Rocky Mountain high altitude | NevadaAppeal.com

Rocky Mountain high altitude

My visit to Bear Creek Dog Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was an eye-opener; I have never been to a park that was so huge!

This spectacular 26-acre park is situated along a stream and is dotted with hiking trails, a special agility area and commemorative benches. Walking in the crisp mountain air, I could see the beautiful snow-capped mountains surrounding Pikes Peak.

Many folks were walking their dogs off-lead, and the scene was really delightful. I happened to notice a very peculiar collar on a dog walking in front of me, and I couldn't refrain from asking his people what in the world their dog was wearing. It turns out that this dog had gotten a bit porky, so his people decided to monitor the amount of activity he got each day. The collar was a Whistle Activity Monitor.

If your pup tends to gain a few holiday pounds, this collar might be the best gift under the tree. The Whistle Activity Monitor is a tiny device that snaps onto a collar and uses motion-sensing technology to track movement. The information is then sent to a smartphone app that tells you amount of activity, heart rate and minimum goal according to dog breed. Wow, I was amazed by how sophisticated this device is. According to the dog's owners, the dog had dropped some weight since they had been using it ($100; whistle.com).

In addition to this smart collar, I did a little investigating, and free apps that you can download to your smartphone will track time and distance. Wooftrax Walk for a Dog is a great choice because the company will make donations to local shelters based on how much you walk. This is such an excellent way to make money for CAPS by just walking your dog (free; wooftrax.com).

Thank Dog! Mobile is another app that leads you and your dog through strength training interspersed with cardio. To use this app, the dog should know basic commands — sit, stay, fetch ($1; thankdogmobile.com).

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I don't know if Watson and I are ready for the world of high tech, but I must admit I'm pretty awed by the technology available to monitor weight and activity. For the time being, I'm pretty happy just walking in the fresh wintry air under a blue sky in beautiful country. Singer/songwriter John Denver had it right when he sang "Rocky Mountain High in Colorado" because the landscape truly takes your breath away.

CAPS News and Events:

CAPS has adorable puppies who are looking for the forever homes of their dreams. They are fluffy, cute and cuddly.

Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 20-gallon Colorado blue spruce for the holidays. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon. The drawing will be held on Dec. 15, and the winner doesn't have to be present to win.

On Dec. 20 CAPS will be at Walmart. We have the mistletoe all ready at the Kissin' Booth. Ki, the all-time King of Pucker, will be there to make your holidays sweeter. Become part of Ki's fan club. CAPS t-shirts, caps and other gifts will be available.

If you were planning to buy our 2014 Happy Endings calendar as Christmas gifts, we are both happy and sad to tell you that we have sold all of them! Be sure to get them early next year when they come out again (usually in October).

As Christmas approaches, instead of giving yet another tie or sweater to your loved ones, consider giving a donation to CAPS in their name. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving for life.

Also, please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnv.org) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to "Like" CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Please contact me at jkwmil@outlook.com.

This week's article was contributed by Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer.