Have you ever seen Buddy - the world’s strongest dog – lifting boulders at Auditorium Shores? Or how about Abby, Austin’s best soccer player? They both take their health and fitness pretty seriously.
As do the other 9 incredible canines we caught in action this month. just be warned: the dogs featured here may force you to rush out and get your own four-legged fitness partner!
BEST SOCCER PLAYER
4 years old, female
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
SHE’S SUPPOSEDLY A LAP-DOG BREED, BUT ABBY HAS SINCE DECIDED THAT SHE DOESN’T WANT THAT REPUTATION. INSTEAD, SHE LOVES TO FISH, CHASE SQUIRRELS, AND KICK HER SOCCER BALL (USING HER HEAD) FOR HOURS NON-STOP. SHE CAN’T WAIT UNTIL WE GET HOME SO THAT SHE CAN HIT THE BACKYARD TO PLAY.
WHAT ARE YOUR DOG’S FAVORITE THINGS TO DO FOR FITNESS? Abby has three sports that she absolutely loves. Her favorite is soccer, where we kick her soccer ball and she uses her head and paws to bring it back to us so we can kick it again (and again, and again). Abby also loves to chase a stuffed squirrel that we twirl at the end of a long rope. Another favorite is chasing a rubber fish that we cast from a fishing rod.
HOW DOES YOUR DOG FIGURE INTO YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE? Abby makes sure we get moving every day. She follows us around the house when we get home from
work until we take her outside to play.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE YOUR DOG IN AUSTIN? Mt. Bonnell. Abby leads the way up the steps using her four-legged drive.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? She makes us laugh every day.
7 ½ years old, male
BUDDY IS ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS BECAUSE OF HIS STRENGTH; HE WRESTLES WITH HUGE ROCKS, DRAGS A FRISBEE AROUND AND LIKES TO PLAY WITH
GIGANTIC LOGS IN THE WATER. HE’S NOW VERY WELL KNOWN IN AUSTIN BECAUSE WE FREQUENT REDBUD AND AUDITORIUM SHORES. I RESCUED BUDDY FROM THE SAN DIEGO ANIMAL SHELTER WHEN HE WAS ONLY 4 MONTHS OLD. THEY WERE GOING TO PUT HIM DOWN BECAUSE THEY SAID HE HAD “BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS.” I FOUGHT TO SAVE HIM AND WITH THE HELP OF THE SOUTHWESTERN ROTTWEILER CLUB OF SAN DIEGO, WE WERE ABLE TO SAVE HIS LIFE. THEY CONFIRMED THAT HE’S A PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HEALTHY DOG.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? Buddy has awesome strength. He’s the only dog in Austin that can pick up a 60- pound rock with his teeth, carry it around, then drag and roll it around. He’s the strongest dog in town!
DESCRIBE YOUR DOG’S PERSONALITY IN THREE WORDS. Happy, loving, loyal.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR DOG ON A SPECIAL DIET? I supplement his dry food with chopped raw carrots, brown rice, an omega-3 fish oil pill and a nutritious and delicious homemade gravy made from bones in the slow cooker.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? Buddy has brought so much happiness into my life with his great companionship. He always brings a smile
to my face and he provides entertainment, joy and laughter to the people of Austin. I’m jealous because he’s way more popular than I am. He’s a very good boy!
3 years old, female
WE ADOPTED KIAH ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO FROM THE TOWN LAKE ANIMAL SHELTER. SHE’S A GREAT RUNNING PARTNER, AND IS ALWAYS MOTIVATED TO WORK OUT HARD. WE THINK KIAH’S ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS BECAUSE SHE’S ESSENTIALLY A TRIATHLETE ON FOUR LEGS. SHE LIKES TO RUN, MOUNTAIN BIKE, SWIM, HIKE AND CAN REALLY JUMP FAR INTO THE LAKE. SHE’LL ALSO PLAY FETCH WITH A BALL FOR HOURS AND NEVER GET TIRED. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, KIAH CAN ALSO SUP, KAYAK AND LOVES THE OCEAN, TOO. SHE’LL SIT, STAY, LAY-DOWN AND ROLL OVER, BUT WOULD RATHER SPEND TIME WITH US TAKING LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH, PLAYING IN THE RAIN OR RELAXING ON HER BIG, SOFT BED AFTER A TOUGH WORKOUT.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? Kiah is full of energy and she’s solid muscle. She loves to run with us — while training for the Austin Marathon, she goes for miles and miles. She runs alongside when we bike, she loves to swim and fetch and most of all to jump. She has endurance like no other and is impossible to tire out.
HOW DOES YOUR DOG FIGURE INTO YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE? Kiah runs with us every day. She’ll even hop on the treadmill next to us when we’re at our community gym.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE YOUR DOG IN AUSTIN? Kiah loves any place with water. Cambell’s Hole, Auditorium Shores, Lake Austin, Sculpture
Falls or any part of the greenbelt. She loves it all!!
8 years old, female
OLETA IS ABOUT EIGHT YEARS OLD, AND I HAVE HAD HER FOR A YEAR AND A HALF. I TAUGHT HER TO RIDE MY MOUNTAIN BIKE, AND SHE TOOK TO IT SO I BOUGHT HER A ROAD BIKE. NOT COUNTING THE MOUNTAIN BIKE, SHE PUT ALMOST 2,500 MILES IN FOR 2010. AS SOON AS I DROP MY WINTER WEIGHT AND GET MY LEGS BACK WE’RE GOING TO DO OUR FIRST CENTURY. SHE EVEN HAS HER OWN FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK. FIND “TEAM OLETA” TO CHECK OUT MORE
PICTURES AND READ ABOUT SOME OF HER ADVENTURES OVER THE PAST YEAR.
WHAT ARE YOUR DOG’S FAVORITE THINGS TO DO FOR FITNESS? Oleta’s favorite thing is to ride her bike. She likes going for walks chasing squirrels and the neighbor’s cats, too. She also likes riding the jet ski and we may try kayaking this year.
HOW DOES YOUR DOG FIGURE INTO YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE? I’m a recovering fat man so I need to stay active. I got Oleta and she wants to be with me 24/7. Sitting around with a poodle in my lap was not an option so my thought was to take her on my mountain bike around Town Lake. I figured her added weight (about 15 pounds) would make me stronger and faster when she was not on the bike. I later bought her the road bike and I rarely ride without her now.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR DOG ON A SPECIAL DIET? When I got Oleta she would only touch dog food as a last resort. I put her on Beneful Healthy Weight dog food. She’s a princess so she still talks me into some hand outs.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? My favorite thing about Oleta is that when it’s time to ride she is all business and it’s all systems go; she’s in it for the long haul. After a long day on the bike or any day for that matter, she’s in my lap speeding up my recovery time with her special poodle dog healing powers.
7 month old, male
AT 7 MONTHS, TENNYSON IS ALREADY 27 INCHES TALL AT THE SHOULDERS. HIS FAVORITE ACTIVITY (OUTSIDE OF HARASSING HIS SIBLINGS, A DWARF IBIZAN AND A PHARAOH HOUND) IS RUNNNING THE TRAILS WITH ME BEHIND OUR HOUSE NEAR TURKEY CREEK. TENNYSON ALSO LOVES CHASING SQUIRRELS, BUNNIES, LIZARDS, BUGS, LEAVES AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT MOVES. SINCE HE IS STILL A PUPPY, HE CAN BE QUITE THE GOOF-BALL, BUT HE IS THE SWEETEST BOY ON THE PLANET. HE DOES NOT RETRIEVE OR CATCH FRISBEES AND HE WILL NOT SIT AND STAY OR ANY OF THAT POLITE STUFF. BUT HE IS INDEED VERY FIT, A RUNNER BY NATURE AND HAS A PERSONALITY YOU WILL NEVER FORGET.
