|Barked: Mon May 14, '12 3:18pm PST |
|Treadmills are your friend.
Seriously, though, treadmill train her. You can find a used treadmill on Craigslist for a reasonable amount, train her to use it, and then she will be able to get enough exercise. Yes, you will still have to supervise her while she's on it, but you won't have to put as much effort into it. I know that it may not seem like it'd be that much fun for her, but if you train her right, I guarantee that she will love it. All of my dogs are treadmill trained, and they "fight" over who gets to be on it -- and if I were to let them, they'd run themselves sick.
Another thing you can do is post an ad somewhere looking for someone to jog Daphne. You'd be surprised how many people will respond to an ad like that, especially for a well trained large dog and even moreso if you're anywhere near a college or university. People who want a dog but can't right now, students who have left their dog at home while they're away, or people who want a big dog to "protect" them while they're jogging (so they're not jogging alone and therefore aren't an easy target) are the types of people who might respond to an ad like that, among others. Of course, you have to be absolutely certain to screen well, to meet the person(s) more than once, and to get a copy of their driver's license.
Try scheduling doggie play dates. They'd be more tiresome than the above two suggestions, but they're another way to get her exercise without having to absolutely kill yourself to get it for her. If they're with people you trust and/or understand the situation, they may be willing to pick Daphne up so you don't have to wear yourself out bringing her.
If you've got stairs, play fetch with her up and down the stairs. You sit at the top, throw the ball down, and let her chase it down and bring it back up. Those cat toys that are the ball in a ring track I've found to be really good for some dogs, too. Give it a spin, set it on the ground, and watch her go. Or you can try the cat fishing poles, only get (or make) a dog sized one. Again, a bit more effort required on your part, but you can at least stay sitting down.
Daphne is a program dog, yes? You can talk to her program about what other ideas they might have for making sure she stays in shape. I'm sure that this is not a foreign problem to them.
Last, but far from least, take car of yourself. Talk to your doctor if you haven't already about your increasing lack of energy. If you're not taking any, see about taking some vitamins to help increase energy. Are you taking Vitamin D? With the lack of time getting out, you probably need to be taking it if you aren't, and that can absolutely make you tired and achy. You're welcome to pmail me about what other vitamins might be helpful. Make sure to regulate your sleep cycle. I know it's counterintuitive, but don't sleep during the day when you're tired -- it'll make things worse. Find what your regular cycle is and stick to it no matter what; it absolutely will make a difference.
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