It is summertime! For me, this means spending more time outside. Either running or playing. Or just relaxing and enjoying the warmer weather. In the summer, my mom and I also get to go for long walks together.
In Maine, our winters are usually long, cold, and snowy. Not always the ideal weather to be outside for long periods. So the warmth of our summers is a nice contrast.
We had a lovely spring. And are having an equally lovely start to our summer. The temps have been comfortable with low humidity. Although there have been some very chilly nights! It is the perfect weather for me. And my mom, too!
With low humidity and moderate temperatures, I can play outside during the day. Unlike when it is very hot and humid. Which limits my playtime to early morning or later in the evening.
Me and Roo!
My sisters, Buffy and Roo, love playing with me in our big fenced yard. Well, Buffy mostly just watches or rolls in the grass since she is older. Although she does still sometimes play a little bit. Roo and I have fun chasing each other. And running after the ball when our dad throws it for us.
As a service dog, I need to exercise so I stay in good shape. And at my proper weight. For a few of my tasks, I have to put my paws up and support myself on just my back legs. This requires good muscle tone and strength.
This is maintained with proper exercise, along with some stretching and conditioning. My mom has a few fun exercises she does with me. And also varies the amount of time I have my front paws up so I can build strength and endurance.
Some examples of tasks I do when I am standing up on my back legs are pushing elevator and automatic door buttons, turning a light switch off, delivering dropped items to my mom at the counter’s edge, and doing cashier transactions. Some require me to be up on my hind legs for a short time. And others much longer.
Giving my mom a dropped item!
Some safety precautions need to be taken during the summer. Especially on the days that are sunny, hot, and humid. My mom needs to make sure I drink plenty of water and not overexert myself. She always brings water for me when we are out and about. And we try to minimize the distances we go.
She also has to make sure my paws are protected. In the summer, the sun can cause the pavement to reach unbearable temperatures for my paws. This is especially true during the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. And at the time we are most often out doing errands.
One of my travel water bottles!
But I haven’t even had to wear my boots yet this summer. Or have my mom apply Musher’s Secret to protect my pads from the hot pavement. Because it hasn’t been too hot when we’ve gone places. Like my mom’s appointments or doing errands.
If we have to wait outside for any reason on a hot day, my mom makes sure we are in the shade. This is needed as much for my mom as it is for me. With the MS, my mom is very sensitive to the heat. And she needs to avoid being in direct sunlight.
I know it is early in the summer. And these lovely days are bound to change. But for right now, my mom and I are enjoying this beautiful weather!