WHAT ARE YOUR DOG’S FAVORITE FITNESS ACTIVITIES? He has three fenced-in acres at home where he runs free with another Ibizan Hound (Georgia) and a Pharaoh Hound (Aramis) chasing squirrels and his pack mates. And with me, he loves hiking the Turkey Creek trails and walking in our neighborhood.
DESCRIBE YOUR DOG IN THREE WORDS. Goof-ball, prankster, sweetheart!
DO YOU HAVE YOUR DOG ON A SPECIAL DIET? Yes, all of our guys eat about 10 percent Orijens kibble (no by-products or garbage in it) and 90 percent home cooked food — (all organic) chicken, bison, liver, yams, brown rice, squash, pumpkin, fish oil and plain yogurt. There is nothing in their food bowl that I wouldn’t eat! WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR DOG? Because he is still a puppy he’s into everything right now, but he is hands-down the sweetest boy on the planet. I love that he makes me smile every single day, and usually makes me laugh (and snort out loud)!
4 years old, female
ALLIE IS BEST KNOWN AS THE ROCKET! SHE’S BEEN SEEN OUTRUNNING DOGS ALL OVER AUSTIN. DON’T LET HER FLUFFY HAIR FOOL YOU; ALLIE IS A TOMBOY WHO LOVES TO DIG IN THE DIRT, PLAY CHASE AND TAKE LONG WALKS. SHE’S FULL OF SPUNK AND SPEED!
WHAT ARE YOUR DOG’S FAVORITE THINGS TO DO FOR FITNESS? Allie loves to take walks around the neighborhood and play at the dog park.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE YOUR DOG IN AUSTIN? We love anywhere with beachfront water access. She loves romping in shallow water and running up and down the water’s edge. This always involves a bath afterwards.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? Allie might be a tiny fluff ball but she’ll surprise you — she is a tomboy! She outruns most dogs, loves to dig in the dirt and play chase while maintaining a sweet snuggly side!
2 years old, female
Cattle Dog/Pit Bull mix
NEKO, THE SOMEWHAT-OFFICIAL MASCOT OF CHARITY RUNNING GROUP TEAM SPIRIDON, SPENT HER FIRST DAYS WITH ME IN THE OFFICES OF THE AUSTIN MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON, WHERE SHE WAS EXPOSED TO FAR BETTER ATHLETES THAN HER DAD. SHE’S ALWAYS WITH ME ON MY RUNS AND WORKOUTS DURING THE WEEK, INCLUDING THE LONG RUNS IN OUR MARATHON TRAINING PROGRAM. SHE’LL OFTEN ACCOMPANY ONE OF MY RUNNERS ON THE SATURDAY LONG RUN, AND THEN DO THE SAME WITH ME ON SUNDAY. RECENTLY, SHE RAN 8 MILES IN THE MORNING, AND 16 WITH ME THAT NIGHT, AND DIDN’T SEEM FAZED AT ALL. WITH A BACKPACK ON, SHE COLLECTS AND CARRIES DONATIONS ON OUR RUN/DRINK/REPEAT PUB RUNS THAT BENEFIT GROUPS LIKE AUSTIN PETS ALIVE! AND EMANCIPET. AND SHE’S NOT A ONE-TRICK PONY (OKAY, DOG) — SHE CAN HANDLE DISTANCE, BUT SHE’S ALSO ONE OF THE FASTEST DOGS AT THE PARK (WHEN SHE’S NOT TRYING TO SEE HOW HIGH SHE CAN HURDLE).
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? Neko’s probably one of Austin’s fittest dogs because she excels in so many areas, and loves to get a workout. She’s gone 18 miles and was ready to go to the dog park afterwards. She’s also usually the fastest dog at the park, when she’s not trying to hurdle other dogs. She can swim for hours and she’s strong. It seems like there’s not a lot she can’t do, and she enjoys all of it.
