TheFitDog’s review of his Dog Buff from Kit Shack

February 27, 2015

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

Hey guys and bitches! How have you all been?

Sorry I haven’t blogged for you in ages (which in Dog Years is Really Ages!)

I’ve got a sweet product review for you all today: ideal for you outdoors-y type dogs who still like to look smart even when you’re muddy.

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My friends at Kit Shack (online shop which sells mainly outdoor gear, hats and buffs for humans) send me a smart DOG BUFF and asked me to use my handsome good looks and incredible writing skills to review it.

You guys already know that I have a Woof Coat, but what you might not know is that I love my old neckerchief (Nic’s sister had it made for me one Christmas). But the annoying thing about that thing is that it has to be knotted on, and then the knot slips round and flaps in my face, and if I have a drink you can bet your life the flappy bits of the knot will go in the puddle or in my food bowl.

My new dog buff solves all those problems.

It’s thin and stretchy, not at all restrictive, and totally comfy. I really like wearing it and push my head right through it when I see Nic get it ready. I dunno why… it feels comforting and I guess I know I look extra-handsome with it on.

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The one I got sent is blue and yellow as you can see, with cool pictures of bones and balls all over it. But you can get other ones in different sizes too – take a look at the Dog Buff range.

Here are my fashion recommendations if you want my advice (you do):
= black dogs like my cousins LOTTIE and DORA – red buff
= brown dogs like me and my cousin NALA – blue/yellow buff
= white dogs with spots all over like my friend PONGO – yellow buff

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It’s the perfect buff for this Winter/Spring transition time, giving just the right amount of warmth without being hot. The bright print means Nic can see me better even when I try to camoflague in the mud and sticks. And it has two thick reflective strips on it which are really bright when we are walking along the road in the evening.

Those ducks are totally jealous of my dog buff!

Those ducks are totally jealous of my dog buff!

The Dog Buffs from Kit Shack would get two thumbs up if I had any thumbs, but I don’t. So I give them a massive wag of the tail and a big smile instead!

You can check out Kit Shack online</a.

Thanks KitShack for my dog buff!
I really loved reviewing it! Frankie xoxox

TheFitDog’s review of his Dog Buff from Kitshack is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog on Take Your Dog To Work Day

June 26, 2014

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

Yo guys! What. Is. UP?

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Last Friday was Take Your Dog To Work Day. How cool is that?

See, I didn’t realise, but apparently not all humans work at home and this means some dogs get left at home all day, or they go to a different house, or a different human comes in to take them for a walk. I never knew! I sit at home all day (mostly in the garden) and Nic sits at home all day (mostly at her desk). Sweet!

So, I didn’t actually have to be “taken” anywhere or do anything different at all to celebrate “Take Your Dog To Work Day”. I used the time I saved (by not having to commute) to write this blog post.

I’ve actually written about how hard I work in previous blog posts. The best one is probably this one I reckon, it’s got pictures of me with Doom the Gladiator!

Today I thought I would address the important topic of Staying active and limber even when you work from home.

It’s a very important subject. See, most big offices are set up only for people to work in them. That’s the point. So they have proper office chairs, big desks, proper computers with fancy keyboards, and maybe the people who run the office even do “employee wellness” and make the humans do stuff like have health tests and walk about and things. Oh and most offices have stairs, so the humans can be active by walking to other floors and going to meetings.

When Nic is working from home, just writing stuff, she doesn’t do any of that. Nobody makes sure her desk is set up properly, she can sit on any chair she wants, and we have no employee wellness incentives here.

This is my advice to Nic (some of which she does) and it’s my advice to you, too, if you also work at home:

– get a dog πŸ˜‰ They’ll definitely help you be more active, and will also help “top and tail” (<< hahaha!) your day with walks. This in turn helps you create a boundary between work time and home time

– take a proper lunch break even if it’s only 20 minutes, and don’t eat your lunch at your desk

– make activity a big part of your day, and be mindful of it. Walk :D, potter in the garden on your break, go to the gym, walk to do local chores if possible

– don’t sit there for hours and hours and hours! Get up, walk about. Take phone calls standing up. Maybe even set a beeper so you remember to get up even when you’re totally engrossed in your work

– try to separate your work life from your home life, otherwise you might find yourself on that computer morning, noon, and night, weekdays and weekends

– get a separate keyboard for your laptop, one that’s shaped properly by clever people who understand wrist pain and RSI

– don't sit on a rubbishy chair to do your work. Get one of those "saddle stools", seriously, they're great!

