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  • Writer's pictureThree Rivers Kennel Club

AKC Fit Dog

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

On February 12th, 2018 we picked up our first Golden Retriever in Wisconsin. We thank Kim Berkley for referring us to Yvonne Piefer and Yvonne for placing Abby with us. A Golden Retriever was a new breed for us.

My husband Lonnie and I had been showing in conformation since 1983. Our first conformation dog was a Basset Hound and was followed by another Basset Hound. In 1989 we acquired our first St. Bernard. We showed St. Bernards in conformation for almost 30 years. However, I liked watching obedience at shows and I started attended obedience and rally classes after I retired. Our last St. Bernard, Keb, was an AKC Champion and achieved the Open obedience title in 2016. She was the highest achieving performance St. Bernard in 2016.

When Keb’s instructor, Kim Berkley, suggested we look into a litter of performance Golden Retrievers in January 2018 in Wisconsin, I was rather surprised. I had never really thought much about getting a Golden. My husband, Lonnie, and I talked about it and decided a Golden Retriever would be a good choice for another dog.

Abby was quite a handful for two senior citizens. She had a lot of energy and was a house dog. Lonnie was the more mobile of the two of us and he walked Abby frequently.

When information about the ACK Fit Dog magnet was first published, Lonnie started walking Abby more frequently and keeping a record of their distance every day. Their average walk was between 1 and 2 miles most days. Abby loved the walks. It wasn’t long before Lonnie and Abby achieved the requirements to get an AKC Fit Dog magnet for our van. We displayed it proudly. Lonnie continued to walk Abby every day, weather permitting.

In 2020, Lonnie was still walking Abby about a mile or two several days a week until COVID became an issue. Lonnie, 73 years old, started taking Abby on longer walks and often twice a day. Abby looked forward to her walks with “PaPa” and “PaPa” looked forward to walking Abby.

Lonnie began to be more aware of the distance he and Abby walked every day during the COVID shut down time in April of 2020. He and Abby were often walking twice a day. On days when they walk twice, they frequently had a total between five to seven miles.

Lonnie set a goal for 2020. His goal was to walk Abby 1000 miles. Lonnie and Abby achieved the goal on November 25, 2020. Lonnie didn’t stop walking Abby. He continued to try to increase his distance for the year.

The total distance Lonnie walked Abby in 2020 was 1,150.43 miles! Not only was this great exercise for Abby, it was very good for Lonnie. There were very few days they missed during the year. This was due to weather or road conditions.

Lonnie is already comparing his distance per day in 2020 with his distance in 2021.

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