F is for Fitness

So one of the things that I get a little obsessive about when preparing for big trials is fitness. Not my own necessarily… clearly I’m giving dads everywhere competition on the summer’s best “dad bod” and I’m not even a dad. But I do try my best to ensure that my dogs are as fit as they can be. You never know when you’ll be running at a trial. It might be in the morning when things are cool and quiet and serene. Ideal for both sheep and dogs. But it might also be in the middle of the heat of the day, when the sheep would rather be sitting in the shade because the unrelenting glare from the sun is strong enough to break anyone’s desire for vitamin D. This is why I vary my training times with my dogs and alternate simple fitness exercises with actual training exercises on sheep.

988817_10152300604467456_1749007601_nAs the days get longer and warmer I like to get my bike out and do a little more exercise myself. And, as I don’t love going too extreme with my cycling, its a perfect opportunity to bring a dog or two along. Last year I got a new bike when I was on my travels and immediately fell in love with my time alone on my bike. I should name it… If you have a good suggestion for a name for a black mountain bike, please leave it in the comments below. The only problem was that I’m not always in a place where I can cycle with my dogs off leash in safety. So, my good friends Joe and Heather showed me what they got on amazon.com and my problems were solved! Its kind of like a flexible leash that attaches to the seat post on your bike. My dogs now can trot along side me and I have no fear of them catching sight of some wild creature and them running off.

One thing I try to keep in mind is that, while my dogs are fairly fit in a field, running them on a road or a trail can have a very negative impac on their feet. Pastures, while still rough on their pads, aren’t anything as tough as gravel or pavement. So, I take my time getting them fit so that their pads don’t get hurt too much. A product that I like to use is called Tuff Stuff that helps repair their pads if they do get a little raw.

Anyway, thanks for reading! Again, I’m still fundraising to help me get to Europe. If you’d like to donate please click this link Get Derek to the Netherlands!

Thanks again everyone! Much love!


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