– have regular check ups with an osteo, and/or regular massages to keep yourself pain free

– do stretches and postural exercises regularly during the day

Nic doesn't do all of these things 😦 no matter how often I remind her. She's good at walking, and at going to the gym. She has a saddle stool (best decision ever, she says!) And she sometimes sees massage people and an osteo to keep her relatively pain-free.

One more thing, before I go back into the garden: Take Your Dog To Work Day isn’t just about dogs going to work. It’s a well serious day, actually! It’s all about adopting rescue dogs, and supporting people who work on behalf of rescue dogs, and basically about how brill rescue dogs are and how you humans should all love us! I’m a rescue dog actually, so I’m totally behind this whole thing. Anyway, if you have a mo, check out the Take Your Dog To Work Day website and maybe see what you can do to help. Not every dog is as lucky as me, you know!

Bye!

TheFitDog on Take Your Dog To Work Day is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog’s top tip for getting through the heatwave

July 16, 2013

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

Hey guys!

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Isn’t it hot? I’m not complaining, no way, I love baking myself in the garden til the insides of my ears go pink. But Nic says “that’s the whole problem”, and that I have “no common sense”.

It seems that she takes issue with the fact that, no matter how hot I get or how long I spend in the sun, I don’t really drink enough water. I dunno why! I just don’t really make the link. Hot+panting=water? Really? I’m not convinced.

Anyway I know the science behind hydration and so I have been trying a few tricks to get myself to drink more water. I thought you guys (or maybe your dogs) might like to hear them.

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Frankie’s best ideas for drinking more water when you’re really really hot in the Summer but can’t be bothered to drink water from your bowl

1) Ask your human to put small dog treats, or bits of broken dog biscuit, into ice cube trays. Top up with water and freeze. You can then nibble on the treat-filled ice cubes. You’ll be so focused on the treat you won’t notice that you hydrated yourself!

2) “Meat water”. Simply get your human to add a tiny bit of juice from a packet of meat (fish water also works well) into a bowl of water. Yum yum! It’s kind of like watery gravy, but has excellent hydrationalisating properties. I like using Meat Water from my Kezie Foods raw dog food for this recipe.

3) Drink from the canal. Nic says “No! No! Stop it!” and adds “please do not do this one, you will wake your human up four times in the night needing a sh*t”. I still say it’s a fine idea.

4) Ditto ^^^ the garden pond.

Well, that’s all from me! Stay cool everyone and remember: don’t jump into the canal unless you’re prepared to be shampooed under the garden hose afterwards!

Frankie.

TheFitDog’s top tip for getting through the heatwave is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog reviews Kezie Foods raw dog food

June 18, 2013

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

Hey guys!

Today I am doing a product review of some FOOD!

^^^ That is my review but just in case you can’t understand my accent, I will do a write-up as well.

The lovely people at Kezie Foods recently sent me 10kgs raw dog food! Amazing. It’s not a product they advertise on their website but they do offer it, so if you decide you want some after reading my blog today, just email or ring them and they will hook you up with the good stuff!

If you don’t know about Kezie Foods then you should. Nic gets stuff from them quite often and I have come to love the days when the guys ding dongs the doorbell and delivers those boxes of meat! Nic gets what she calls “wild meats” (stuff like springbok, zebra, kangaroo) but you can also get fish and beef. The meat comes from exciting places all around the world and from Kezie’s own small farm in Scotland. Nic says it is “very good quality” and “ethical meat”. I just know that it smells great.

Today my review is for Kezie’s dog food. Make no mistake, this is no tinned atrocity or boring dry biscuit. No no, this is the most delicious and exciting raw meat you’ll ever try.

Basically, right, the people at Kezie use the tasty offcuts of meat to make their burgers and sausages and stuff. But sometimes there are bits of meat which aren’t good enough to go in those products, but they don’t want to chuck them away. Or they might make a sausage which is a bit wonky and ugly, but they don’t want to chuck that away either (why would they). So what they do is, squish together all the bits which are too ugly or not good enough for humans and sell it as dog food. (Nic says it is “amazingly cheap” and “a no-brainer”)
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I expected a mish-mash of meat, maybe with some gristle in there. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I was not prepared for what I actually discovered! Yes it is a mish-mash of meat but, nestled in amongst the minced bits, are whole sausages! Massive chunks of red meat! I think I even saw half a burger in there!