DESCRIBE YOUR DOG’S PERSONALITY IN THREE WORDS. Friendly, curious and exuberant.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR DOG ON A SPECIAL DIET? I feed Neko Castor and Pollux Organix, and give her Dogswell Happy Hips treats. She reminds me of an efficient athlete, because she appreciates good food, but is just not that driven by it.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? My favorite thing about Neko, aside from the love and care she gives me, is that she’s a great ambassador. She’s the de facto mascot of Team Spiridon, a nonprofit training group that raises money for animal welfare organizations. She was found on the streets of Houston alone when she was two weeks old. I always think about what must have happened to her brothers and sisters, and that’s what steered Team Spiridon into trying to help out. Everywhere she goes, she puts a smile on people’s faces, reminding them why we do what we do.
6 years old, female
Rhodesian Ridgeback mix (rescued from Town Lake Animal Shelter)
BELLA IS A FLYING, FLIPPING FRISBEE ATHLETE AND A PERFECT MATCH FOR ME, AN ELITE LEVEL ENDURANCE MOUNTAIN BIKE RACER. ALSO, BELLA IS A SUPERFOCUSED AND FUN COMPETITIVE AGILITY DOG. IN FACT, WE’VE QUALIFIED FOR AGILITY NATIONALS TWO YEARS IN A ROW. BUT BELLA THE EXTREME ATHLETE HAS A SOFT SIDE, TOO. SHE’S A THERAPY DOG WITH DIVINECANINES.ORG AND LOVES VISITING WOUNDED WARRIORS AT FORT HOOD, AS WELL AS HELPING INCREASE LITERACY IN AUSTIN AS A BARKING BOOK BUDDY. CHILDREN’S READING INHIBITIONS DISAPPEAR WHEN HUMAN JUDGMENT IS REMOVED FROM THE ENVIRONMENT; THEY RELAX AND LEARN WHILE READING TO A DOG WHO PROVIDES LICKS, A WAGGING TAIL AND A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? Even after an intense session of Frisbee or agility, Bella’s boundless energy and endurance allow her to simmer down and work as a most exquisite, caring and loving therapy dog.
DESCRIBE YOUR DOG’S PERSONALITY IN THREE WORDS. Inquisitive, attentive, confident.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? The first day I met my amazing friend Lee Mannix he walked right up to Bella, knelt down and she played with him in the silliest way. He laughed and giggled. He stood up, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “This dog is one in a million. She’s a gift. You enjoy every single day with her. You will never have another dog like her.” My favorite thing about Bella is not one thing, it’s everything.
2 ½ years old, female
Part pointer, part terrier (rescued from Town Lake Animal Shelter)
CHEYENNE IS OUR LIFE. WE LOVE TO DO ALL KINDS OF ACTIVITIES WITH HER — SHE IS THE BEST WORKOUT PARTNER WE COULD EVER ASK FOR! CHEYENNE
IS ENERGETIC, LOVING AND ALWAYS UP FOR AN ADVENTURE. RUNNING WOULDN’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HER BY OUR SIDE!
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? Cheyenne is one of Austin’s fittest dogs because she loves to exercise and play every day. No matter how tired she is, she recharges during the night and wakes up ready to go the next morning. Cheyenne has never-ending energy and is always up for a new adventure. She could have run the 3M Half Marathon if they allowed dog entries!
HOW DOES YOUR DOG FIGURE INTO YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE? Cheyenne is helping her mama train for an Ironman race. She runs every training run and when the weather warms up we’ll get in some training swims for fun! Cheyenne also helps get her papa off the couch by performing agility training and Frisbee-catching with him.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO TAKE YOUR DOG IN AUSTIN? Cheyenne likes to hike at Turkey Hollow, run the Hike and Bike Trail and Central Market trail, kayak on Town Lake, and swim under the Mopac bridge.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? Her company. She makes everything better when she’s around.
