Tuck’s Comeback: Activity #2

At first it was a bit tough to walk Tucker and push Blake in the stroller at the same time. While Tucker is pretty good on a leash, he’s still just a puppy at heart, so any other dog or even human who gives him a welcoming smile is enough to set him off – jumping, pulling, trying to play, etc. Trying to steer a stroller and keep a hyper dog at bay is quite the arm workout, let me tell you. And then there was the whole part about Tuck having to learn to walk to the side of the stroller rather than right in front of it! He lackadaisically would start swerving from side to side on the sidewalk, right in front of the stroller, which would cause quite the debacle trying to untangle his leash and get him to move so we could proceed.

Fortunately, I feel like we’ve finally worked out all of the kinks now and Tucker looks forward to our daily walks.

cute dogdog and baby

I’ve been pushing my luck lately and taking Tucker (and Blake) on longer walks around our neighborhood, purposely taking routes that incorporate two big hills. On one of the hills, there are several flat boulders that line the sidewalk, so I thought I’d add some agility tests for Tucker along the way. Each boulder we came to, I’d make Tucker jump up on the rock, sit and shake and then jump down.

cute dog

We did this about 10 times and he was loving this fun new addition to our otherwise routine walks. Although by that 10th boulder, his jump up was more like a slow crawl and he let out a big yawn.

cute dog

People driving and walking by (and even Blake) thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care – it’s all in the name of Tuck’s Comeback and another successful activity to help him shed a few pounds. Good, job Tuck-Tuck! :)

Tuck’s Comeback, Activity #1

If you haven’t already, meet Tucker.

Golden Retriever puppy

I hate the term “fur baby” because I’ve always treated him like a real baby (although he’s the furriest of furries) – he’s a huge part of our little family and proving to be a great big brother to Blake. (Check out a little history about this lovable goof in my past post, An Ode to Tuck).

I recently noticed that Tucker’s been looking a little…how to say this nicely…thicker than usual. Don’t get me wrong, he’s always been a little stocky fellow and I’ve always been the first to rush to his defense if anyone ever called him the “F”word (fat). “No, no – he just has a lot of fur,” I’d assure the accuser.

Well, this is the first time that I’m actually admitting that Tuck has put on a few L-Bs since Blake was born. The first 3 months with a new baby has obviously turned our household a little upside down and we haven’t been walking him as often as we use to. BUT, now that Blake is on somewhat of a schedule (I’m scared to even put that in writing because it will probably change tomorrow!) I’m dedicating this next month to getting Tuck back in shape. It’s time to put a little pep back in his step and I have various fun activities planned to get him running around and shedding some pounds. I will be his personal trainer over the next several weeks – poor little guy doesn’t even know what’s a comin’!

Activity 1: Stairs

This is a great one because we can do this little exercise when Blake is sleeping, or even just sitting in her monkey bouncer. I throw his ball up to our second story and Tuck runs as fast as his short stubby little legs will carry him up the stairs, retrieves the ball (because, you know, he’s a golden retriever) and then brings it back down to me – quick as lightning!

Golden Retriever dog

We did this about 6 times before he stopped short on the stairs and had to catch his breath – success! 

Golden Retriever puppy

I can’t wait to document all of his little exercise activities over the next month – after all  he has to impress the poodles at dog beach this summer! Stay tuned… :)

An Ode to Tuck

Now that I’m officially on maternity leave from work, I’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time with my first (4-legged) baby – Tucker.

cute dog

He is my heart and soul and has taught me so much about life, love and responsibility in his short 2 1/2 years with our family.

When Tucker was only 6 months old he was diagnosed with a very serious disease, polyarthritis. My poor baby was on heavy medications for almost one year straight – meds that made him have to urinate every 2 hours, made him groggy, dehydrated and essentially killed his little spirit. I was heartbroken. My husband and I would have to wake up with him every 2 hours during the night and let him out to go to the bathroom and make sure he had enough water. We’d also have to cook special meals of chicken and rice for him because his stomach couldn’t digest dog food with all of the harsh medications in his system. During this time I remember thinking, this is what it must be like to have a newborn baby! With a  lot of love and patience, Mike and I successfully nursed Tuck back to health and he hasn’t had a flare-up of this awful disease in 2 years! He is now happy, energetic, thriving and he melts my heart everyday!

Since I’ve been pregnant, Tucker has taken on a new responsibility as my little nurse. I call him my little furry E.T. because I think he seriously feels everything that I’m feeling – he’s so in tune with my emotions. He’s also my little shadow – waiting for me when I get out of the shower, one step behind me as I walk up and down the stairs, curiously watching what I’m doing in the baby’s nursery and curled up next to me on the couch with his head resting on the baby bump. It recently dawned on me that he’s taking care of me just like I took care of him when he was sick.

caring dog

His love for me and the baby on the way is unconditional. I couldn’t have imagined a better dog to prepare me for motherhood and show me how to be selfless when caring for another being. Our baby girl is so lucky to have the best big brother, Tuck.

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but I can truly say Tucker is more than that – he’s family.

cute dog

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