Check it out: sausage! πŸ™‚
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When I say this is the best dog food I have ever eaten, I am not exaggerating. When I took my first taste, I needed two tails to wag, that’s how happy I was!

Quite honestly you can eat this food any way you want, but I thought you guys might like a recipe.
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Frankie’s Best Dinner recipe
Ingredients
– 1/2 scoop of your normal biscuit
– a handful of cruciferous veg (I like broccoli stems)
– a generous serving Kezie dog food

Directions
– mix in a bowl and add warm water

There! πŸ˜€

Thank you so much, Kezie, I really love my food! Nic says the only problem is “finding room for it in the freezer”, but I told her I’ll just eat it quicker to save her the bother. Haha! Woof!

You can find out more about Kezie Foods at Kezie Foods website or Kezie on Facebook or Kezie Foods on Twitter.

TheFitDog reviews Kezie Foods raw dog food is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog’s manifesto for walking (for National Walking Month)

April 22, 2013

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

Hey gang!

So today I am writing a blog on the topic of WALKING. Nic did offer to do it but I said leave it to me. If you want to know about walking, ask a dog!

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Did you know that May is National Walking Month? Well, every month is walking month as far as I’m concerned, but next month is going to even better.

I’m going tell you all about it so you can join me (in a virtual sense, at least) and we can all walk together.

First up, my manifesto for walking. I have spent a lot of time on this so please don’t laugh. I already have a touch of alopecia and I don’t think my nerves could take it.

dog's manifesto for walking

Here are some stats for you sporty folk. Did you know that 40% of adult humans who go to the gym less than two miles away actually drive there? And 13% of the ones who have to go less than one mile drive. You humans are so silly! Walk!

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The charity Living Streets asked me to ask you to walk more during May – National Walking Month. There’s Walk to Work Week (13-17 May) and Walk to School Week (20-24 May) so don’t say they haven’t tried to tempt you!

Living Streets is the national charity that stands up for pedestrians (mostly humans, but they care about dogs too). They’ve been the national voice for pedestrians for 80 years now and it’s them we have to thank for the introduction of the driving test, pedestrian crossings and 30mph speed limits.

Check out the National Walking month website and get signed up before May. I’ve had a look (with Nic’s help) and it’s really good, there are virtual challenges, log books and route planners, it’s really fun to use and there’s so much on there. Registration (which is free) is open now. You can also like Living Streets on Facebook and follow Living Streets on Twitter.

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TheFitDog’s manifesto for walking (for National Walking Month) is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog on fitness video shoots

March 26, 2013

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

Hey guys! It’s been ages since I blogged but I know you’re all interested in what I get up to (can’t blame you) so I thought I’d put paw to keypad and tell you about yesterday.

Most of my working days are pretty boring really, sleeping in my bed whilst Nic types, or sleeping in my bed whilst Nic is at meetings, or helping Nic think by whining or chomping loudly on a chew. But some days I really have to step up to the plate and basically be Nic’s assistant.

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(^^^ my thinking face)

Yesterday we drove to East Grinstead to help out on a DVD and photoshoot for Muscle & Fitness magazine. It was really cool and I thought you should all know what happens on one of these days.

Remember the time I went to The Training Lab gym, met WBFF World Champ Shaun Stafford and was sick on the floor ? That was for a photoshoot and magazine article (inexplicably, the magazine didn’t want me in the photos – I am still waiting for the Editor to get back to me with exact answers on that).

It was the same yesterday, I wasn’t so much required to be in the DVD but, like Nic, I was a very important part of the behind-the-scenes activity.

Nic’s jobs:
– to sit down
– to write stuff down
– to talk to people and ask them things
– to remember all the funny things that were said and write them down for later
– to think a lot

Well now take a look at my list of jobs and I think you’ll start to see that I’m just as important:
– to lie down
– to get patted by people and try to lick them
– to watch all the funny things happening
– to think a lot (whilst sleeping)
– to guard the gym door so nobody came in during filming
– to guard the camera equipment
– to not get in the way
– to be a team mascot so all the people being filmed were chilled out and happy

Um… HELLO… how can a day like that happen without me? I haven’t asked Muscle & Fitness what my fee for the day is but I’m sure they’ll let me know in due course. Probably they will add it on to my fee for the other time when I was so helpful with the photoshoot.

