As a hardworking CEO and all round busy guy , the idea of UPPING his time on walks was not one that Murphy relished this January ….. however that is the challenge that has been set by the team at Woofwalk1000 , that means we are aiming to clock up 1000 miles in dog walks this year !
Not as young as he once was, Mr Murphy is now the grand “oldish” age of 11 and with the launch of our new business Murphy & Bailey and the run up to Christmas it is safe to say Murphy and my energy levels were at an all time low !
However like every new year , my plan was to eat better, do more exercise and spend more time with my dog ….. but thinking of a motivational and fun way to do all that is easier said than done. That’s where #NIDogs1000 comes in !
Every day in the Facebook group and on the new website we get to see fabulous photos of other people and dogs walking in the beautiful NI countryside, beaches, parks & woods, that not only has inspired Murphy & I to walk more, but also explore other destinations / eateries and meet up with friends too , see it really is fun (check out www.dogfriendlyni.co.uk for ideas).
So as a lifelong girl guide & scout the trick for us has been in the motto “ Be Prepared” .
First : Check the weather forecast : Today Storm Brendan is forecast so we are avoiding forests and coastline so plan your destination appropriately
Second: What time do you have available ? We like to get 2 miles under our belt before breakfast, so that means leaving an hour realistically - as an older dog Murphy likes to poop , pee approx. 1 million times and sniff every bin, lamppost , bush and tree, he will also want to greet every dog he meets personally (you get my drift), although interestingly this really only applies in my local park (Belmont Park) so …
Third: If pushed for walking time or have more time ? If either of these are the case I walk somewhere new, or different , Murphy tends to walk faster and stay closer when walking in territory that is less familiar . So in the last two weeks we have also walked in Helen’s Bay , Sea Park, Cairn Wood, Redburn, Victoria Park, Mary Peters Track, the Towpath and Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon’s Park all adding variety and different durations depending how many more miles we need to clock up . In the last week we’ve averaged 4 miles a day split into two walks.
Finally to ensure Murphy remains in good health, I am now actually fussier about his diet than my own ! He has lost almost 1kg over the last six months since I stopped buying supermarket brand snacks and treats (with the exception of the Wagtastic chicken & carrot sticks) and I now only feed him Barkin Bistro and Barkin Bites - all the produce is locally sourced here in N.Ireland , and the meals are gluten & grain free, no additives or preservatives - just fresh, natural, human-grade ingredients. I genuinely have seen a significant difference in Murphy’s well-being over this time, and I’m delighted that we now stock the Barkin Bites treats on the Murphy & Bailey website.
So the message for both dogs and walkers this new year is sign up for the #NIDogs1000 challenge and be inspired to eat well, walk more and in new places, meet new people and guess what, you will probably sleep better too - so its a win , win all round :)
You can check out Murphy’s adventures on our Insta accounts @murphyg_lhasa and @murphyandbaileyonline
Enjoy your walks !
Karen & Murphy
You can register your participation on www.woofwalk1000.com