As I didn't explain as well in my last post, what seems to help especially Ferguson get out of his nearly autistic need for structure and order is a dramatic increase in exercise. Day-to-day, we do our best to provide both he and Winry with an hour-90 minutes total of exercise every day, but when the weather is as it has been, this is usually restricted to leash-walking briskish walks. Our solution to wanting to go out unexpectedly in the middle of the day or evening is to take both dogs to one of the gigantic dog parks nearby that range from 6 to 60 acres of fenced-in land so they can really run full blast, frolic with some other dogs, and also hike with us from time to time...all of this in addition to our daily walks, of course. This isn't usually especially demanding and takes about an hour or two (depending on the park), but precipitation certainly has caused some rifts in our plans, as I never feel comfortable letting the hounds run in the wet, slippery mud. In a best case scenario, they will seek out mud puddles to lay in once they're finished running to cool off, and the dirt here is very, VERY clay based, making it slick and nearly impossible to get off the dogs. I also worry about them slipping and tearing a muscle, or worse, breaking a bone.
So lately, while the weather has seemed to improve (as in, it looks like it will stay nice with no precipitation for the next 5+ days), as well as the addition of daylight savings time, I'm most looking forward to taking the dogs to the park or on a hiking trail a few more days a week to keep them more active, stimulated, and happy (and hopefully, more easy-going!). Hiking especially in Colorado is a dream most of the time; insects are especially not-bothersome and only appear if you really look for them, the dry air prevents you from getting sweaty, and the landscape is pretty much always breathtaking! It helps that Ferguson is the best hiking dog I've ever had, perhaps in thanks to his overly attached, OCD nature that prevents him from letting me out of his sight ;).
|"Tired of the Cold!"|