Every time I do one of these jobs I make lots of cool new friends. Me and Andy McKenzie, who owns and runs The Training Lab gym, are basically best friends now. Especially since I wasn’t sick on his floor this time!

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But also yesterday I met a man called Nick “Headhunter” Chapman, who was really big and sort of scary but secretly I think he’s not that scary at all, it’s just his job (he is an MMA fighter, which means Mixed Martial Arts). I caught him smiling at me when he walked past and he said “hellooooo there!” which really wasn’t very scary. But shhh don’t tell anyone, in case any of his MMA opponents are reading.

I also met a nice man called Mike who is very clever and invented a thing called a Unikurve (which is the fitness equipment we were making the DVD about). He showed me photos of his own dog and even gave Nic some advice on my bald patch (too embarrassing to blog about), thank you Mike.
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Finally I met a cool dude called Wayne who gave me lot of cuddles, here is a picture of us (sorry I am a bit blurry, I was very excited). Wayne used to be in a TV show called Gladiators where his character was called Doom, but personally I think that’s silly because he wasn’t Doomy or Gloomy at all. And I know just how annoying it can be when strangers only refer to you by your stage-name (I am so famous all around the town for my dog-coat modelling, sometimes I just want to free myself from the shackles of fame and cry out “but my name is Frankie!”) So I was very respectful to him and didn’t call him Doom once, just Wayne, which is his proper name.

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Anyway that’s enough chit-chat for today. I will be back soon with a more fitness-themed post, probably on the topic of powerwalking and why it is my cardio of choice.

I hope you enjoyed this unique insight into what it is like to be a dog working in the fitness industry.

Until next time, bye!

TheFitDog on fitness video shoots is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog’s review of his Woof Coat

February 9, 2013

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*

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Hi guys! I know Nic often does kit reviews on the blog so I thought it was about time I did one of my own.

A few weeks ago, Nic was in a coffee shop (I know – massive shocker!) and she saw a dog wearing a really nice coat. She asked the dog’s owner where the coat was from and the lady said “I made it, I have a little business called Woof Coats.” Nic was so impressed at Willow’s lovely coat that she asked the lady if she would make me a coat, too.

Nic had to give the lady lots of info via email including various measurements (being measured with a tape is very fun – my top tip is to wriggle around loads!) and any choice of colour/material. I told Nic my favourite colour is YELLOW which is the colour of bouncy balls πŸ˜€ but Nic said she thought red might be nicer for a coat. The coat lady used to be work as a fashion designer and textiles person in London, so Nic thought it best to leave the choice of design and material up to her.

Well! I got my coat today and I have to say it is just about the best thing ever!

We went out and about for a photoshoot and I felt like the bee’s knees! (In fact, Woof Coats strapline is “our dog coats are the cat’s pyjamas”, which I thought was really offensive til Nic explained that it means they are the best).

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I posed in front of the Racecourse, and the entrance to the Castle, because truly in my Harris tweed coat I feel like a posh dog who lives in a stately home or something.

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Then we went to the beach, because I am not a posh dog who lives in a stately home, I am just a Staffy cross who lives near the sea. I worked on my model looks – one I like to call “whimsical horizons” (middle left) and one I like to call “steely glare” (bottom left) –
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I posed on the beach. And I posed on the rocks, in case anyone ever needs a dog to do modelling in an outdoors-wear catalogue.
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About 10 different people asked Nic where my coat was from and she told them Woof Coats in Sandgate! One man said he preferred my coat to his own coat, and another man said “well Frank you are a male model now mate!”

