June 5, 2011

Walking Challenge Progress Has Been Made!

Rouge Park ~ Woodlands
Isn't it great the warmer weather is back? For me that means I can up my kilometers for the "Walking Challenge" over at Lessons From and For 4 Legs. A group of pet bloggers have banned together to support and encourage each other to meet our personal walking goals. I have set a goal of walking with Kodee and Becky, 365 Kilometers in 365 Days. Yeah it's not as enthusiastic as some of my other friends who are aiming at 365 Miles in 365 days but let me whine about my short comings for a moment. I have one ankle not in tip top shape that slows me down plus our winter was brutal this year. I am excited to report for the month of May I hobbled along with great strides and to date have dragged myself 117 km!
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The great, warm weather we have had this May has allowed me to step up my game and be more active at some exciting locations.

Much to Kodee's delight we took a stroll by Lake Ontario  (good for 2k) to capture my "First of the Month" meme group photograph. The minute she smells the lake Kodee lets out a blood screaching half bark, half squeal. Seriously, we almost can't contain her she is so delighted at the thought of scoffing down a sea gull feather. Second only to pine cones.

I also ticked off a good 6k at the Zoo this week. Sorry, no pups allowed on this outing for obvious reasons - dogs are great lion's lunch. I did capture some amazing photographs if you want to take a peek over at Beyond the Dog Dish. There is also a video of the new Endangered African Penguins that just arrived at the Toronto Zoo! So very cute!

The biggest hike in May which included Kodee and Becky was our 2 hour hike at Rouge Park (ticked off 3k). This 10,000 acre park is known as Canada's first "urban national park". It was the perfect spot to take the dogs to explore plus have the opportunity to photograph uncharted (by me) woods.

Sometimes though it gets to be a bit mudane; you know how one tree looks like the next tree! But here the hikes are guided. I thought being with some new people and learning a little about where Hurrican Hazel hit would spice it up a notch at Rouge Park, Woodland. Plus they also welcomed leashed canine hiking buddies.

In this area in 1957, Hurricane Hazel wiped out all the area cottages. Since then, the area has become Canada's largest "urban wilderness park".  Remnants of cottages abandoned, are eerily scattered along  the path. A few old relics made for great photo shoot!
In 1954 Hurricane Hazel hit Southern Ontario

On Oct. 15, 1954, the most famous hurricane in Canadian history struck Southern Ontario. Hurricane Hazel pounded the city of Toronto with 110 km/hr winds and more than 200 millimetres of rain in less than 24 hours. Bridges and streets were washed out, homes and trailers were washed into Lake Ontario. Thousands were left homeless, and 81 were killed – 35 of them on one street alone. ~ The Wrath of Hurricane Hazel
Kodee and Becky are great hikers! Kodee paces herself really well and we can go quite a few miles and she never tires. Becky has improved this year but she still needs to work on it some more. It's really important to watch her in humid weather to ensure she is pacing herself. 

In total we walked 15k this week - aren't you impressed? 

Hiking With Our Dogs Lessons Learned
  1. Keep them fit all year by aiming for 5-7 days of walking, for an average of 30 minutes (great to ensure better heart health for Cavaliers since they are prone to heart problems like Mitral Valve Disease - MVD)
  2. Sometimes Becky wears an Easy Walk Harness to help slow her down which keeps her breathing evenly paced. She is prone to a reverse sneeze so this is important or us.
  3. Carry a good supply of water and snacks; for them and me!
  4. Use cooling coats if the weather is hot and or humid (ask me how I made one for under $20!)
  5. In dense bush, I wrap their legs like a horse with self stick bandaging (the kind the Vet puts on after a blood draw) to protect their feathers from gathering twigs, burrs and the rest of the forest
  6. Slather on paw wax to protect their paws when on hot city pavement
  7. Carry a mini first aid kit (including any medications) in a waist pouch. Kodee is on medication that must be given 3x a day and I don't like to assume I will make it home.
  8. Sometimes I bring their 20' leashes if there will be an open area for them to run. My dogs do not have 100% recall especially if a squirrel happens by!
Welcome Happy Summer Daytrips and Hiking Everyone!
What's your tail's tale on summer fitness?

~ Ramblings by Debbie


Unknown said...

Such gorgeous photos as usual...and what great advice & tips for hiking with dogs!!

DawgBlogger said...

Great stuff! Of course we have a walking challenge going on ever since Jasmine was little and explained to me how much daily walks mean to her.

Ever since we do our daily walks religiously, rain or shine.

We never actually measured how many miles we walk, usually an average walk is an hour long. How much distance we cover depends on the weather.

Once there was snow up to my waist, it took a whole hour to walk very short distance. When it's hot distance is also shorter, but includes swimming when possible.

houndstooth said...

We're already having a hard time balancing exercise with the need for caution with the heat. We went from the coldest, rainiest Spring in history here to unbearable heat overnight. We try to walk late at night, but even then it's sometimes too hot for them and for us. I'm hoping we get a break in the heatwave soon so we can all get out, because we're going a bit stir crazy. I really miss walking and hiking, too!

I can't wait to see your pictures of the Greyhound crowd, either! ;) I thought the zoo pictures were awesome. I took some on our trip to the zoo, but there were not many places where I could get shots of the animals that didn't have fences in them, which was pretty disappointing.

kayerj said...

you have an interesting blog here, I've never heard of dogs that blog. My neighbor has the cutest cocker spaniel (Holly) that I adore. Fortunately for me they are happy to share her and she visits me daily. My springer spaniel died a number of years ago (he was 17) and Mr. J has nixed getting a replacement. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

Remington said...

GREAT shots!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Love the pictures!! We haven't started walking yet too much but we hope to very soon! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

katie, Maizey and Magnus said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! This is wonderful! Thanks so much for writing this, you're now officially entered in the second drawing in the Halfway Giveaway. You guys are doing great!

I love the lessons learned and think I should work to compile a group of these to post soon, I'll be sure to share yours if thats okay. Thanks for being in the challenge!

Rouky said...

Debbie, I'm so proud of you! You are a great motivator and as always, your photos are simply superb.
Since Jerome has been home (a few days ago), exercising the dogs is easier. I cannot walk both and a stroller at the same time (Fino still barks non-stop at the stroller + it's difficult to operate), but I try to go to the dog park 4-5 days/week for about 30 minutes.
As for the "rain or shine", I salute those who follow this rule. As for us, I must admit that we stay home if it rains...

cate said...

It all sounds wonderful, I love the idea of giving yourself that challenge I certainly need one! Just having the cats at the moment I don't have that push to go out and walk - except of course that it's actually good for you :)

Vicky said...

You have some gorgeous photos on this post, along with a very worthy goal. The Doodlebug and I should be getting back into the walking thing soon. Good to know we'll have (virtual) company.

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Loving life with family and friends while exploring my passions; writing and photography. All with my two, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in tow on day-trips along the Greater Toronto Area waterfront trails and local communities.

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