June Fitness Challenge: Planks & A Border Collie

Harlowe Standing

We realized about two weeks in that we may have gotten in over our heads with our rescue pup, Harlowe. The day we picked her up, she had just undergone her spay surgery and was on medication for the next 5 days, so she was understandably subdued during almost the entire first week.  A few days after we were realizing that the medication must have really dampened her overall spirit, as she was suddenly very outgoing and bouncy and even more happy than when we fell in love with her.  But now that she’s gotten to know us and trust us and get into a routine, the level of energy that this pup has is unbelievable.  It took four days of camping with three other dogs constantly entertaining her, wildlife and various other new scenarios distracting her, and numerous other people petting her and giving her attention, to wear her out completely.

Yep, when the rescue organization said she “may or may not” be part border collie, we really didn’t connect the dots there.  We didn’t even consider for a second that maybe, just maybe, she might just be a tad too high energy for us.  Well at this point, folks, we’re pretty sure the rescue organization nailed it.

To be fair, they called her a “collie cross” which could mean all sorts of collies; we associated her with border collie ourselves because she looked like one (aside from the overall fuzziness, that is).

Now, Tavis and I, we are not the most active people.  Sure, in the winter we like skiing (or snowboarding if you’re cool), and now that summer is here we’re avid bikers.  And we like to camp and hike and play various sports at random (“tennis,” anyone?).  And he likes to lift weights and I’ve been known to take a fitness class or two.  But we’re not, like, fit people.  We enjoy a good tv or movie binge, we like playing board/video games and reading and generally relaxing with a beer.  So when we were faced with a 6-month-old pup who needed near-constant exercise, something had to change.

Cue our two daily walks and as much mental stimulation as we can get!  Yep, we’ve instituted two walks/day with her, and we’ve kept busy introducing her to new people and dogs and situations and that’s keeping her pretty entertained.  She’s already met most of our family and friends’ dogs and she’s gone over to various peoples’ houses and she went on her first camping trip last weekend.

As for the walks, in the evenings we go out as a family, and it’s a good time for Tavis and I to coordinate our training methods to make sure we’re not confusing Harlowe as we leash-train her.  The walk together is also a great way for Tavis and I to reconnect with each after the day and just enjoy the others’ company without any distractions.

In the mornings though, we alternate who has to get out of bed first to take her for her walk.  Neither of us are great at getting up with our alarms, and Harlowe’s been on us about that… if we snooze too much she’ll start to whine, and it’s either get up and take her out, or have to clean up a mess and then still take her out!  But of course it’s hard to see the logic in that when we’re still half asleep.

It’s definitely been an adjustment, but she’s really forcing us to be more active on a daily basis, especially when we see what happens when we fail to take her on one or, god-forbid, both walks in a day without any other exercise… I didn’t know dogs could bounce off the walls like kids on cinnamon buns (seriously, I’ll never feed cinnamon buns to my niece and nephew again)!

I’m really enjoying the walks though.  On top of the training and bonding time and exercise we’re getting, I like the early-morning and late-evening time outside.  Especially on week days, those times can be really quiet and peaceful (which goes to show the benefits of suburban areas in the middle of downtown), and it’s just another chance to really soak in and enjoy the summer weather while it lasts.

And now for an abrupt change in direction, also this month I decided to take on a mini challenge to complete 8 minutes of planking in a week.  It doesn’t sound like much, but for a soft-tummied gal like myself this was certainly a challenge.  I’m still only able to plank with my knees down, and it was a little hard to do with Harlowe sniffing and licking my face the whole time, but I completed this challenge in the last 7 days of June and it felt good.  Hooray for a little mini-win to finish off the month!


2 comments on “June Fitness Challenge: Planks & A Border Collie

  1. Harlowe is adorable. Being puppy parents is really hard during the first year but routine and consistency are the key to a great dog so hang in there. She will grow up all too soon so enjoy every experience!

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