What extracurricular activities did you have growing up?
Maybe you played the piano, or were on the soccer team. Maybe you were a ballerina or joined the debate team. Whatever you did, it made some sort of impact on who you were, how you acted, and the person you are today.
How did you feel shooting the ball in the basket right before the buzzer sounded, or belting out the song you rehearsed on a stage in front of hundreds of people? How did you feel while you were actually doing the activity?
Your hobby gave you something to do. It kept you out of trouble and kept you from being bored. Even if you dragged your feet to practice or to go to class, it kept you busy. And if you loved the activity, even better!
Now think, wouldn't your dog would love an extracurricular activity too?
To have something to keep busy, to look forward to, to have fun with? Maybe your dog will find a new love for something or discover new strengths.
Yes, I'm for real. Let’s break this down.
First of all, I understand that a dog is not a human. But, if you’re reading this, then I’m pretty sure that your dog is a significant member of your family, and you might consider yourself to be a dog mom or dog dad. That makes your dog - your furbaby.
Now, in case you didn’t know, there ARE a bunch of extracurricular activities out there for dogs. They’re just called “dog sports.” Some popular ones are agility, lure, dock diving, rally-o, nose work, etc. You can google dog sports and find a whole list. They can be competitive, or just for fun.
That sounds a whole lot like how people-activities work, huh? Maybe you played sports competitively, or just for fun with your friends. Maybe your hobby turned into your career. Extracurricular activities have the ability to shape who you are.
Dogs need things to do too. After all, busy dogs are good dogs. Busy dogs don’t rummage through the trash and nip at your feet. Busy dogs don’t bark all day and dig in the sofa. Busy dogs are relaxed and happy!
What does your dog do all day?
And do you ever wonder if you do enough with your dog?
Personally, this thought crosses my mind every day. Maybe it’s because I lost Piper suddenly, so I’m constantly reminded that every day is a gift.
Even in quarantine, I refuse to let this new norm drag me down. The number of tomorrow's are limited, so what am I doing today to make the most of it?
I find the answer to this to be enrichment.
Enrichment is crucial in both human and dog lives. It’s a core value of mine. Sure, I like to sit and do absolutely nothing every now and then too, but I’m obsessed with making sure that everyday is filled with goodness, hard work, and quality time doing something fun. Even in a quarantine.
For my dog River, I take her for a walk in a new place every day. New sights and smells. The look on her face as she hangs her tongue out of the side of her mouth and looks back at me with pure excitement brightens my day.
Inside, we play and learn. We play with her regular toys, but we also create food puzzles and eat out of something different daily. I don't think she is ever bored.
We're always working on a new trick, and she’s so proud to show it off. I can see the wheels turning in her head as she’s trying to figure out how to move her body the way I’m asking her to, and what the human word for this movement is. Sometimes she tilts her head to the side and perks her ears up, then starts panting with excitement. Bottom line, she looks happy!
My dog loves kibble, but even a dog who loves kibble will get bored eating the same thing everyday. So, we cook a lot.
Whether it’s bacon, chicken, cheese, a stuffed Kong, or a can of sardines, she gets variety in her meals. There’s a constant variety and rotation of foods in our lives. Plus, it’s pretty funny to watch her refuse certain foods. Evidently blueberries are for throwing into the air and smashing on the floor, not for eating.
Piper lived the same kind of life. It was constant adventure, movement, and quality time together. We were always doing something.
Her favorite thing in the whole world was to go swimming at the pool, so we went every Saturday. Piper knew the way there, and would bark in my ear for the entire car ride.
The pool was the only place where she couldn't contain herself. It was PURE excitement, pulling, lunging, running, splashing...the works. Although I failed to buckle her up in the car, I know that she led an exceptional life, which may be the only reason I was able to find some sort of peace in what happened.
Enrichment is something that I have embraced and been living for the last 10 years. If you are struggling with figuring out what to do with your dog these days, or just want to add some fun into your pup’s life, then you've got to check out this special program - Doggie Indoor Recess.
Doggie Indoor Recess brings enrichment straight to your living room. Maybe you've got some things going already, or maybe you have no idea where to start. Regardless, this program brings you 4 weeks of fun activities to do with your dog, with as much or as little extra coaching as you’d like. Broken down into 4 weekly themes, you get 5 activities each, centered around:
Week 1: Food puzzles
Week 2: Indoor agility
Week 3: Cooking
Week 4: Tricks
Each activity is demonstrated through a short video, and all 5 are released at the beginning of each week. You can watch these whenever you’d like and at your own pace.
If you’d like specific coaching with your pup, there’s a group Q&A session every Thursday, and 2 extra 30-minute personalized sessions just for you. Plus, a virtual doggie party during the last week!
Check out the video below to hear what you can expect in this program.
Doggie Indoor Recess is just pure fun. It’s enrichment for your dog in a nutshell. While this pandemic may have you feeling down, cooped up, and restless, why not brighten the day, make the very most out of it, and do something awesome with your dog?
When the health crisis is over, you’re going to miss your dog so much when you get back to work outside of home again. Make the most of this time, so when you look back, you’ll have no regrets about how the time was spent.
Doggie Indoor Recess will help you make great memories, the kind that you want to remember 10 years from now when you think back to life during the Coronavirus. So...while you can't get out and enjoy an outdoor doggie class right now, how about an indoor doggie extra-curricular activity in the meantime?
Sign up for Doggie Indoor Recess closes on Sunday,April 26 - I’d love to see you there!
Click here for more info and to sign up.