Woody turned nine back in December and still has the energy of a two-year-old. I never feel like he's slowing down. But lately, I've been getting subtle reminders that nine is actually a very impressive and desirable age to make it to in the dog world. A few large dog breeds are lucky to make it to nine and many dogs are living the equivalent of the laid-back life retired snow bird men enjoy.
The last few weeks on our walks, I've encountered multiple people who ask how old he is, and when I respond that he's nine I get the same response: "He looks good for nine!" I know no one is trying to upset me by reminding me how old he is, but I can't help but feel a little sad each time. Now, I find myself paying closer attention to any new quirks, noises, and changes in appetite and endurance levels to make sure I don't miss any of those getting-older signs. So far so good.
More importantly, I look at Woody differently with a greater sense of appreciation for all he's taught me in our five years together and I have a new outlook on our time together - it must be cherished. I need to do what I can to keep him healthy and enjoy many more years of selfies.
I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year! We celebrated Woody's 9th birthday on New Year's Eve. I still can't believe he's that old! I got him when he was nearly 5 and he has just as much energy now as he did then. I don't even want to fathom what it will be like when he starts slowing down.
A lot of people create New Year's resolutions, but it seems that just as many people complain about how stupid New Year's resolutions are. I like to live by the rule that you don't have to wait for a fresh start. Whenever "now" is, you can change your mindset and create goals. I get that it seems cliche to create resolutions when most people throw them out the window a few months in, but the idea of a fresh start to the start of the New Year can be a good benchmark. For example, maybe you want to lose weight as your overarching goal. Instead of thinking of the big picture, think of how you can make small steps to get there. Each month have a new, smaller goal that is related to health and wellness - in January you make it a goal to go spinning twice a week, February you swap soda for tea, March you say no to fast food, etc. Doing these things by a monthly basis is much more manageable and can give you some new perspective on what you like and don't like about trying to lose weight rather than going cold turkey on everything all at once and buying expensive gym memberships.
But enough on that tangent. Every year I try to think of some new things to do with my dog and reflect on some of the fun we had in the year prior. This moreso happens because his birthday falls on New Year's Eve. In 2014, I said I would take him to 3 new dog parks. I didn't do that - I know, bad dog mom. I did, however, take him to the new Cleveland dog park a few times before it got too cold for him to walk all the way down there. And we went on much longer walks and runs than we did in 2013. I guess I learned that if he is getting exercise around here and he is socializing with other dogs at doggie daycare and out in the park in my building there's no point in driving him all over the city.
Since his energy level hasn't changed, I'm going to continue to focus on doing as much activity with him as I can. Things to improve upon are:
What are some goals you have this year? Anything your dog can be a part of?
The downtown Cleveland Dog Park officially opened last Monday. Woody and I couldn't make the grand opening because I was heading back from Chicago. So, Saturday morning was the day. It was a bit cold and rainy, and around 9 a.m., so Woody was the only dog there. This gave him enough time to attempt to pee on everything and explore the entire scenery.
Though the dog park is on the opposite side of downtown from where we live, it gives us an excuse to go on a long walk. Plus, the scenery is awesome. The park itself is over 3,000 square feet and has ample room for games of fetch. The only complaint I've heard from others is that there isn't an area that separates small and big dogs. I didn't have any problem with this...but we were also the only ones there when we went.
Regardless of distance, I'm going to take full advantage of this before it gets too cold for Woody to be outside for a long time. I'm so happy this is here and appreciate everyone who made this possible, including Curt's brother on behalf of Harlem Public - his bar in NYC - and his dog Meatloaf.
Have you made it to the Downtown Dogpark yet? And, what's your favorite dog park in Northeast Ohio?
I'm just a twenty-something female raising the weirdest dog I've ever met.