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A shelter-based wellness journey


Blue, a Great Dane/Pit Bull Terrier mix awaiting adoption at the Humane Society of Summit County, and longtime shelter volunteer Ted Moore are teaming up to make a big change for their health and help other pets awaiting adoption along the way. Follow their journey to wellness through exercise, eating better, and other lifestyle changes through Ted's monthly blog. Cheer Ted and Blue on and help shelter pets in the process by giving in honor of the progress they make to reach their $5,000 goal. All funds raised will support health care for animals awaiting adoption at the Humane Society of Summit County.

Support our Wellness Journey

Amazing Blue - The Sequel

January: 104.5 lb
Late April: 97.6 lb
Early June: 91.4 lb
Weight lost in May: 6.2 lb
Total weight lost: 13.1 lb
Percentage of body weight lost: 13%
Goal weight: 85 lb
Pounds to go: 6.4 lb

As anyone who has been on a journey similar to Blue's knows, the first few weeks or months of any change in diet and exercise usually deliver the biggest results. Sustaining that over the long haul is the real challenge. So, Blue's team was that much more blown away by his progress in May. This ...

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Hitting the Buckeye Trail

In the 4 months Blue and I have been on this wellness journey together, we've learned a lot about each other, about what works on the trail and what doesn't, and about just how fast one good dog can make progress if a great team lines up behind him.

As we posted here a few weeks ago, last month's weigh-ins, for both of us, were pretty encouraging, and Blue keeps getting compliments on his slim new look. More importantly, Blue now really enjoys getting out in the woods, climbing hills, fording streams, and even crossing bridges, which ...

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Amazing Blue

January: 104.5 lb
End of April: 97.6 lb
Total weight lost: 6.9 lb
Percentage of body weight lost: 7.2%
Target weight: 85 lb
Pounds to go: 12.6

This. Is. Just. Fabulous.

Put your hands together for:

The adoption, behavior, and kennel staff who work with and care for Blue every day.

The volunteers and shelter employees who prepare Blue's meals and make sure he gets healthy treats. (And who had to listen to his whining at the beginning about his hot dogs and peanut butter going bye-bye.)

The remarkable folks from Dogs Playing for ...

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Spring Has Sprung

What an eventful two weeks it's been for Blue!

First, as those of you who follow along on Facebook already know, Blue and I hit the trails for the last gasp of winter with a relatively short hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park about 10 days ago. Blue was excited to get out in the beautiful early spring winter wonderland until about the last half-mile or so. At that point, he'd had about enough of cold mud puddles and snow falling on his head from overloaded tree branches. If dogs could drink hot chocolate, Blue would have consumed a gallon after we got back ...

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March 28 - Drum roll, please...

As you might remember from our post of late February, we were all a bit baffled that Blue had worked so hard all that month but that the scale didn't show it. You'll also recall that everyone on Blue's team was determined to figure out why that was.

Thirty days later, everyone's, especially Blue's, creative thinking and hard work has paid off. Blue now weighs in at 102 pounds! That's down 2.5 pounds, or not quite 2%, from when this all started.

Although a human might be disappointed at what might seem like ...

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March 14 - Turkey & Green Beans

Well, the novelty has worn off.

You know how it is when you start something really new in life, right? The first few days and weeks are fresh and exciting. You realize it's a marathon, but you can picture yourself crashing through the tape at the finish line, arms waving. You just power into it with gusto.

Then it dawns on you: There's actual work involved here. You have to stay motivated. Old habits are begging you to return. It would be so easy to just forget the whole thing...

Funny thing, though. It's way harder to ...

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February 28 - "This is Starting to be Fun"

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
-Lao Tzu

Most everyone reading this, I'll bet, has set and achieved a major life goal. Earn a college degree, save up for a car or vacation, whatever. Earlier this year, Blue and I, with the help of my doctor, his veterinarian, and the staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Summit County, set one of those for ourselves: drop 20% of our body weights, raise $5000 for the shelter, and find Blue a forever home, all before the end of the year.

Now that our first ...

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February 13 - On the Trail of a Healthier Lifestyle

If you've been following along since all this started a few weeks ago, you already know about my partner, Blue, and our commitment to drop about 20% of our body weights. We're doing that together with the guidance and encouragement of Dr. Melisa Kauffman, the staff veterinarian at the Humane Society of Summit County, and my general practitioner. Both docs have assessed our current situations, helped us set our objectives, and talked us through the changes we need to make to achieve these goals safely and responsibly.

This past weekend was all about getting started. Blue and I ...

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February 4 - The First Walk

And so, the journey begins. Well, it really started last Sunday, when Blue, about 40 of his canine friends, me and a dozen or so other HSSC volunteer dog walkers, strolled along 4 miles of snowy trails in a Twinsburg township park. Blue did better than me, judging by how my legs felt the next morning, but it was good to kick off our transformation with all our friends in such a beautiful place.

Which sort of begs the question: If Blue and I are on a journey, where are we going? Glad you asked.

As many of you know ...

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January 4 - A New Year's Resolution

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2017, the latest year for which data is available, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese. According to Dr. Ernie Ward, the founder of the Association, "Obesity is the number one health threat pets face." Adds Dr. Christopher Byers, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, "This increasingly common condition decreases a dog's life span, increases its risk for various cancers, and causes orthopedic problems-just to name a few of the possible [consequences]."

Dogs and cats waiting in shelters for their ...

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