Maggie Mae - age 11 years, 6 months
Max - age 14 years, 1 month
Somewhere between my poor memory and horrible math calculations, I discovered my dogs are actually younger than I thought they were! Ha! This is one time being wrong is a good thing. Both of my dogs came from Lanarkstone Kennels - a reputable West Highland White Terrier Breeder (Sandy Davis) in Renton, Washington. Max was born November 11, 1995 in a litter of three. Maggie Mae was one of five litter mates born July 6, 1998. He's hefty and she is petite in comparison. His coat is a bit more off white compared to hers. Both are true to their breed. Max is a cuddly boy and Maggie is my shadow but doesn't like to be held. They both love car rides, squeaky toys, Yummy Chummy dried salmon treats and smoked knuckle bones. They are happy, social little pooches and love attention.
Winter in Alaska is hard on little dogs like this. Although Westies are very hardy and healthy by nature and can handle a cold brisk walk fairly well, I'm not up to freezing my extremities when things get into the single digits here sooooooooo.... I bought a second hand treadmill for us to get some indoor walks during the nasty weather. Neither of them were keen on the idea at first but after they were harnessed (using their car seat harnesses), and clipped to the front of the treadmill with a leash to avoid drifting and getting too far back on the moving belt, they became quite adept with the system.
Max is in the photo above on the treadmill. He gets in the zone with his head down and concentrates on the moving belt. He walks with purpose. The platform is raised on the first level of incline. We start the machine slow and after the dogs warm up on a 1 mile an hour speed setting - we gradually raise it to a medium paced walk for Max (5 minutes for now), because of his age and arthritis. Maggie gets a brisker walk and longer time span of 15 minutes, and then a cool down period for both.
We walk them one at a time of course, and hope to improve their muscle development and reduce stress buildup from lack of exercise. They seem energized and playful after their walks but sleep better and aren't so 'antsy' during the day. We should have been doing this more often but like everything else, it seems like January is a good time for goal setting and stepping up to new challenges. I haven't posted much about my dogs so thought it would be nice to share a bit more about them. If you have a treadmill and bored dogs, try combining the two for a fun workout to better canine health. Now I just need to jump on the treadmill when they are done!