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Tips for having Fun in the Sun with our Doggies

Note: This article first appeared in the Waterland Blog on Jul 29, 2020 | –used with permission.

Jan’s dog ‘Willow’ keeping cool!

By Jan Magnuson

We all enjoy playing with our pups and taking them for walks and hikes during this sunny time of year! Just like we take into account the potential effects of the direct sunlight, warm temperatures, and humidity on ourselves, we also should consider how our “furry family members” will fare! I adore my three girls “Willow,” “Daisy,” and “Violet,” and want to always make sure they are safe, healthy, and happy!

Before beginning a summer exercise routine with our dogs, it is a great idea to have them examined by our veterinarian to make sure they are able to safely participate. We should ask if our dogs have any health considerations or special needs that should be addressed before we take them out and about with us in the summertime weather.

We need to consider our dogs’ individual challenges to the warm weather like how much coat they have, if they are overweight and out of shape, or if they have a “pug face” (“brachycephalic”, like my Japanese Chin “Violet”) in addition to any specific health issues they may have like prior injuries, strains or arthritis, skin inflammation, etc.

When we are ready to go out with them, it is a good idea to have a small basic first-aid kit, our cell phone (with our vet’s and emergency vet’s phone numbers), and of course fresh water for them and for us. If we are going to take a longer hike, having snacks may be appropriate as well.

Because I am so active with my dogs, I have many different locations I take them for playtime, walks and hikes. So, on days that are hotter than others, I take them to a trail I know has more shade and is cooler and is possibly even near water. I also tend to do “laps” instead of going straight up and then back, as that way if it gets really hot, we can stop anytime mid-lap instead of having to go a long distance back to our truck.

Another consideration is if the walking surface – pavement, concrete, gravel – on a trail or roadway could be too hot. I place my hand flat on the surface and if it feels too hot for me, it is too hot for my dogs’ pads! So, using a trail that is grass and has lots of shade is a better option, or I can walk on the paved trail but make sure my dogs walk on the grass.

Stopping often in the shade to allow our dogs to lie down and relax and get a drink of water is helpful too.

Always watching our dogs to make sure they do not overheat is imperative – dogs can get too hot very quickly, so we should always keep an eye on them to make certain they are not showing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, as that can quickly become an emergency.

More info here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke

Breeder Comment

Thank you, Jan–there are no adequate words to cover all you have done for us and with Willow.

Willow has been a superstar her entire life!  She has attained many titles and awards (see above) for Conformation, Obedience and Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, and Good Citizen, and include 5 UKC Altered Best-In-Show and 14 Altered Reserve Best-In-Show awards!

All Too Familiar

–Willow on Lookout

I can’t believe Willow is almost 8 years of age, she is still very healthy and strong and smart.  We do lots of fun activities together every day, especially now that I am retired from 30 years in Law Enforcement.  She has so many show titles I have almost lost count (…not really, LOL!) and best of all, she is a wonderful family pet and certified Therapy Dog, where we do therapeutic visits and she makes everyone smile.


Here she is doing one of her favorite activities- watching the birds and squirrels on the bird feeders!  She likes to stare for the longest time, and when she is outside, she will stand and often point, her patience amazes me!  


She is the best girl EVER!     


Jan MagnusonSUNSTARAll-Breed Dog Training
http://sunstardogtraining.com

Breeder Comment

There is little we can say other than together you have written a fantastic story–what a journey. May she live on, and continue to thrive.

Willow’s Wall

~A picture is worth a thousand words!

UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-Trial Champion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Novice Trick Dog, UKC Rally Obedience I, UKC Agility I, Therapy Dog International certified

Breeder Comment

Although it was never our goal to raise or sell the Show Dog–Jan Magnuson has done more than we could have ever imagined with her Willow. What an extraordinary career she has had on every level. Even with Jan’s retirement, she and Willow are out in the community doing service work. We cannot thank Jan enough–and this wall attests to all they have achieved together. (The above photo is not the most recent, but it is Jan and my favorite moment in her career–well, one of the favorite moments.)

~As Jan puts it…

Willow has been a superstar her entire life!  She has attained many titles and awards (see above) for Conformation, Obedience and Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, and Good Citizen, and include 5 UKC Altered Best-In-Show and 14 Altered Reserve Best-In-Show awards!

Willow is very active as a certified Therapy Dog, and we do visits at retirement, assisted living, and memory care facilities, schools and daycares, and community events.  I have served 30 years as a Law Enforcement Officer, and Willow has accompanied me on duty as a Therapy dog on calls and out in the community, and at the police department. 

Looking for a Find

~Willow in Search

UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-TrialChampion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, CGC, TKN, URO1, UAG1, TDI 

Digging out in the wild or on the beach is a fun activity. Digging in our garden or the yard is not desirable. Digging–its a thing.

Willow earned her TDI

Hi Shela and Cliff- I just posted on FB that Willow passed her TDI Therapy Dog certification test today, I am SO proud of her!!!  She and Daisy will do Therapy Dog visits with me at the assisted living facility where my mom lives (she has Alzheimers); not only do the folks there enjoy the dogs, it helps my mom to make more friends because they connect with the dogs too.  Because Arbor Village allows dogs anyway, we have already been there and visited, but now they are official!  11254435_10206421035067985_7324187248966758461_o

 
Willow was a gem today, they had a girl scout troop of excited little girls as part of the test, it was quite challenging but because Willow is so used to so much at work, it didn’t phase her a bit.  And because my sister is in a wheelchair, Willow is used to that too.  She did great on every part of the test, she is such an amazing dog.  Thank You again, talk to you soon, Jan~  
Note: Before this achievement, this was Willow’s official name; her and Jan have achieved so much together.  

Willow- UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-Trial Champion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, Canine Good Citizen, United Rally Obedience 1