Having puppies in the house (and at work) really brings home the differences between two otherwise similar dogs. When they were still in the litter, nobody would have guessed what a wild young thing Ellie would turn out to be! Nor would we have thought of Fred as “mellow”.

It’s amazing how much they change in just a few short weeks. The pups are 3 ½ months old as I right this. Fred is a very laid back dude, weighing in at 32 lbs. Ellie is a little furry fireball of 30 lbs.

Lyn and Kailin both got their Range Access Permits for Ft. Lewis. I’m proud of them for taking these pups out every morning, rain or shine, and giving them a good off-leash run on the prairie. I know from experience what a great thing this is for young pups. Kaia and I are still going for our run every morning too.

Of all our dogs, (we have 4) I would have to say that Ginger, the Standard Poodle, is probably the most excited for her walk every morning. Since Lyn started running her on the Fort, Ginger has slimmed right down after her last litter and she takes to the field with real gusto every morning. She’s even started to find a few of the pheasants that hang around Muck Creek!

Kailin has also noticed a change in Ellie after she began doing a daily off-leash walk. Ellie still has her rambunctious, no-holds-barred approach to life, but she is able to relax better during the day now. Without all the pent up energy, Ellie can get through the day without showing any signs of aggressive or destructive behavior.

We think that the off-leash walk is one of the best things you can do for your dog. We’ll take a better look at “The Walk” in our next issue. This month we decided to focus on food. Everybody is trying to save where we can. Did you know that some of the really expensive brands of dog food are not really the best brands? The opposite is also true. There are some pretty darn good brands out there that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for. The way to take advantage of this is to learn how to read a dog food label. It’s one of those things that should be really simple but, guess what? It’s not. The good news is: you can easily learn enough to put some better food in front of your dog and maybe even save a few bucks too. Be sure to check out this month’s article: “Five Dirty Tricks Used On Dog Food Labels and How To Spot Them.”