All in all I have to say that I love my coat. Nic says I should give a proper review so here are a few points to note:

Why I love my Woof Coat
, by Frankie (aged 4)

– Harris tweed with a decorative patch made of contrasting fabric
– made to measure and a one-off design
– lined in cosy corduroy
– very smart button with a stretchy loop
– easy to wag my tail whilst wearing it
– easy to run in (I checked this)
– easy to wee and poo in (I also checked this)
– very well made
– not restrictive in any way
– not embarrassing to wear like some coats you see on other dogs
– only Β£30! (Nic says she can’t quite believe this and that the lady should put her prices up)
– designed and handmade by a proper clothes designer who used to design clothes for humans

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You can check out Woof Coats online (I might be featured on the website, how exciting!) and they are also on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks Woof Coats for my great coat!
I really love it a lot! Frankie xx

TheFitDog’s review of his Woof Coat is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog on fitness photoshoots

August 8, 2012

*This is a blog post from Frankie the office dog*


Hey guys! Sorry it’s been ages since I wrote a blog post. Nic’s been hogging the blog with all that Olympics stuff. Anyway, I’ve kicked her off the laptop tonight (she says sorry, no Olympics-inspired blog post today) cos I’ve had a WELL exciting day and I think you all need to hear about it right now!

Have you ever been a fitness model in a fitness photoshoot? Nor had I – until today! Nic and I drove down to somewhere called The Training Lab which is a really mega-cool gym in East Grinstead because a magazine called Muscle and Fitness had asked her to write an article and be in the photos for it, too. (I have never read Muscle and Fitness but I don’t read much as a general rule).

Nic and a man called Shaun Stafford (who is an actual fitness model) had to do a workout and another man called Andy McKenzie (who is a coach) had to tell them what to do and then another man called Simon Howard (who is a photographer) had to take photos of them. It was a bit confusing for me, meeting so many new people, but I got it in the end. Andy was the one shouting at Nic and Shaun, Shaun was the one with loads of muscles and no top on, and Simon was the one who kept putting a camera in front of his face (I think perhaps he was a bit shy, I’m not sure).

We got there and I warmed up for the proper photos by posing outside The Training Lab

Then I lay down in my bed in the physio room and Nic tied my lead to a kettlebell so I couldn’t go off exploring by myself.

Then Nic and Shaun did lots of cool stuff like jumping over hurdles and putting chains around their necks – I really wish I could have joined in, especially the jumping (which I love) but Nic said no I had to sit in my bed 😦

At one point I could hear everyone shouting and yelling at Nic and I got really angry so I pulled the kettlebell and wandered into the gym. I was so mad I was ready to bite them (even though I’ve never bitten anyone before but, you know, don’t push me!) But Nic laughed and said “it’s OK, go to your bed”. Apparently the shouting and yelling was to do with Nic squatting a bar with chains on?

What I learned today is that everyone has a role on a photoshoot. For example, today:

– me: artistic director. Basically what I did was sat on my bed and transmitted my excellent ideas for photos into Simon’s brain and then he did them. He was pretty good! My job was the most important, obviously, although many people might say you wouldn’t know it. That’s because I am a true professional and don’t like to make a song and dance about my high skill level.
– Simon: the photographer. This is a really important role in any photoshoot otherwise you have no photos and then the magazine gets really cross.
– Nic and Shaun: the models. Nic said I must point out that she isn’t really a model, she just pretended to be one for the day. Shaun however is a real one, it’s his actual job and he even won a big competition and got his Pro Card! And you could totally tell – he was way better than Nic. Plus I really like his hair.
– Andy: the coach. You don’t have to have one of these on a photoshoot but if it is a sport or fitness photoshoot then it’s a good idea, because the coach can tell the athletes what to do and make sure they are doing everything right and not hurting themselves. He was a really nice man too and even said I can come back again.

There was only one strange thing about the whole shoot – Simon only took one photo of me? I can only assume that the photo he took was so perfect that he didn’t need to spend ages asking me to do the pose over and over again. That is what you get for being a top model like me. I did offer Shaun some tips but he said he was OK thank you.

Luckily Nic made sure she took some on her little camera so here they are (these aren’t Simon’s, I expect they’ll be a bit better)

Everyone said I was really good today, for example let me tell you a few things they said:
– Hasn’t he been good?
– How cute
– Good boy
– What a lovely dog
– Aw he is cute
– Hello there fella
– Hello fatty (????)
– Very good

Again I can only stress that professional and experienced models like myself can expect compliments like these on shoots. Those of you who are new to the industry might have to work a little harder until someone calls you Good Dog or Fatty.

