Become a 'P.A.C.K. leader' today

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - This year's 'Just Move It' series with the Tuba City Health Promotion Program is increasing with participants and new ideas - all in the pursuit to bring the Tuba City community together with overall wellness and healthy living. Over the past 11 years, the theme of 'Just Move It' has been "T'aa hwo aji' t'eego," translated to "It's up to you" to stay healthy, happy and active.

This year, a new component was introduced with the invitation to all participants to include the family dog on the 'Just Move It' walks. At each Tuba City event, dogs are welcomed as part of the event, which includes a dog sign-in booth, dog snacks, water bowls, and dog raffle items.

The idea for including the family dog into this year's event was introduced by Michelle Archuleta, HP director for the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.

She states how this initial idea came into being. "I started noticing that families were including their dog on their walks around the track, neighborhood and community areas. Walking with your dog seemed a good way of keeping active and everyone seemed happy - including the dog!"

With that, the HPDP Program has brought Carole Holgate, local veterinarian for Tuba City at two of the "Just Move It' events to help dog owners learn more about animal health, animal nutrition and to help inform the public on the care and well-being for your animal.

In addition, the HPDP Program has taken the lead in offering information sessions that help dog owners learn the "Do's and Don'ts" with dog behavior and dog psychology - all of which comes from the guidance and counsel of Cesar Millan, better known as the host of the National Geographic Channel series "The Dog Whisperer."

Millan mentions that dogs should exercise through daily walks to stimulate their mind and body to create stability in the dog's life. Walking a dog gives your pet a healthy routine and feeds their natural desire for earning their food.

Most importantly, Millan gives advice that enables each dog owner to become the "pack leader." He states, "A pack leader is the lead figure in the eyes of his/her dog, and is the one who demonstrates calm, assertive leadership." In continuing with Millan's call for leadership and developing a positive and beneficial relationship between ourselves and our dog's, the HPDP Program has identified P.A.C.K leadership qualities that include: Passion and Advocacy for dogs, Calm natures, and Kindness toward our canine friends.

"I have two dogs and I have learned so much from [Millan]. I realize that my dogs look up to me as their pack leader, and more importantly, I have learned how to become a positive pack leader [for] my dogs. I know it sounds funny but being a pack leader is a responsibility, and is earned through me being consistent, calm, and aware of their needs for daily activity," says Michelle Archuleta. "Being a pack leader [is] a way of life."

As pack leaders, we should convey calm-assertive energy. Calm-assertive energy means that a pack leader is quietly in control and calmly leading their "pack" with compassion. Millan also warns of sharing affection with your dogs at the right time. Pack leaders should reward stability in their dogs. Sharing love when you dogs are in a calm-submissive state reinforces positive behavior, especially when a dog is living in the home. Signs of calm-submissive energy in a dog include relaxed posture, ears held back, and the instinctual response to a pack leader's commands. We should share as much love for our dogs your heart can handle but at the right time.

So come to our next "Just Move It" event and bring your dogs. Just make sure that your dogs are leashed and are up-to-date on their vaccinations. If you don't have a leash, we will provide one for you for.

To learn more from Cesar Millan, visit www.cesarmillaninc.com/tips.

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