April 4, 2014

FitDog Friday: Creative Games From the Mind of a Beagle

Happy Anniversary to the FitDog Friday blog hop! There's lots going on for the celebrations, so check all that out at the end of this post.
I haven't joined in the FitDog hop for a while, partly because I've been trying to focus on getting book no. 3 done and partly because you can only write so much about walking the dog. We're boring, Rita and I. We mostly just walk and walk and walk. She's not much of a one for games. She'll play for a couple of minutes, but then she's done. 

It makes me fondly remember our beagle, Bailey, who was a great lover of games. 

Oh, she enjoyed the usual stuff too, like walking and hiking, ...

... running, ...
... and snowshoeing (when we lived in Canada briefly while each doing our masters degrees at Univ. of Western Ontario).
But she would also make up games. Although, except for chasing the laser light, she refused to play any game where the humans were not actively involved. There would be NO sitting on your butt and throwing the ball with her. No, if anything, she'd do the sitting. For example, the ball game she invented.

Our couch used to stick out into the dining/living area of our tiny apartment. Bailey would stand on the sofa with her front paws up on the back. 

The hubs and I would stand in the open area behind the sofa and bounce a ball at her. She would knock it with her nose and send us chasing after it. If we caught it, we got a point. If we didn't, she got a point. I swear she would purposely try to bop it off at some crazy angle where we'd never get to it in time. 

Another game we used to play with her was "chase the apples." There was a huge apple tree at UWO that dropped tons of fruit in the fall. It sat at the top of a grassy hill, and one day Bailey chased an apple that fell and started rolling down the hill. Well, a new game was born.
Blurry, but gives an idea of how BIG the apple tree was.
And it was a fantastic game, in her view, because she not only got to chase something, she got to take a bite when she caught it! It's a game and a treat-dispensing system! Awesome!!

We had one other game she loved: "Around the Island." Our old house had a rectangular loop with the entry way at one end, and the kitchen at the other. The hubs would stand in the entryway, and I'd be in the kitchen. We'd run back and forth across our respective "territory", tossing a stuffie to each other - he'd throw it to me across the family room on one side of the rectangle, I'd run to the other side of the kitchen, and toss it back to him across the dining/living room. Bailey would run the entire loop, trying to catch the toy before either of us could get it.

Wish I had some video... Hard to describe, but it was a fantastic game for getting all our heart rates up! I've tried to recreate a smaller version with Rita around the dining room table, but she's unclear on the concept and just starts leaping in the air. (Still a good workout I guess...)

In quieter times, Bailey also enjoyed the occasional card game or dominoes, but of course those are games of skill/chance, not for exercise. 
"It's your turn."
We sure miss that funny, creative, active, smart girl!
Have you ever made up fun fitness games with your dog?

Be sure to head over to SlimDoggy today where you can take a fitness quiz. A winner will be randomly chosen from the reader(s) with the highest score for a $50 AMEX gift card! But wait... there's more... check out the FitDog Friday Giveaway and the FitDog Friday 2014 Awards.

Thanks to blog hosts SlimDoggy and co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Check out the links below for more fun fitness tips and advice!


  1. I love the sofa game...I cracked up laughing. She had you trained very well. Our Sally was like that, she would invent games all the time. Neither Jack or Maggie are big on games - Jack will let me chase him, but then he quits pretty quick and just runs in the house with the toy - plus I get tired. Thanks for joining the Hop - good luck with the book!

  2. Sweet memories of Bailey. What a sweet looking beagle she was. We can see you had so much fun together. She sounds like she loved to play and was happiest when all of you played with her. Nice one. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Love all your great photos! Hopping over from Fit Dog Friday

  4. Soo funny! That looks like exactly what Bailey would have been thinking!

  5. That's awesome. They say play is the sign of an intelligent mind. She must have been super smart!

  6. We play some hide and seek and tag. We do tend to play more if Mom gets involved.

  7. Those were some great games I see why you miss her so much, she sounds really fun and she was beautiful. Have a great weekend.

  8. We play hide and seek and race each other. Mr. N usually wins the race though. I don't think gravity affects him.

  9. Oh, Bailey was so much fun!! I especially like the "chase the apples" game. I'm pretty sure Cricket would love that, and that might have even got Kobi moving sometimes! Cricket always wants us to play with her, mostly ball. She'll bring a ball up to bed on weekend mornings and balance it on the edge of the bed trying to get me to push it off. I try not to give in though, because once I start the game it never ends! Plus it creates quite a commotion if the other dogs get involved....lol.

  10. What a sweet post. Love the photos… and the card game, or are those dominos?! Great memories :) For our games, we run around the house and play chase. First I chase Rocco and then he chases me. It's a little bit like your Around the Island but without a toy. We've got a great route throughout the house that makes a perfect loop!
    Diane and Rocco

  11. She sounds like quite a character! We had to get really creative two years ago when Küster started having pano flare ups. The vet prescribed two weeks of crate rest, which was easy for him because he didn't have to live with a high-drive, working puppy. We realized that the vet wanted low impact for him, and so we started taking him out to the lake and we invented a ton of games to keep him busy out in the water. It saved sanity for all of us! I am SO relieved that it didn't happen in the wintertime!

  12. Coco would LOVE "chase the apples". The other day, I came home and she had an apple in her mouth. I have no idea how she got it, or where it came from, but she wanted me to throw it for her. I'm pretty sure he had been waiting there for me all day with the apple. (And without eating it!)

    I can see why you all miss cutie Bailey!

  13. What fun games! I'd love to have a fruit tree of some kind but the only thing I've had luck with is an avocado tree. They don't grow avocados though. : ( Beagles are such fun dogs.

  14. What about the game you guys played when Lou used to do sleepovers? You would throw treats for Lou and Bailey, and as long as they kept catching them, the game went on, right? That's when Lou really came to love the Bouchard spa!

    1. Oh, yes! You're right. That was always a classic game!

  15. What great games Bailey invented! Other than the Nose Works, and some run of the mill games of tug or fetch, we're pretty much "boring" walkers too. LOL!

    Meadow occasionally gets the zoomies, and while that's a load of fun to watch, I wouldn't categorize it as "creative". :-)

  16. I am trying to catch up on last week's Fit Dog hop and hopefully will get around to the rest of the posts in my reader this weekend. Between field training and shows, it has been nuts. I love the game with the bouncing ball. That sounds like a blast!


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