Tahoe, my helper dog, loves to play with his toy, it’s a Kong. It is like a ball, except it is not round – not perfectly circular. It bounces randomly when it is thrown and gives him a good chase. My husband believes the reason Tahoe loves the Kong so much is that it randomly bounces and moves like an animal would run. For whatever reason, our dog is completely obsessed with his Kong. This toy keeps our five year old dog’s body in tiptop shape. He exercises in the blistering heat of the summer and during the bitter cold of the winter.
Oh yes, he is incredibly smart, and is persistent when it comes to asking us to play with him. He bounds into the house, drops the Kong at our feet and if we don’t acknowledge him immediately, he picks up the Kong again and tosses it at our feet again. It is important to explain to Tahoe when it is NOT time to play Kong! When Tahoe realizes that a Kong session is in his near future, he becomes ecstatic. Out to the backyard he runs! It is an excellent bonding time as well as the stress relief for anyone playing with Tahoe.
When we first brought Tahoe home, it took him some time to figure out how to play with me. He would bring the Kong to me and drop it at my wheels. He thought I could pick it up and throw it for him. After a bit of intense training, he finally figured out that he needed to give it to me, but he couldn’t figure out that I couldn’t take it from his mouth. After another training session or two, he learned that he has to lay the Kong on my lap so I can throw it. He adjusts quickly to whatever situation his playmate desires. He plays tug of war with his dad because that is his game. He drops it at the feet of anyone who will not pull it away from him. If you come to our house and are willing to play with Tahoe, the Kong won’t be far away!
The Kong is a perfect toy for me because it has a hole that is just large enough for one or two of my fingers. This makes it easy for me to grab and throw and tire him out – well I should say tire me out.
Summer is particularly fun for me because I am comfortable with the temperatures and can comfortably play for hours. I suppose I get some exercise too as I throw the ball over and over and over and over again. I wish I could get excited about an activity that gives me as much exercise as Tahoe gets playing Kong! ]
For now, I will stay with my exercise cycle –it’s called a Saratoga –it is a great piece of equipment that I use to get some upper body exercise. I simply turn on some tunes or play a pod cast, or focus on my memory verses and wheel under the hand cycle, put my hands in the tri-pin and get it moving. I’ll also take the added benefit of the few muscles that get worked out as I throw the Kong incessantly for Tahoe.
I’m glad that our golden Labrador loves to play Kong because he definitely loves to eat, and to have an activity that burns calories and keeps Tahoe in perfect condition comes in handy. We would all be in terrific shape if only humans were as excited about exercise as dogs are!
What kind of exercise do you get psyched about? Is there an activity you enjoy and don’t even realize you are working off those calories? Dance is the best example I can think of. Please share with us – especially if you have an activity you can do sitting down!