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Mercy says “Santa brought me fun with FitPAWS!”

Mercy Workout of the Week: Santa's Sit to Stands
Mercy Workout of the Week: Santa’s Sit to Stands


I’d like to introduce you to Mercy, an incredible athlete as well as being CGC certified (Canine Good Citizen) and a Therapy Dog.

She’s a six year old Golden Retriever, full of a zest for life. She hasn’t always been this way.

 Mercy’s long road to health through patience and exercise.

Mercy has a history of immune mediated conditions – from allergies to arthritis. During the first three years of her life, Mercy was in and out of the hospital receiving tests and treatments. She lost almost all of her hair, her skin was black and her kidney’s were failing; she didn’t want to eat or play. Her owner, Shannon, found herself searching for alternative treatments when traditional western medicine didn’t relieve the symptoms Mercy was experiencing.


Mercy_ Dock Dog and incredible athlete
Mercy Dock Dog and incredible athlete

2014: Mercy is now High Functioning!

Her skin is pink, her coat shiny, and she has enough energy not only to be a normal dog, but to compete in various sports at a National level! She continues with her integrative treatments along with advanced nutrition, intense exercise, jobs to do and lots of love from Shannon to maintain her brilliance. Mercy needs ongoing conditioning exercises to maintain her awesome athletic endeavors and keep her arthritic joints & spine mobile and high functioning.

 This Dog does What?

Mercy now practices and/or competes in Lure Coursing, Weight Pulling, Agility, Mondio Ring, Nose Work, and Dock Diving.

Mercy's a Pro on the DogTreadTreadmill
Mercy’s a Pro on the DogTread Treadmill

Dock Dogs like DogTread treadmill work

Dock diving became an official extreme dog sport in 1997 and has since spread world-wide. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can compete—purebred and mixed, sporting and non-sporting breeds, big and little, puppies 6 months or older and seniors, male and female. The girls compete against the boys in their divisions, which vary depending on the sanctioning organization.

But how to keep in shape when the pool is several hours away and it’s December in Colorado? We started with a fitness assessment and a lameness assessment using the Gait4Dog DogTread treadmill integrated system. I’m creating a progressive conditioning program for Mercy starting with the FitPAWS K9FITbone and Giant Disc at home. We’ll meet up at the Dog Gym in Golden, CO and re-assess every few weeks. Check back soon!

Common Sports Injuries for Dock Dogs?

Dock dogs can injure their wrists causing mild to severe carpal hyperextension. They are also prone to spinal injuries as they hit the water. Knowing this, dock diving dogs benefit from injury prevention through fitness programs created to protect these areas as well as strengthen their core.

Workout of the Week: Santa’s Sit to Stands

We are starting Mercy’s conditioning program at a mild pace as she is recovering from a carpal injury and has recently been released from physical therapy.

Exercise Description: Santa’s Sit to Stands

Warm Up: 5 minutes – walk on DogTread treadmill or leash walk

Main:          Sit to Stands

  •    Front Legs on FitPAWS K9FITbone x 5
  •     Front Legs on K9FITbone & Hind Legs on Giant Disc x 5
  •     Front Legs on Disc & Hind Legs on Bone x 5

Cool Down: 5 minutes – walk on DogTread treadmill or leash walk



Dr-Kerry_FisherAbout the Author: Kerry Fisher, DVM, CCRP ~ your Canine Fitness Expert. Throughout her career as a veterinarian, Dr. Fisher has focused on “Pre-hab and Rehab” for animals, pioneering therapeutic & conditioning exercises with FitPAWS Equipment. She owns Canine Rehab ~ Canine Fitness Unleashed!, a Colorado based Canine Gym with Injury Prevention and Canine Rehabilitation services. She has a passion for and experience with Sports Medicine for sporting, search & rescue, performance, working and hunting dogs. Dr. Kerry also has unique concepts for working with senior canine fitness, weight management, pain management, and behavior modification through exercise. She provides educational hands-on seminars and workshops worldwide. Do you want to take your dog’s fitness to another level? Let’s Get in Touch for a Fitness Assessment and Coaching for your dog. Dr. Kerry uses the DogTread Treadmill-Gait4Dog integrated software system for early Lameness Detection and monitoring the progress your dog is making during the course of rehabilitation. Injury prevention is key! Dr. Fisher is an athlete herself, enjoying endurance triathlons, mountain biking, bicycle touring, backpacking and telemark skiing. She biked, camped and toured 4,000 miles across the Northern Tier of the USA with her yellow Labrador, Mr. Mitchell. 2015 brings some challenging events to her plate: Ironman Arizona (140.6 mile event) and Leadville 100 mountain bike race (103 mile race at 10,000 feet+ elevation). As founder of Grit Gals, Kerry blogs to share her training tactics for these intense races. Human Fitness and Canine Fitness intertwined – to help you and your dogs reach your goals.


7 responses to “Mercy says “Santa brought me fun with FitPAWS!””

  1. Wow! What a great story! Mercy looks great! Kudos to her owner for doing all she’s doing for Mercy!

  2. Mercy is really benefiting well from FitPAWS.

  3. Slimdoggy says:

    What a great story and recovery by Mercy. It’s amazing what good nutrition, exercise and love will do.

  4. emma says:

    What an awesome story! We love that she does nose work too!

  5. Gilligan says:

    Always good to see pups triumph over adversity! *wags*

  6. Mercy sure is an incredible athlete! Her journey is a remarkable one ~ 4 enthusiastic high paws!!!

  7. Very interesting. Go Mercy!