2 years old, female
Blue Lacy mix
WE’RE BOTH MOUNTAIN BIKERS, AND WHAT LADY BIRD LOVES MOST IS FOLLOWING OUR BIKES FOR HOURS ON THE TRAIL. SHE KNOWS EVERY TWIST AND TURN OF WALNUT CREEK AND ABSOLUTELY LOVES OUR DAYS ON THE GREENBELT. SHE’S RUN THE RIM TRAIL, CAMPED HIGH IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR RUIDOSO AND SLID DOWN THE DUNES OF WHITE SANDS. SHE ALSO IS OUR TRAINING PARTNER FOR MARATHON TRACK WORKOUTS, RUNNING BESIDE US FOR EACH REPEAT. SHE IS A BLESSING AND A JOY TO US EVERY DAY.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? She loves anything and everything related to the outdoors. She comes on three-hour mountain bike rides, swims in the water on the trail alongside us, camps in the tent, has sailed the dunes of White Sands and is our current track and long run training partner for Big Sur marathon. She hikes the Greenbelt and will follow us anywhere we go, including up difficult rock climbs. She recently did two laps with us at the Ultracentric 24-hour mountain bike race and was ready for more.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR DOG ON A SPECIAL DIET? We don’t feed her any grains. She eats Blue Wilderness from the Blue Buffalo Company, which is 100 percent grain-free, and includes pure protein sources like duck, chicken and turkey, and nutrient-packed fruits and veggies. The food is cold-pressed and the closest thing to a raw diet. She’ll also eat raw chicken (bone and all), as well as grassfed beef.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? She is so sweet and fun, and has such a big and expressive smile, you always know when she’s happy. She makes us laugh and want to get out and play as much as possible. We are so blessed to have her as part of our family.
3 years old, male
IF YOU SEARCH THE WORD “ENDURANCE” ON THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB (AKC) WEBSITE, VIZSLA IS THE BREED THAT APPEARS. AND BAMA IS NOTHING SHORT OF AN ENDURANCE MACHINE. BAMA IS NOT ONLY ONE OF THE SMARTEST AND MOST LOVING DOGS AROUND, BUT TRUE TO HIS BREED HE CAN GO ALL DAY, WHETHER IT’S SWIMMING OR RUNNING. BAMA HAS TRAINED FOR TWO IRONMANS AND MULTIPLE 70.3 AND OLYMPIC-DISTANCE RACES. DURING HIS TRAINING HE’S DONE RUNS INTO THE 15-MILE RANGE. HE ALSO HAS COMPETED IN THE DOGGIE DUATHLON, PLACING SECOND OVERALL. BAMA IS ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF TIME HE SPENDS TRAINING AND PERFECTING HIS EFFICIENCY AS A SWIMMER AND A RUNNER. HE NEVER COMPLAINS ABOUT BEING TIRED OR NOT WANTING TO TRAIN; HE IS THE FIRST TO RISE AND THE LAST TO LEAVE THE TRAIL.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR DOG ONE OF AUSTIN’S FITTEST DOGS? Bama is one of the fittest dogs due to the sheer volume of training he does in a given year — two Ironmans, countless road races and the Doggy Duathlon second place finish.
HOW DOES YOUR DOG FIGURE INTO YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE? We take him on every run and openwater swim that we do. We even have friends take him because he is such a well-mannered dog to run with. If you run an 8-minute pace, he’ll oblige, but if you want to run a 6-minute mile pace, he’ll do that too.
DESCRIBE YOUR DOG’S PERSONALITY IN THREE WORDS. Lover, Athlete, Lover
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR FIT DOG? Everyone who meets him wants to clone him. It’s just an energy he puts out that makes you smile. Before we go out of town, we’re always asked, “Hey, can I watch your dog?” Let’s just say he gets his parents free rides to the airport.