AFM’s 2018 FITTEST DOGS
Preston Carter Davis, Dachshund, 4 (on page 2)
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons
(page 1 of 2)
Pitbull Shar Pei Mix, 5
Five years ago, David Gallaher was working a construction site in Houston when he spotted a homeless puppy that was covered in mange and hanging around dumpsters, scavenging for any scraps he could find. The owners of the property called Animal Control to pick the dog up, but David scooped him up that night and brought him back to Austin with the intent of dropping him off at Austin Pets Alive!
However, David and the pup bonded almost immediately, and the rest is history. Haus was diagnosed with Generalized Demodex Mange and a secondary staph infection which took three months of treatment to eradicate. He is David’s training partner and loves running. Since David is a competitive obstacle course racer, they log many hours training and running together. Haus motivates David to keep moving and to get the most out of training sessions. He also soaks up all the attention he can get at Brodie Park CrossFit, where David works, and is known as Coach Haus.
Chinese Shar Pei, 7
Katy Gassaway is a yoga teacher and owner of the studio Body and Shine Wellness, so she named her pup Nama so that she could say “Nama, stay!” all day long. After losing his companion two years ago, Nama became less active without someone to romp around with and chase. Plus, his mom spoiled him even more with treats and people food after the loss of her other fur baby. Katy was shocked to take Nama to the vet and realize he gained over 10 pounds in six months—and he had already been on the heavy side. Determined to get back in shape, Nama began his weight loss journey by walking a mile and a half every day. He then joined agility classes at K9 Workingmind and really came to life! He was a natural at the weave poles, quickly mastered the see-saw, and even managed to conquer his biggest fear, the tunnel. Now, Nama is back down to the weight of his younger days! He's a body-positive pup who knows you can still be fuller figured and keep up with the rest of the pack.
Chuck, a two-year-old Goldendoodle and his owner, Dr. Kim Davis, run every type of race—from 5Ks to adventure races. Chuck logs about 50 miles per week, and he and Kim recently posted their first 19:00 5K during a rainy December race! He also loves mountain biking, paddling, swimming, and trekking around in the woods. Kim owns company RunLab Austin, a facility that helps patients with running technique and gait evaluation, and Chuck always accompanies her to the clinic. He is great with patient interaction and giving them some extra love—especially the children. Chuck is also a dependable travel companion and happily joins Kim in car or on a plane to get to their next race!
In Kim’s words, Chuck is the “running buddy that never complains during long runs, short runs, rainy runs, snowy runs, windy runs, or 4 a.m. gotta-get-a-run-in-before-I-sit-on-an-airplane runs. He never gets mad at me for wanting to walk during a run or wanting to run during a walk. Sometimes he pulls me and sometimes I pull him, but that's just what friends do.”
This month, Aaron Gonzales is embarking on the first solo and unsupported paddle boarding trip across the entire coast of Texas (400–450 miles). All proceeds will go to Patriot Paws, an organization that helps train service dogs for veterans. His beloved dog, Skyy, is the perfect partner for sharing love and adventures.
Skyy has traveled all over the U.S. with Aaron. Last year, they traveled 25,000 miles together, including to 15 national parks and 24 national forests! When in town, Skyy is always down for hikes and paddle-boarding with Aaron. Their favorite times, though, are spent around a campfire after a day of exploration and travel.