at me as if trying to tell me, “Mom, I am freezing.”  I took her inside and she placed herself right next to a heating vent.

coldI love this time of the year when the days are sunny and a bit chilly.  Take your furry kids for walks, cold weather should not be a reason not to go out for a walk, but make sure that you and your canine companion are properly clothed.

Attack of The Kissing Dog – Alex

Years ago, I used to take Alex to a dog park in Annapolis, MD, but I realized very fast that it was a waste of time so I stopped doing it.

kiss1Why?  Because as soon as we got to the dog park she’d go to where all the pet parents were gathered rather than going to play with the other dogs.  Alex gets along with dogs, but since she was a puppy she seemed to prefer humans.

kiss2She enjoys getting attention from people and in return she gives them a lot of kisses, as you can see in this picture.

kiss3The only fear I have when Alex meets new people is that she will give them what I call a saliva bath.  My girl is more social than I am, but then again Alex is better in so many other things than I am and as such she is a great teacher.  Have a great week.

Monday Morning – Alex And Dexter

Dexter, a handsome boxer mix, will be staying with us for a couple of days and we started with our usual morning walk, followed by grooming, brush and wipe, and a nice breakfast.

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After that, they were both ready to take a nap and sunbathe, but Cynthia wanted to take a picture of them before they fell asleep.  Alex is almost in dreamland.

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Well, Cynthia’s “models” quit and went ahead to take their naps.  Take a look at the proximity between each other.  Just like humans, dogs also have to have manners.  Some dogs sleep in the same bed, while others prefer to have a little bit of room like in this case with Alex and Dexter.  Every dog is different, therefore don’t force your dog to share her bed with another dog if that is not what she likes or is used to doing at home.  Have a great week.

Exploring Annapolis, MD With Your Furry Friends

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We haven’t been to Annapolis in a while, and some things have changed of course.  Years ago, you could walk and visit the Naval Academy with your dog without a problem.  But this time, we had to wait for Cynthia to go and check if Alex could go in with us.  This is Alex, patiently waiting for Cynthia.

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Since Cynthia always takes longer than she should doing almost anything, yes, I am complaining, Alex and I went around the neighborhood to explore and take pictures.

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As you can see, Alex was quite curious about this big piece of wood moving in the water.  Like I said, we haven’t been to Annapolis in a while.

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This is what we were looking at.  Annapolis is a really beautiful city and one worth exploring with your dog.

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Cynthia finally came out and told us that we could not take Alex to the Naval Academy so we decided to go around Annapolis to walk, shop, and just do some sightseeing.

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Cynthia and Alex walking in Annapolis, MD.  Alex is used to cars, people, bikes, etc., that is why taking her with us is a pleasant and enjoyable experience.  Even though she is used to so many things, we still take her with us whenever we can so she does not forget.  All right, all right, I’ll come clean: it’s fun to walk around with her.

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I could not help but take a picture of this cute dog.  Notice how well this dog is walking even though the one holding the leash is a kid.  Yes, when kids are taught how to walk a dog they do a pretty good job.

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I got Alex to pose for this picture by asking her to sit and stay for me.  Like I’ve told many pet parents, training your dog should be something that you incorporate in your life, and this is a perfect example.  Do I train Alex at home?  Yes, but I do it as part of her every day routine.  Before she eats, I ask her to sit.  Or, if she is going to get a treat, she has to sit for me.  Did I take 5-10 minutes to specifically train her?  No.  At the beginning, yes I had to in order to teach her what I wanted from her, but after a couple of sessions she was good to go.

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Walking a dog should be something that you enjoy, but you need to train your dog to do so.  Take your dog and explore different neighborhoods.  Once we got home, Alex went out like a light.  She was tired not only because of the walk, but also because of the amount of new smells she encountered while walking in Annapolis.  This is a great way to fulfill your dog’s need for exercise.

All Things In Moderation

I am a firm believer that we can all do things in moderation rather than abstaining from them, and as such we find balance in life.

