As you all know, Sadie is a full bred English Springer Spaniel with an excellent pedigree. She has all of the best traits of a springer spaniel and (fingers crossed) none of the obvious genetic problems. But, she is still a puppy from the sporting group. She requires exercise – daily exercise. I’m not sure if you have ever noticed the little symbols in dog breed books that denote exercise requirements, but Sadie’s breed falls under High. It wasn’t until this week-long rest (for her spay recovery) that I truly realized what High means. Under normal conditions, Sadie and I spend a lot of time outside. She is generally a very well-behaved puppy and quite happy. This “rest week”, I saw a different Sadie… my little monster. 🙂
I’ve never understood why someone would give a dog to a shelter. How can you say you can’t handle a dog? Now, I know. I would never give Sadie away! But, I can see how, if you do not give your pet enough attention and exercise, they become unmanageable. Sadie was feeling better as the “rest week” went on, but she wasn’t allowed to run, jump and play because of her stitches. And, she did not like that! Twice (when she wasn’t on her leash – Mom’s fault) she took off running around the yard and opened up her incision. I knew she had to rest, but she wasn’t tired.
Sitting in the shade only worked for the initial days home from surgery.
So, I tried mental stimulation. More long-lasting cheese chews.
They helped… but only for part of the day. Sadie was a lot more nippy, barky and she even tried to be a little destructive! She has never chewed anything that wasn’t a toy before, but suddenly she was trying to chew things that were not toys. She was a little bored and wanted to exercise. But, I knew rest was important, so I managed her the best I could and waited her out. We had a few long days. 🙂
But, eventually the week was up and I celebrated with a nice neighborhood walk. Sadie loved it! Later that day, we went out for a short frisbee session. I wanted to ease back into exercise.
She really opened it up in the yard. Tearing around the corners with the wind blowing back her ears! Heaven.
And, with the return of exercise,we have seen the very well-behaved Sadie return, too. It really showed me how humans cause all the dog problems, one way or another. Give a dog her basic needs and she’ll be a joy to live with.