By Kennel Mom (aka Mickey)
Summer conditions are here! National Weather Service calls for temperatures in the 80's and no rain for the next 5 days. Saturday it was close to 90 degrees. SP dogs tuck in the shade of their houses during the heat of the day and play at night, which sometimes makes it hard for Aliy and Allen to sleep. Of course, the sun sets for just over 2 hours these days so there really isn't much night at all.
Dingle is 'cool' in the shadow of his house.
Our SP dogs once again take part in the 'Canine Warrior' study, spearheaded by Dr. Mike Davis, from Oklahoma State University. Tests last summer analyzed the effects of electrolytes on canine hydration. (No definitive results have been announced yet.) This summer's focus is the role of proteins in maintaining hydration levels. Results will ultimately be used by our military to improve the performance of bomb sniffing dogs in the Middle East.
Last week sixteen dogs and 3 humans began walking specified distances on trails around the kennel. Over the course of 7 weeks they will gradually increase these timed walks from 3.5 hours three times a week, to 8 hours five times a week. Blood tests at the middle and the end of the walking protocol provide data.
Aliy asked Ryne to be the operational leader for this 2013 testing. Ryne has marked all the trails, set up rest camps, prepped the dogs and the 'doggie hotel', readied the special dog diets, trained the human walkers and devised the record keeping system. She also factored in walking speeds, group dynamics and personality traits to select the test dogs and divide them into walking groups of 4 to 6. Chemo, Waylon, Viper, Honda, Rambler, Nelson, Lester, Tug, Dingle, Beemer, Spicy, Spoog, Scooter, Willie, Outlaw and Boris get to roam the trails. What fun for them and their humans! P.S. Each dog is equipped with a GPS collar to keep track of their mileage and location.
Expect more reports on this project as the testing continues.
Above L-R: Outlaw enjoys the shade and cool water in the Doggie Hotel; Beemer models his GPS collar for Ryne.