One last observation from today – being a fitness model is exhausting! I am really tired now and very thirsty. And on that note I am going to go to bed – I haven’t had any naps today and my brain is very sore from all the thinking.

It was lovely to meet Shaun Stafford, Simon Howard and Andy McKenzie and I really enjoyed visiting The Training Lab. If you’re nearby, you should totally go! Oh and you should wish my new best mate Shaun loads of luck in his upcoming competition which is the WBFF Worlds in Toronto (which is in Canada, which is abroad). I reckon he’ll win for sure but as I said to him today, if he’d like any last-minute tips from me on how to be really brown or how to have shiny hair, or how to get really muscley by sprinting after a football, I will be happy to oblige.

Goodnight!

TheFitDog on fitness photoshoots is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog on training partners

April 23, 2012

TheFitDog on… training partners

Hi guys! It’s been a while since I last blogged but I am a dog of action so I thought, time to put claws to the keyboard and give you a few more words of wisdom out of my massive square head.

I’m really glad so many of you enjoyed my blog post on the important topic of BALLS. I was a little worried that you might not share my passion but it seems that many of you realise the serious nature of balls. Do you know, I even got a piece of fan mail! Well it was an email but it still counts. Here is a snippet from it:

“I love Office Dog’s blogs – I had to nip out of my office as I was giggling so hard at the blog on balls!”

I am thinking of printing it out and framing it above my bed.

Anyhow, this rainy weather is not much good for ball games (too much skidding) and it’s not much good for sitting outside in the sun, either. So I thought I’d write you a blog post on the topic of training partners.

Recently I met a fine lady by the name of PEPPER. She is brown and stripey like myself so I knew we would hit it off. Now, it can be tricky finding the right training partner, sometimes they are too slow, sometimes they are too quick, sometimes they prefer to use different equipment (balls vs sticks for example) and sometimes their bum smells bad. (Usually bad is good but sometimes bad is just bad!) Pepper and I really hit it off, which might be because we are a similar breed (probably; the jury’s still out on my parentage) or might be because we have similar humans (Pepper’s owners are both into bodybuilding, too).

Here are a few pictures of us enjoying a great workout. This is what we did:

– warm up of walking
– pre-exhaust of jumping in and out of a stinking river
– main session of long sprints
– some stick work
– cool down (walk) and stretching
– PWO meal of water


Do you have a training partner? This is what I look for in a good training partner (like Pepper) and I think you should probably take my advice on this (like most things):

– Are they a similar breed? I mean, are you both big and muscley, or both thin and fast? Just take a look at their breed and build, you will get a fair idea of whether or not you want the same things out of your training session
– Does it make you feel good to be around them? I am pretty positive about things, on the whole. I don’t want a training partner who’s always going on about their sore paw, or their mange. Make sure your temperaments are about the same (but recognise that everyone has bad days)
– Are they likely to turn vicious and bite you? Best avoid these types (unless that’s your thing, of course!)
– Are they hygienically acceptable? I don’t mind a bit of mud and spit but I like to keep myself quite clean. Again, this is your call. For instance, my friend HARVEY is great but gosh he smells. (Sorry Harvey if you are reading this, but you do!) I think he maybe needs a bath. Or his glands seeing to.
– Have they got decent kit and are they willing to share? It’s all very well getting a training partner and thinking “wow, ace ball collection!” but what if they’re all sniffy and precious about the balls? No fun!
– Are they willing to train as hard (or not) as you and as frequently? You don’t want to get attached to them and then find out they only want to train once a month or something boring like that!

I hope this little checklist helps you out so you can find a training partner who can help you meet your goals.

I’m off to eat a fish oil capsule! Nic’s been adding them to my food and, once I worked out how to eat the damn things, I have to say they’re very good. Kind of… fishy! Bye!

TheFitDog on training partners is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


TheFitDog on ball games

March 5, 2012

In his most recent blog post, Frankie the office dog promised a future post on the topic of balls. He is a dog of his word, so here is that post.

Hi again guys! I said I’d blog about BALLS and that’s what I’m going to do!

BALLS are really important. Most humans don’t give them enough thought. Unless you a footballer, cricketer or golfer I bet you haven’t even played with a ball in ages! More fool you. Balls are really important. If you ask me (or any dog), it’s no coincidence that the world itself is shaped like a ball.

