Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter in Montana...

...means snow. And LOTS of it!

Winter started early last year and has kept right on trucking with cold and snow. I love it! I really hate when we get constant freeze-thaw events that melts our snow and creates a ton of ice. I love to snowshoe and Holly loves the cold weather...

Poor Danee just wants to pack her bags and head south for winter. She hasn't found anything fun about being outside while the temperatures have refused to budge above 10 degrees for the last month...or having to actually go outside to pee when it's -15 degrees.

I'm gonna just stay right here the rest of the winter.

I've tried everything to keep her as warm as possible this winter, including buying her an awesome snowsuit from Hurtta. She wears it, but she hates it because it means it's cold...and she's outside ;)

My sister and her 2 dogs came up to celebrate the Winter Solstice and Christmas Holiday. All the pups enjoyed ripping open paper Christmas always, the paper was far more fun for them than the gifts inside ;)

Waiting to for the paper ripping to begin

Inspecting the loot

Inca destroying the wrapping paper

And even though we limited gifts to no more than 2 per dog, the wrapping paper carnage and toy pile was impressive.

I didn't get to check out a new Fire Tower on the Kootenai National Forest rental system, so instead I rented a former FS Ranger Station cabin in the community of Yaak, Montana. We had it for 3 days, it was super cold and snowed about 1.5 feet, in addition to the snow that was already there. The cabin has no electric or running water, but it has a propane fireplace, wall lanterns, fridge and stove, so it was plenty comfy and warm.

My sister bought a sled for her nearly 16-yr old 3-legged dog Inca, so that she could join in on all walks and hikes this winter. I dare say she loved it :) How cute is she!

2016 was good to us, and despite Holly's bum knee, she's enjoying life and winter with gusto. What more could I ask for? I hope 2017 is just as kind.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Canine Fitness Workshop

Catching up a bit...

In early November, my vet clinic, Calm Animal Care, brought Jennifer Hill, a certified canine physical therapist (and also Holly's personal PT), to Kila, Montana to give us a 2-day workshop on Canine Core Conditioning. She also recently became a Fit Paws master trainer and brought some cool equipment and awesome instruction on conditioning our 4-legged athletes. 

Even though I have done a lot with Jen in the past with Holly (rehabbing her after each of her injuries), I learned quite a bit at the workshop...particularly how I allow Danee to "cheat" at certain things and be sloppy, which isn't helpful in actually conditioning her.

I got a lot of ideas on what to work on at home that's beneficial to core conditioning and how to modify certain exercises with things we already have a home to make the fun things we do with our dogs easier on them...such as paddleboarding...

While I don't own those blue donuts, I do have other things I can place a car-ramp on, or a step bench, to work on paddleboarding exercises over the winter.

Danee and I had fun...she really loves doing these kinds of things and is always excited to see the balance equipment come out :)

Holly came too and was able to do a few things while Danee rested between exercises. Jen was able to give me some modified exercises with Holly to avoid stressing her bad knees. She particularly loved the stretching and massage session we did...

We have a lot we can play with inside when winters sub-zero temperatures and deep snow keep us from playing and exercising outside for very long.