We are beginning week four of life with Ms. Phoebe. When we first adopted Phoebe, we realized she had just given birth to a bunch of pups around the beginning of 2021. She had just stopped nursing and the pups were getting adopted before her. Since Ms. Phoebe has joined our house, I’ve begun the post-baby weight workouts with her two times per day. Ms. Crosby is usually good for one of the two big workouts, but at almost 15 years old, keeping up with a 5 year old is really difficult.

The training log is getting full.

One consistent challenge with Crosby is mental stimulation. Ms. Crosby likes to wander in many different places. She will not walk the same path two days in a row. If you think you can get away with just a neighborhood walk twice a day she will put the brakes on and tell you to bug off. We’ve learned to rotate parks daily: O’Hara, Highland (loop, hill climb, wood climb, zoo road, tennis courts), Frick, A-Wall Riverfront, The Mounds, Allegheny River Trail and sometimes the Freeport Trail. Let’s just say sniffing is key.

Say duck? Back in the day in magic town.

On the other hand we went from not being sure if we could even get Phoebe to sit to put a leash on her. Then we were not sure we could teach Ms. Phoebe to walk on a leash, but she was a champion. Due to Crosby’s requirement for new scenery each day, we then had to see if Phoebe could share our EZdog Tandem leash with Crosby to climb the hills of Highland Park. She proved the trails with a big older elkhound were a cake walk. After only one week Phoebe could walk on a leash and knew what “Go for a Ride” meant. Now she’s starting to push my spin bike fitness to a new lever by asking to run on the leash. I’ve had to bust out the interval edition from my Peloton app to do walk run intervals block to block. Phoebe would prefer a 6 mph pace while Crosby is much happier at 2.5 mph. We are ending the month with me creating special night time Phoebe interval outings without Crosby.

The bonding challenge is also real. Wherever I go Phoebe goes. The David and Ms. Crosby morning routine has been challenged as Ms. Phoebe is fighting for all the love, while Crosby has always had a morning belly, back, piggy, hind leg routine. The challenge of teaching a dog who never had this much love, boundaries is real, but it’s a good challenge to have at this point considering our little rescue pup has truly bonded with me and Crosby.

The only thing stopping Ms. Phoebe is rain or her sister saying slow-down. I’ve had to implement a few Crosby only trips with slower walks and some drive time. In the process I learned that Phoebe howls and has discovered that if she sits by the door, I’ll actually come back home. I’m not sure what happened to her in her past life. My mileage for the month is averaging 5.5 miles per day and if I put a pedometer or GPS on Phoebe I’d bet she’d be around 8 miles a day with her running around the house after her duck or making her cow moo.

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