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The Power of the Pooch

An entire post dedicated to our furry four-legged friends and the power of the pooch. If anyone had told me a year ago, that the simple act of purchasing a puppy would change my life, I would have thought they were stark-raving mad. But, a year after a little black Labrador puppy with his little white bolo patch entered our lives, things have been ridiculously different and our lives enriched with something I never really understood. That is the true meaning of a man's best friend. And in my case, a ladies best friend too.

Hank, our dog, is a special wee fellow, I'm sure he's almost human. He sleeps on his back, all four paws in the air with his man parts left out for all to see. Dad assures us he wouldn't make a great hunting dog for this very reason. Something about the birds that wouldn't go well with Hank’s sleeping arrangements. Surely he wouldn’t be sleeping up the hill?

He is smart like all labs and especially when food is involved. His favourite food is cheese. Any kind, he's really not fussy. But the best quote came from my husband when he said, "Hank reminds me of myself...he's smart but boy he’s clumsy". Yep and that's why the two of them should never go hunting together!

Hank is seriously dedicated to all things. The river, big sticks, walking, sleeping and eating. It’s quite a simple life really and one I have been surprised by how much joy I have received from something that cannot speak back to me. Well, in so many words anyway. The first time we fed Hank, biscuits went flying in all directions, almost like a puppy biscuit tsunami. It’s quite a sight. He hasn’t quite learnt how to chew and I’m not sure he never will. The biscuits are inhaled at the same speed as his wagging tail.

The one thing that I love most about dogs is their ability to get you active and on days when you didn’t think you felt like getting wet or going out in the cold or walking in the dark. The first week Jonny started getting up at 5.30am to walk Hank before his early start, I couldn’t quite understand how he got out of bed so early! He didn’t tell me, he simply asked that I get up just once to see for myself. One look at the sight and speed of his wagging tail and I was in. His tail can move. Fast. Weekend movies have now been replaced with walking and hiking adventures. Not only does he get a good work out, but so do we! I pretty much have to run to keep up with Hank. He only comes up to my knee caps and he stills pulls me around the place. A dog trainer once told me I couldn’t control my dog. Fair call but for now, I’m happy with our relationship just the way it is. I just have to carry cheese in my pocket for emergency situations!

If you’re not a gym bunny or you need some friendly motivation then I’d highly recommend getting a dog. Knowing you have something waiting at home for you to walk is a sure-fire way to get you active all year round. An energetic dog is just like a personal trainer. Just be mindful to switch arms with the lead. I’m sure my left arm has become slightly longer since having Hank!

For someone that was never really a dog person, I’m now highly captivated by these creatures. I now can’t walk past a dog on the back of a truck or a resting pooch on a shop entrance mat waiting for its owner without a little pat. It’s the wagging tail that gets me and the small introduction to a personality. While Hank is super charged – it’s like he’s won lotto and is listening to his favourite song all at the same time, our family dog Pedro is super relaxed and as cool as a cucumber. He’s a large golden retriever that we have aptly named ‘The Lion’. He likes nothing more than a big belly rub, although I’m sure he should do less resting and more walking!

While this post has nothing to do with nutrition, it is simply about finding something that makes you happy each and every day. Hank very much adds to my tapestry of happiness. What adds to yours?

Happy 1st birthday little fella!

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