Let’s treadmill!

Grouse season opened August 30 but I may wait until Partridge and Sage Grouse seasons open in a couple of weeks before going hunting. Right now I have my shotguns partially disassembled and am making stock extensions, since the stocks are too short for me.

So conditioning continues with the guys working out on the treadmill, and me taking a 5-day Team BeachBody challenge. Since dogs are more fun to watch then me, I made a video of the enthusiasm they have for working out on the treadmill.

Hunting snacks for hunting dogs

When it comes to dog snacks, one that was advocated by Bill Tarrant and Delmar Smith is a meatball with a honey capsule. The meatball provides the necessary protein, and the honey helps keep pup’s blood sugar from dropping due to the rigors of hunting. So I decided to give it a try.

meatball snacks 1

Using the recipe below, I mixed the eggs, bread crumbs and hamburger, then added the water and re-mixed. After that I made (approximately) golf-ball sized meatballs, and the recipe yielded 34 meatballs.

meatball snacks 5

After browning them in a pan, I baked them for 15 minutes at 350 (F) degrees.

I purchased the gel capsules at a health store where three sizes were available: “O”, “OO”, and “OOO”. I chose the smallest size, “O”.

meatball snacks 3

While the meatballs were baking, I filled the gel capsules with honey, using an oral injector that I purchased at the grocery store’s pharmacy for a couple of dollars.

meatball snacks 4

Once the meatballs were cooked and cooled, I poked a small hole in them with a knife and inserted the honey-filled gel cap. I packaged two meatballs per bag and froze them. During an all-day hunt, this will give pup a snack in the morning and another in the afternoon.

meatball snacks 7
Meatballs recipe:

2 large eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
2 lbs hamburger
1/3 cup water
brown meatballs on all sides in a skillet, then bake at 350 (F) for15 minutes

Honey capsules:

“O” gel capsules
oral injector

Doc’s birthday party

Cheeseburgers for everyone, and Slobber Balls for a birthday present.

Cheeseburgers for everyone, and Slobber Balls for a birthday present.

Darby Canyon Doc Savage turned 3 on Saturday, and Sunday was his birthday party.

Doc and Mia play with the Slobber Balls.

Doc and Mia play with the Slobber Balls.

He celebrated it with cheeseburgers for everyone and a present that no Spinoni should be without – Slobber Balls.

Doc napping with his new toy.

Doc napping with his new toy.

Pre-season conditioning

With hunting season beginning in three weeks, we’re doing some conditioning to get into shape for the rigors of bird hunting. It’s too hot to do much aerobic work outside, and beginning in August, I keep the guys out of the water over concerns of algae poisoning although I haven’t heard of any outbreaks of the deadly blue-green stuff yet.

So I work the dogs out on the treadmill and since they cannot be unsupervised while on a treadmill, I work out on the elliptical to keep them company. With four of the guys working out for 20 minutes each and one for 10 minutes, that’s 1 ½ hours of elliptical exercising for me. After the elliptical workout, I do 25 minutes of T25 stretching and another 20 minutes of Tai Cheng neural reboot.

Dakota can't wait to get started with her workout.

Dakota can’t wait to get started with her workout.

The guys get a treat both before and after working out on the treadmill and Dakota is obsessed with it, always the first to jump on. In fact, I often have to put up the child gate to keep her from pushing her way in for extra work.

Dakota just happy do be working out.

Dakota just happy do be working out.

At the age of 10, Dakota walks on the treadmill at a medium pace for 20 minutes.

Sophie concentrating on her workout.

Sophie concentrating on her workout.

Sophie is going on 13 and enjoys the treadmill as well, and I walk her at a slow pace for 10 minutes. She usually waits in the room for her turn.

Elvis enjoys the workout after it's over.

Elvis enjoys the workout after it’s over.

Elvis doesn’t necessarily enjoy the treadmill, but dutifully takes his turn. I put him on one of the pre-programmed workouts for 20 minutes; he doesn’t take a treat until after working out, at which time he gets 2 treats.

Mia trucking along on the treadmill.

Mia trucking along on the treadmill.

Mia enjoys the treadmill but not with the enthusiasm of the Labs. I put her on a pre-programmed workout for 20 minutes as well.

Doc brings a workout buddy with him.

Doc brings a workout buddy with him.

Doc loves the treadmill and usually brings a “friend” to work out with. As with Elvis and Mia, I put him on a pre-programmed workout for 20 minutes.

Judging debut

I really enjoyed my debut as a dog show judge Tuesday evening, as I was asked to judge the local 4H dog show. It will be interesting to see how the winners do in the state fair next month.


The show had two categories: showmanship and obedience. In the showmanship category, more weight is placed on the handler and in obedience, the focus is mostly on the dog. As it turned out, there was a first place tie in the showmanship category so we held a tie-breaker.


There are a lot of considerations in the 4H dog shows that you don’t have with professional shows such as AKC dog shows. First, the dogs are handled by kids rather than professional or adult handlers, and the dogs are in various stages of obedience (or disobedience as the case may be), which is entertaining.


Most of the dogs are cross-breeds rather than purebred dogs, so I judged them according what appeared to be the dominant breed. I was also a little more lenient on kids who were showing a headstrong breed.

Then some of the dogs have had injuries or health issues related to age, which I took into consideration. For example, one little dog had trouble breathing and its back legs didn’t work very well, having been hit by a car years previously.


In all, it was a lot of fun and the kids were excited, regardless of how they scored.