Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gromit on the Treadmill

 Rummy lays by my side, giving me support while I show Gromit how it is done.

 Gromit lays down at Mum's feet, taking it in.

Getting our exercise on the treadmill is paramount and advantageous in many ways. It allows us canines to spend our excess energy, and being Airedales, we have a lot of it. Going on the treadmill forces us to use our mental capacities to focus our energy on a given task, we have to train our minds to focus on the repetition of our steps, we listen to our breathing, and go with the flow of our steps and movements. It is very relaxing to do this, either at a slow walk (1 mile per hour) or a slow trot (3 miles per hour).
 After 3 days of getting accustomed to the sound and sensation of the treadmill, and after seeing Rummy and I get on it to have fun, Gromit now can go on the treadmill on his own, stay there, and learn to walk on the treadmill.
 In the beginning, Gromit couldn't coordinate his front legs and back legs at the same time. Too much was going on for him, so Mum had to carry his back legs up, so that he could just walk with his two front legs.
 Later on, mum held on to support his belly, while his back legs started walking slowly, just lightly touching the belt at first, and then finally putting his back feet down. The rhythm of the walk was coming back to him. Of course, walking is a natural movement for us dogs, so walking on the treadmill wasn't as difficult as Gromit imagined it to be, and with the passing tries, he gained more confidence and got better and better.
Finally, Mum no longer needed to carry him or support his belly up. However, she still needed to support his butt so that he wouldn't slide off the belt. She stayed there, touching his butt, but also giving him words of encouragement as Gromit walked slowly. Soon afterward, Mum was able to step off the treadmill, and just stand at the side of the treadmill for Gromit to walk entirely on his own.

It took Gromit only 3 days to master the walk on the treadmill, through small little increments of sessions on the treadmill. From not wanting to even be on the treadmill, to putting his front legs as brakes and refusing to move, to barely walking and now walking independently, Gromit has come a long way, in a very short time. He likes going on the treadmill now. What an amazing transformation.



At 2:12 AM, Blogger Maggie and Mitch said...

Way to go, Gromit! Nice job!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch


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