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L - R)

Sarris, Alex, and Dexter (L – R)

Let me start by giving you an idea about our morning routine, and it goes something like this:

  1. Morning walk/run
  2. Morning ablution: brush hair and wipe and inspect paws
  3. Breakfast for humans followed by breakfast for canine children
  4. Treats – I look at it as dessert.  That is why Dexter is licking his lips
  5. Sunbathing – 5 minutes,  by my watch, during the Summer.  Longer during the rest of the year
  6. Nap time

Alex could sunbathe the entire day if I let her, and some pet parents have told me the same about their dogs, but letting dogs stay out in the sun for too long is dangerous, therefore I limit the time we are out on the deck to no more than 5 minutes in the morning during the Summer.

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Alex is always the first one to fall asleep.  Sarris looks like she is about to follow Alex to dreamland, but Dexter, between you and me he thinks he is a guard dog, is still awake.

Alex and Dexter love to sunbathe while Sarris only prefers to do it for a couple of minutes.  By the way, never leave your dog/s unattended anywhere and that includes your deck regardless of the time of day or season of the year.

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Right after we come in, Sarris relaxes in the kitchen on top of these cool tiles while Alex and Dexter go to their bed.  There are times when all 3 of them end up in the kitchen and those are the times when I am so glad that my kitchen is not small.  Because our morning routine takes a while, I always tell pet parents that if they call me or text me I will return their inquiries after I am finished with our morning routine.

Let your canine companions enjoy being out sunbathing, but make sure that you are there to supervise and do it in moderation.

Should I Run Or Walk My Dog?

Well, that is a question that can only be answered once all factors are considered about the dog in question, therefore I’ll use Alex and her canine buddies as examples.

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Until early last year, I used to get Alex to run once or twice a week, but I stopped because the walks we take every day seem to be enough for her, and because a couple of months ago she started to limp while we were walking.  I took her to the vet and she was given medication she has to take every day plus a lot of rest for a couple of weeks.  Now she is back to her usual self, but she’ll go for a follow-up with the vet next week.  What I do, since a lot of dogs have never run next to a bike, is get Alex to jog next to the bike I am riding for 1 minute or less.  Why?  I want the other dogs to see what she is doing and mimic that behavior.  Now, should Alex run or walk?  She should walk because she is a senior dog and she was already limping while walking with me.  By the way, this is how Alex and Dexter looked on Saturday, after a good run early in the morning.

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Sarris, unlike Alex, can run without a problem, but Sarris is also a younger dog.  I got her to run/jog for about 10 minutes, and after that we walked home.  She did not have a problem with the bike.  Actually, she seemed to enjoy running alongside me.  Should you run or walk Sarris?  Well, I think she should run 2 to 3 times a week and walk the rest of the week because she is an active young dog.

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Of course, they need a comfortable bed to rest after exercising so here they are, L – R, Dexter, Alex, and Sarris.  They were all ready for a nap.

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Dexter, the handsome boy all the way to the right, is about 2 1/2 years old and he is full of energy, therefore he can easily run every other day without a problem.  His mom told me that he did not like bikes, so I was really surprised when after walking with him for 5 minutes he had no problem at all running alongside my bike.  I was so happy and after a couple of minutes he tried to run fast, but I had to slow down because he is very strong and I did not want him to over do it.  We kept up a pretty nice pace, but we did not go fast.  Yes, Dexter should definitely run a few times a week.

Every dog is different and if you decide to try going for a run with your dog, please make sure to consider the following:

  • Age, weight, breed, and health of the dog – If unsure, talk to the vet
  • Weather – I go for a run early in the morning, 6am during the Summer
  • Distance – Do not make your dog run for more than 5 – 10 minutes at the beginning and increase the time little by little
  • At the beginning, try walking your dog next to the bike – Some dogs hate bikes
  • Always, after every run, check his pads to make sure they are not damaged

These are just a few suggestions to consider before taking your dog for a run.  Remember that going for a run with your dog is supposed to be enjoyable and good for both, you and your dog.  What do you do with your dog to help him burn some energy?