If you want to know how best to reach your athletic potential then we have a good example to follow right here from Karla Borland. 

My name is Goose, I’m 10-years-old and I’m an English Pointer.

I’ve lived with my humans since I was 8 weeks old. Apparently English Pointers are quite posh, but my humans seem quite common – we live in a small terrace house with no butler or staff. Thankfully I’m the only dog so I’m confident in my role as the most important dog in the house.

My chief interests in life are naps wrapped in a duvet, walks with lots of sniffing time and stealing from picnics. I like other dogs and humans very much, but humans are my favourite. Particularly humans with sandwiches.

The importance of routine

These days I’m a dog of routine – I like my first walk to be at 7am ideally, followed by a second 2pm stroll and finally, a before-bed wander. I find consistency is key to avoiding too much stress and having sore legs.

These walks can be substituted for a longer nap if it’s raining. Who wants to walk in the rain?! I’ve trained my humans to give me food or snacks on request – sometimes I’m not peckish til mid-afternoon and I don’t like eating the food in my bowl if it’s not fresh. We operate a feed-on-demand policy at home. I go to the kitchen and wag my tail and usually someone feeds me.

I’m a bit fussy about food, so if any drops out of my bowl onto the floor, I can’t eat it. Maybe commoner dogs do but, as I’ve said before, I think I’m quite posh.

Back in the day

Back in my youth I did a lot of running with one of my humans. These days, I’ve retired from running as I’m a bit stiff and frankly can’t be bothered running around unless there’s a squirrel or pheasant involved. Even then, it’s more of a short burst to prove I’ve still got it.

When I see my human put on her running kit in the morning, I know it’s time for an extra snooze in bed. When I did run, I occasionally went MIA after a pheasant or squirrel which tended to cause a fair amount of fuss. Especially if I made my humans late for work, or a wedding (too much fuss that day I’d say).

Plyometrics are very important for some athletes too

My chief interests in life reflect my dog-philosophy.

Firstly – naps are good, especially after a long walk with lots of sniffing. Naps help me to keep mentally sharp – essential when flushing out unsuspecting pheasants. They also help my muscles recover, ready for my next walk. If you ask me, humans don’t nap enough.

The key to a good nap is a quiet house, a full belly of food and not having any worries in my head. Although, to be honest, I don’t worry much about anything.

Secondly – walks are ideally for sniffing good smells, having a nice chat with other friendly dogs and for enjoying the scenery. Walks on a strict timeline or in a rush are not for me.

Life is for living and my nose is definitely made for sniffing. Rushing will lead to missing beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the opportunity to chat to a new dog that might have moved to the area or a particularly pungent scent that needs investigating. My advice to humans with dogs is to slow down and smell the squirrel.

Lighting can be be key for a good nap

Sometimes you need to actively share other people’s picnics

Finally, and perhaps most importantly – stealing from picnics is my one true love. My humans have unfortunately become very good at scouting out picnics before I do but luckily, I have a good memory and so can run back along the river to find picnics I’ve noticed earlier.

This year I managed to eat a whole bag of scotch eggs before an annoying lady put me on a lead. My human – the non-running one – was very upset, especially as he got shouted at by the annoying lady. Those scotch eggs were 100% worth it though. So moreish! I’m all for my normal healthy dog food but sometimes one does need a good snack to liven up the palate. Stolen snacks do seem to taste better too.

I’d love to write more but I am feeling a bit sleepy – it’s mid morning and my usual nap time.