Saturday, May 26, 2012

Beagle Fitness: Making Progress

     Last night my hip was bothering me a little. Instead of taking medicine, Mom gave me a hot pack to see if it helped. Mom had surgery a few months ago and she sometimes puts a hot pack on her face so last night we both used them while we relaxed with some TV.
The hot pack is just a standard gel pack that can be frozen or heated.
Mom put it in hot water until it was warm, then wrapped it in a towel for me.

It felt nice...

     This morning, we got up and went for another walk. Mom took me and Zoya for our walk, but then we walked a little bit more. It ended up lasting about 30 minutes. I thought I might die at the end.... but I survived, obviously.  Here are some "Accountability Pics" for today. 

It's technically Day 4 of my Beagle Diet & Exercise Routine
Here we have me, walking (top left), me and Zoya (top right),
me again ()bottom left), and me ahead of Zoya (bottom right).

Being a Beagle is tiring at times. With this incredible nose I feel compelled to smell EVERYTHING!

A compilation of today's Accountability Pics....

This one Mom posted on Instagram.
I get a lot of support through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, actually... and I appreciate that support. It helps me push through each day and do my best!

Jake's Beagle Diet Chart

And here is the chart Mom made. It's nothing special...
There are actually 2 pages because we set it up for 3 weeks. I have my next vet exam in about 3 weeks so we thought that was a good mile-stone marker.

     The chart has the week and day listed in the left column. They look like fractions but they're really week#/day# so 1/1 is week 1/day 1 and so forth. The two Food columns are to keep track of when Mom puts food in our dish. It's hard to see but starting yesterday, after I go to the dish and eat, Mom checks to see how much is left. Then she writes down about how much I ate, and also how much food is in the dish from that point... she usually adds more in the middle of the day. 

     The Water column tracks how frequently the bowl needs to be cleaned and filled. Sometimes we drink a lot of water... and Zoya makes a MESS when she drinks water! So almost every time Zoya drinks a lot, Mom cleans the dish and gives us fresh water. I don't know what Zoya's problem is, it's like -- she hates to be dirty, but she can't eat or drink without making a mess. 

     The Walk column gives an approximate length of our walk, which is almost always in the morning. It gets humid and hot here and I don't like it much. Granted, it's not as bad in Virginia as it was in Georgia.... but nothing beats Hawaii!! I'm a kama'aina dog ALL THE WAY! I miss our yard... and the trade winds.... and the weather.... <sigh> moving on....

     The last column says "Stretching" but Mom has decided to also write down when I use the hot pack. I didn't do stretching last night, but we are working on figuring out some stretches that will help a Beagle body get more flexible. I was never super flexible... but I have lost a lot of my range of motion with age and weight-gain... so we want to work to get that back.

     What else did I want to mention today?.....

Do Dogs Store Excess Body Fat When They Don't Eat Enough?
     Oh! Yesterday, it looks like all day I only ate about 1 cup of food. But according to the food calculator on DogFoodAdvisor, I really should be eating about 2.3 cups of food per day. I just wasn't hungrier.... Mom said, "With people, if you don't eat enough sometimes your body holds onto fat because it's confused and thinks you're starving to death." 

     We don't know if it's the same for dogs... but I'm going to try to eat a little more today. Mom knows tricks to make me eat more, if we need to use them. Like, when I was really little, she would warm my food with hot water and cool it so it was safe to eat. It tastes good mushy :-) But Mom said it's better to try to eat it the normal way first. So I'll give it my best!

Doggy Diet Accountability
     Anyway, that's it for today. I'm just relaxing a bit, going to try to eat more food today. I went for a good long walk this morning ~ a whole 30 minutes! (and I survived!)  I appreciate the support others have been giving me. It really helps!  Anyone who has tried a diet or exercise plan, or BOTH, knows it's tough to stick to it.  Sharing my story helps me stay accountable, and your support helps me stay motivated. Thanks!

"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools" ~Spanish Proverb
It applies to Beagles too!

"Without health, life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering - an image of death."
~The Buddha

Dog Diet Tips & Advice
     Any dogs (and people) out there that would like some tips on creating a dog diet, please feel free to email me at BeagleDiet (at) gmail (dot) com  
     Mom and I will gladly share what we have learned, and offer some individual advice based on breed, size, current weight, setting a goal weight, and nutrition. After all, even though my Mom is a writer, she works part-time helping people get healthy, fit, and lose weight... so we are happy to share!