Dealing with a Fitness Fail

Honey the Golden Retriever is coaxed into her DoggyRide bike trailer.

You agreed to join K9 Kamp and now I have to ride in this damn cart? You’d better have some good snacks there.

It’s the eternal question:

If your fitness plans go wrong, do you curl up on the couch with a bag of chips or pick yourself up and make a new plan?

Because my plans for K9 Kamp went wrong this week and could have caused a big fitness fail.

Let me refresh your memory.

K9 Kamp challenges a dog and her person to get fit together by adding an extra 30 minutes of activity 3 or 4 times a week. But we put our own spin on the challenge because Honey needs to gain a few pounds and I need to lose more than a few pounds.

I decided our activities should make me work harder than Honey, like kayaking. Or pulling her in my bike cart.

But Honey had other ideas.

Honey the Golden Retriever jumps into her DoggyRide bike trailer.

Yeah, I remember how to do this. But I can’t guarantee I’m staying.

We spent last year teaching Honey to ride comfortably in my DoggyRide Bike Trailer (affiliate link). By the fall she was doing great. Then winter came and we haven’t worked with her in 7 months.

I knew Honey wouldn’t hop into the cart immediately. But I thought with some good snacks she’d remember the fun we had last year and I could take her for a few short rides this week.

Honey wasn’t interested.

Honey the Golden Retriever sits in her DoggyRide bike trailer.

I’m in. Are you happy?

She stepped into the cart without too much coaxing. She even got her whole body into it once or twice. But it was quickly obvious we wouldn’t be riding anywhere this week.
Honey the Golden Retriever hops out of the DoggyRide bike trailer.

Honey has left the bike cart.

Damn, now what am I going to do for K9 Kamp? Time to get out the chips make a new plan.

To make sure I got more exercise than Honey, we changed our regular routines. On a walk, I practice Honey’s recall. But instead of hiding behind a tree and waiting for her to run back to me, I asked her to sit and stay while I jumped around like an idiot (thank heavens it’s summer or the students in the high school overlooking our favorite creek would have gone insane). I burned a few more calories and tested Honey’s ability to sit despite distractions before calling her to my side.

When we played fetch, I raced her to the ball. And yes, it counts. Because I’m bigger I burned more calories than she did running the same distance.

Honey the Golden Retriever poses in front of her Doggy Ride bike trailer.

I’d rather sit pretty in the hot sun than ride in that damn trailer. Unless… you don’t happen to have some liver, do you?

Sorry I don’t have any pictures. My camera has a setting that prevents the lens cover from opening when I’m embarrassing myself too much.

It was a good lesson for me. I’ve had my fitness plans interrupted before when I sprained my ankle running (Ithaca has terrible potholes). And when my bike’s tires go flat (again, potholes).

I have a list of ways Honey can exercise when it’s yucky outside—nose work, fetch, tug. But I need to keep my own list at the ready. Because life is conspiring to keep me from being fit.

Your Turn: Has your dog changed your fitness plans? How did you deal with it?

Fit Dog Friday badge



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. When my dogs go lame it interrupts my running routine. I tend to not run if they can’t…not really a valid reason, just a rationale. Thanks for joining the Hop. Hope you can get Honey back in the cart.

  2. LOL Honey straight in the cart and out the other end. Well funny. Have a fabulous fit Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Hahaha I think I’d be the same as honey in that cart!

  4. “Honey has left the bike cart”… so funny! But I suppose not so funny for you. Would she stay in there with a good chew? Or… the crate games we are doing would translate to the bike cart nicely, I would think.
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco

    • Last year when we trained Honey intensively, we did something similar to crate games. We started with the wheels off, for one. And we built up to her jumping in and out until she was comfortable enough to sit in one for a while.

      She’s much more interested in keeping an eye on a scenery than a big chewy. But she will feel more comfortable once we practice some more. I just went way too long without reinforcing all our training.

      Of course, I’m not going to beat myself up too much. It’s hard enough riding my bike in the snow without adding training sessions to the mix. :)

  5. Mom likes that lens cover you have for your camera! I guess if a dog isn’t interested you can’t make us do it! I would think that if you use a higher calorie food that Honey could do a bit more exercising. That is what mom did with my sister who was too skinny. She still ran with mom every morning but she ate high grade puppy chow. She didn’t gain but she didn’t lose either. Just a thought. We have mom out exercising by herself too, though…she is some high energy human that we need to wear down.

    • Very good idea.

      I’m not used to counting calories for my dogs. They’ve always done fine just following the guidelines on their food. But I guess I need to start figuring out exactly what Honey needs so she doesn’t get too skinny.

  6. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    How about investing in a treadmill? I’m NOT a runner, but I do walk on it on occasion (admittedly very rare occasion these days) . If you have a closed-in garage (as opposed to a carport), with an electrical outlet, you could keep it in there. And you can actually teach Honey to use it for those days when the weather is just too miserable for a “real” walk. And there are no potholes, either. :-) Callie and Shadow have both gotten their exercise on it on those days when the humidity has been higher than the temps.

    • Generally, I don’t think any day is too miserable for a walk.

