When Wally won BOB at the GHKC show in Sept I was ecstatic — finally we got the big win! [Of course it’s not the REALLY big win, which is BIS, but that’s a ways off if it ever happens.] Of course I got a photo because duh. As I was arranging Wally on the table like a four legged vase of flowers (in my head I said vaaas) the judge made a point to tell me what excellent condition Wally was in. This, of course, was a huge compliment because just 2 months prior Wally had literally been a bag of bones (due to the stress of living in Cali, in case you weren’t with us then). And it was a huge reward for all the work I did! So what did I do?
First of all, I recognized that Wally’s eating preferences might be obnoxious but they are by no means unreasonable. He doesn’t like eating the same thing at every meal, he needs variety. Ok, no big. I mean, we all need variety, right? If somebody came up with a “100% balanced” people chow, would you eat it every meal, every day? Because it’s 100% balanced, so why not! Of course not. So I embraced Wally’s eating habits and now he (almost) never gets the same thing twice in a row. I also recognized that he likes to play with his food, in a manner of speaking, so I use the Buster Cube. So we rotate between plain kibble, kibble mixed with wet, wet, tripe, raw, and fatty meatballs. My goal is to just make the dude eat!
Second, we’ve been conditioning regularly. I think this has more to do with Wally’s improved condition than the food does. We go running three times a week following the Couch to 5K program. I run slow enough so that Wally is gaiting the entire time and now we’re up to running for 30min straight. This alone has not only improved his movement — getting him to extend and use himself more — but it has also built up a lot of muscle. I attribute muscle development in his flank area, not to mention building up leg muscling (particularly the all-important second thigh), to our running regimen.
It sure feels good have all that hard work recognized with a BOB win!