Think about that for a second.

I am here to tell you all about balls and to inspire you to maybe run after a ball or two this week. So I thought you would probably love it if I went through my BALL collection with you and told you a bit about how I got the ball, what I use it for and why I’d recommend it. Let’s go!

1) Oldest ball

This is the first ball I ever found. What a day that was! Good times. It’s leather based and a bit tatty but that’s probably why someone threw it away. I don’t care. It’s like an old friend. Every once in a while I will dig this one out and have a play, but only if it’s a fine day with no mud underfoot. Plus it doesn’t kick very well. This ball is special!

2) Patchy ball

This was the second ball I found over the park. Are you getting a theme here? Again, it’s a fine leather ball, no real reason to get rid of it, but sadly some people discard their balls once they get a bit old. This one is great for chewing.

3) White ball

Now we are on to the actual workout type balls. This is what you’d call a workhorse kind of a ball, an every day ball which you can rely on to kick really well. It’s more a plastic vinyl type material. It skids really well on dew and snow. When Mark kicks it, it goes miles! When Nic kicks it, it doesn’t go so far. Sometimes it doesn’t go anywhere. Nic isn’t very good at kicking. My favourite thing to do with this ball is to wait til it bounces then jump up and catch it mid-air!

4) Blue ball

This is the third ball I found. Can you believe there are so many unwanted balls out there been discarded by their owners? Blue ball used to be my everyday ball but it’s a bit deflated now. But it’s great to have a blue ball because sometimes I fancy a change of colours.

5) Rugby ball

This ball is stupid. When it bounces, it goes off in another direction?! Mark says this is the whole point. I find it very frustrating and I feel sorry for rugby players. They must spend their whole time wondering what the hell is going on! I don’t really like playing with this ball, but Mark does, so sometimes we have a quick kickabout. Plus it’s actually Mark’s ball anyway and he doesn’t like me to chew it. Are you a rugby player? Does the weird ball annoy you?

6) Orange ball

There is a great story behind this ball! I was on a normal everyday walk with Nic when I saw a garden full of old balls. I was transfixed and I just stopped in my tracks and stared, wagging my tail. Seeing all those balls just made me feel so happy inside! Then a lady came out of the house and Nic thought maybe she’d be cross so she explained that I love balls and was just having a look. The lady said “well my kids leave them all over the garden and I think your dog would appreciate them more anyway” and gave me one of the balls! It’s a brilliant ball because it’s a totally different size to all my other balls, and it’s bright orange, and it was a gift. The greatest gift of all, you might say! Anyway on a related note, that whole walk is a great example of why you should always be optimistic in life. On paper, it was going to be a boring weekday evening walk in the dark. In reality it turned out to be a walk where I got given an orange ball by a stranger! Stay positive guys and remember that sometimes the most ordinary things turn out to be the most amazing!

7) Golf ball

This isn’t really a ball I play with but it’s a fun one to add to my collection. Nic found it once whilst we were walking. The funniest thing about it is that the golf course it comes from is like five miles away! That person must be a really good golfer! Please note this ball is no good for bouncing or chewing. It is OK to push around the carpet and chase for a bit.

8) Comic Relief ball

This ball is a blast from the past. When I first came to live here, Mark and Nic used to bounce it at me because it makes these freaky laughing sounds. I went a bit mad to be honest with you and Mark and Nic took it off me. But they only put it on top of my crate: I might have been a puppy but I wasn’t born yesterday! I found it again straight away. It now lives in a drawer in the kitchen. I might ask for it this evening and have a laugh.

Gosh I didn’t know I had so many balls! It’s ironic, really, because I don’t have any *you know what* balls. This man who is called a vet stole them from me whilst I was having a nap at his place. I’ve asked around locally and it seems this man has done this a lot to many, many dogs (and even some cats). No-one has intervened and to this day he is still carrying on with this practice. What a greedy man! How many balls do you need? I mean, I know I’ve just listed eight but he must have loads more than that now. And what does he do with them? They’re no good for chasing!

Bye, guys! Have fun doing a kickabout or ball-chasing session this week! Just make sure you drink tons of water after.

EDIT 08/03/12 Since writing this post, we have discovered another “white ball” and also a tennis ball in Frankie’s collection

TheFitDog on ball games is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


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