      But I’m afraid I don’t have your superhuman discipline to use a treadmill. I tried a stationery bike once and even listening to music and propping a book onto the handlebars, I went insane with boredom. People who exercise in gyms have amazing discipline. I could never do it.

      On the other hand, getting rid of the potholes does sound might tempting. Especially when I’m on the bike. Bumpy roads when there’s only a small saddle between you and the road, well… let’s just say it’s rough on the nether lands. :)

  7. Miss Sugar’s mom had an awesome exercise post yesterday. It involved a kettlebell and a big Kong toy. Don’t get any ideas, the kettlebell would be for you.

  8. I don’t have a cart for BJ. In fact, for me, riding a bike in NYC traffic is not an option. Although according to his DNA he has some retriever in him, his idea of fetch is, he does it once and then I throw it and I retrieve it. I look like an idiot in the park, throwing the ball and running after it.

    I adapted the K9Kamp Challenge to this – I increase his walk by 30 minutes, and I walk instead of talking the bus.

    • I’ve been watching all the furor over the new citi bikes in NYC with interest. I love riding a bike. And I love the city. But I can’t imagine what it would take to give me enough nerve to ride one in Manhattan. :)

      Sounds like you’ve come up with a good challenge for you and BJ. And, as long as the weather stays cool, you shouldn’t mind the extra walking.

      • Years ago when the city was less crowded and I was younger, I rode all over. Now there are too many cars and frankly the taxis and car service guys aim for you and hope to scare you. I was also hit by a taxi when I was on my bike.
        Until I move close to the park, I’ll walk, bus it, or subway it all over.

        Citibikes make it worse because the riders don’t know how to ride in the city, they don’t always follow the lights, or the one-way streets. A man was hit by a car on the first day it was effective.

  9. We’ve had days like that… actually I tend to have them a lot more than I would like!! But now that I found out I have a class reunion in September… well things might have to change!!!

  10. Oh, it’s easy for me to let life conspire against my workout plans. Luckily (at a minimum) Rita keeps me walking. But I also used to do a lot of weights and yoga. Been slowly getting back into the weights, but need to get going on the yoga again.

    Anyway, yes, it’s easy to retreat to the sofa with the, well, not chips in my case – I’d head there with ice cream. Good for your for sticking with it.

    I have that same lens cover for my camera! And just in case it fails and an embarrassing shot is taken, I’ve got a program on my computer that seeks out and destroys goofy shots!

  11. You are so very adaptable. I applaud you for that. Hmmm I think I’d get in that bike cart if you wanted to pedal me around. Looks kind of like a nice ride!

    • I did splurge on a pretty nice cart, Peggy. It even has a custom fitted cushion. All I need is wifi and it would be more comfortable than most airplane seats. :)

  12. Nice job on finding a new way to work out! The dogs don’t change my fitness plans as much as I do! It seems my arms and legs are having trouble keeping up lately so I’ve been having to make our walks shorter which means less of a workout for the dogs, but I’ve been using the back pack and putting weights in it, seems to be working out ok.

  13. I thought about getting one of those trailers, but I have a feeling that the collies wouldn’t like it anymore than Honey…

    • And you’d need a cart for each collie. :)

      Some dogs take to it easily. I got it after seeing a guy who rode across the country with his dog riding in the cart.

      By the end of last summer, Honey was pretty comfortable in it. And she hasn’t lost all her comfort with it. I just need to build up her comfort level again.

      Don’t worry. You’ll see us riding together someday.

  14. First of all do tell me where you got that super cool lens cap! I need one of those :) I will admit that the sight of you jumping around and hiding in the brush while Honey sits perfectly calm is rather amusing too me. Isn’t it funny what we will do in the presence of our dogs?

  15. Mom has changed her fitness routine because of her injuries (which does not stop her working it out, it actually helps out (will be sharing it soon in a post). Modification is important and I try to adjust even though I am a very active senior dog. In our latest FitDog post that’s a modification mom has done to accommodate my needs.
    Honey is great riding the bike with you. I don’t I can do that as I rather run. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  16. I had thought about getting one of those carts for Gizmo but realized he wouldn’t enjoy riding instead of running…so my bike is more of a clothes rack these days …Good for you for not giving up…Using the opportunity to proof Honey’s “stay” is a great plan and one I’ll have to try (without the camera :) )

  17. Whomp whomp. Well that must have been a terribly disappointing moment for you. I’m sad that honey wasn’t very excited to get back in the cart (I think we all cheered when she mastered it last year!) but I think your modifications are a perfect example of K9 Kamp SUCCESS and not a failure at all.

  18. I think all cameras should come with an embarrassment filter for the lens!
    I drag my bipeds out for a walk on days they might otherwise not have bothered. I need to keep them fit enough for long hikes!

  19. LOL! Thanks for the giggles Pamela. When all else fails, humor does wonders during fitness training. :)

  20. I wondered how the doggy bike trailer thing was going. I am in a similar situation. Chester and Gretel don’t need to lose any either….REALLY unlike me. I liked your modification on K9 Kamp and gave myself permission to count pulling the dogs in our bike trailer. They are totally fine getting into the cart but I still have a long way to go with getting them to stop constantly barking. My “fitness plans” were sabotaged too because I have only been able to pull them a few blocks so far :(