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Stio vest with husky

My 3 Gifts for Health this Holiday Season

About two months ago I was out on an afternoon walk with my dog, Kota, and as we turned the corner onto our street, all four of her legs gave out and she collapsed.  I couldn’t get her to stand and she lay limp.  I sat on the curb and cried.  I tried to pick her up – I would carry her 62 lbs home if I had to.  But she growled.  I assumed she was in pain.  Fortunately, I had my cell phone with me (very rare as I usually don’t bring it on walks). I called my husband.  Crying, I said, “I think Kota is letting me know it’s time to go.” My husband was picking up dinner and about 10 minutes away.  When he arrived, I was able to pick up Kota and put her in the back of his Ford Edge.  

Guess what happened? She jumped up and started prancing around!  We took her for a ride and she was happy as could be!  When we got home she ran around the backyard.  I brought her to our holistic vet that week.  I asked, “Does she want to ‘go'”?  No…. not yet… this was the day Kota decided she just didn’t want to go for walks anymore! She was DONE!  Hanging her backyard was all she wanted to do!

For 10 years if I was home, Kota and I walked twice a day.  Rain, sleet, snow, ice… we didn’t miss a walk…. or a run, or a snowshoe.  Kota is a high energy husky mix.  When she was younger I was a big runner and she trained with me.  She helped me train for the Lake Placid half marathon, and made the fun adventure with us when I ran it!  She kept me moving and kept me healthy. 

Lake Placid Half Marathon
Lake Placid Half Marathon 2011
running with a husky
Run Training with Kota

I miss my walks with Kota!  I was in a slump for weeks and my health declined.  How could I walk or run without a dog?  How guilty I would feel heading out without her! There is just no way!  But  my clothes started to get tight – ugh! I wasn’t taking breaks from the computer while editing images …. my lower half took the brunt of it 🙂 

Kota is still here and I am working on taking care of ME so I can enjoy every moment with HER!  I’m sharing with you my three gifts of self care that are helping me get it back together!  Kota is happy … it’s ME that was missing the walking and running with her!  How selfish of me!

1. My Garmin Fenix 6S Saphire

Would you spend $750 on  a watch?  My husband thought I was out of my mind… until I shared with him all of the amazing things that the Garmin Fenix 6S Saphire watch can do!  And guess what?  We BOTH got one!  This watch blows away my old Fitbit. I find if I’m spending good money on something, I am going to make the best of using it!  This does everything to tracking my crazy sleep patterns, to detailed running stats.  Every day I’m finding something new and exciting this watch does! Looking for the nearest restaurant to your location? YES!  Sunrise and Sunset times for photo a session right on the watch face? YES! I was surprised how detailed the data was after I went on my first run with it!  It even mapped out trail behind my house. The watch has motivated me to get moving – I’m obsessed! (we did get it on special, but after the customization we were back at $750 lol!)

Garmin Fenix 6s First Run Map
My First Run with the Garmin Fenix 6S
Garmin Fenix 6s
Garmin Fenix 6s
Garmin Fenix 6S sunrise and suset

2. Stylish Warmth – Stio Vest

Comfortable, cute AND warmth is key for outdoor winter activities!  I spent some time looking for a perfect vest for running.  The struggle:  I’m shorter at 5’4″, but I’m long waisted and I can’t stand tops and coats that are cropped!  I came across this Stio vest and it’s perfect!  It’s slightly on the longer side, fitted through the sides, and I”m loving the maroon color!  Hoping they come out with more jewel tones or even a pink so I can add a few more to the wardrobe. 

Stio vest with husky
Stio winter running vest

3. Healthy Eating

I need to get back on track with a healthy eating plan!  I will first tell you that I did make an amazing chocolate chunk pecan pie for Thanksgiving that was perfect with coffee oreo ice cream from Richardsons – and I wonder why my favorite “Kut from the Kloth” brand jeans are tight!  

I purchased a Black Friday special of a 6 week custom meal plan from Diets by Ismini. I worked with her a while back and shed some pounds.  I need to get back on track and need the accountability.  Ismini works directly with you to create something that will work!  She’s realistic and super supportive.  I’m starting in January as the holidays mean white chocolate covered ginger snaps and cheese and potato pierogies. I didn’t want to stress too much about healthy eating… but I am getting the running in! If you are looking to get back on track, I highly recommend Ismini! She lives in MA, but everything is virtual. 

Premier Protein Shakes
Premier Protein Shakes to help curb the appetite!

So here it is!  My plan for getting back to self care!  As I write this, Kota is doing awesome!  I am going to enjoy each and every day that I have with her.  I miss our walks and runs and outdoor adventures, but I’m doing my best to accept that it’s all part of having a “senior” dog. We must still take care of ourselves so we can be the best we can for our pets!!!  We haven’t had any snow this year, but I’m hoping we have a white winter, just for Kota!  Even is she might not be able to snowshoe this year, I love her joy of just laying in the snow catching the sun’s rays. They do make our world!  

This week’s post is part of blog circle of professional pet photographers around the world. Click on the link at the end of each post and follow along.  Next up is Nicole of Pawtraits by Nicole shares what she bought herself for Christmas!  Enjoy!!!

7 thoughts on “My 3 Gifts for Health this Holiday Season”

  1. I love that your dog was very deliberate in what she was trying to tell you. Northern dogs are so amazing. I’m glad she is doing fine. Keep up the good work on taking care of yourself! It’s inspiring.

  2. How wonderful that Kota let you know she was done with walking! But I can understand how horrible your felt when she collapsed. She is your whole world outside of Pete. Hopefully she can go snowshoeing with you this winter. The watch, the vest and healthy eating plan should definitely make for you a healthy New Year.

  3. Oh my gosh Kota! That would be so scary! I’m gad she’s doing okay and I love that she knew just how to communicate with you and that you listened.

    Congratulations on the watch. Wooohooo!

  4. You had me freaking out about Kota! I was so ready to start bawling. I’m glad you can learn to focus on you some more, though. I need to do the same. I was running half-marathons just five years ago and now … nothing.

  5. Oh yes, you did freak me out with Kota! I haven’t been at this point in a long while and I am hoping my gals will be walking and hiking with me for many years to come since they are younger. I hear you on feeling guilty going out without her, but if she is happy – then no guilt should be for you! No, I can’t see myself spending that kind of money on a watch – but so glad you are loving it!

  6. Glad to read that Kota is doing okay and makes her own decisions. Taking care of YOU is important, and it sounds like the perfect action plan!

  7. I loved seeing those images of you and Kota together, she looks so happy. It’s amazing what dog’s tell us when we listen to them. I tell the parents of reactive dogs all the time – “don’t take your dog for walks, they’re happier at home”. That vest is cute (and cute pic with Kota). I too am on the weight loss train in 2022…here’s to our mutual success!

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