In Dog He Trusts
Keegan Daniel is the 27-year-old captain of the Sharks, and a favourite son of the Kings Park faithful. He’s 1.88m tall, weighs in at 100kg and has 93 caps in the Currie Cup, 83 Super Rugby caps and five caps for the Springboks. He’s inherited Lucy from his mentor, previous Sharks skipper John Smit, before Smit left to play in the UK. The pooch: an 11 year-old female Neopolitan Mastiff with a lot of love and a very big tongue. Here’s what Daniel gets out of the pooch partnership.
By MH Staff - Posted on 27th April 2013
In Dog He Trusts
1 Dogs Keep You Guessing
Lucy could be lying on her favourite leather couch one minute, but the next she’s zooming around the garden like a sprinter. We can’t keep up with our dogs and their energy levels, but we can learn from their methods. Interval workouts are one of the quickest ways to get fit, and it means that you can get your training done in less time. The secret? Enrich your own endurance workouts by varying your exertion levels, just like Lucy. Just don’t play fetch.
2 Dogs Don't Have YouTube
Video games. Stuff to fix around the house. Work to complete. Weather. Emails to send. There are plenty of excuses you can use to postpone a workout – and none apply to a dog. Tempted to spend your early evening catching up on an old episode of Suits? A dog will keep those priorities straight. If your pooches are used to having a walk at 6 and you’re running late, they’ll let you know it with barks and high levels of impatience. The best part of this enforced routine? The walkies are good for you too.
3 Dogs Take Change In Their Stride
Even though dogs love routine, they’re supremely skilled at getting used to new environments and challenges. “Dogs are really adaptable and resourceful,” says Daniel. “Lucy handled the transition from John’s place to mine really well.” Now Daniel and his digsmate, Devon Scoulelis, are Lucy’s caretakers and she’s as happy as ever. Humans stress about change and it’s complications, while dogs follow the old US Marines motto – improvise, adapt and overcome.
4 Dogs Teach You Responsibility
Scoulelis didn’t grow up with pets, and now that they’ve adopted Lucy, he’s had a sharp learning curve in pet care. “He didn’t know how to look after the dogs in beginning, and gave them way too much food,” says Daniel. “But now he’s got it totally right, and he looks after them most of the time, and when I am away on tour.” It’s not just about feeding them, dogs rely totally on you for their survival. “A little while ago Toby ran and cut his lip pretty badly while running through bushes, and it meant I had to cancel a work event to take him to the vet,” says Daniel. “You become a parent to these dogs, and it’s a massive responsibility.” In this way, dogs can be great learning tools for young kids. There’s no chance of being selfish when you have to look after dogs. Like Daniel, you can also adopt dogs instead of getting puppies of your own. Here are a few options: African Tails (africantails.co.za) who help find homes for street dogs, DARG, the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (darg.co.za) and the SPCA, the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (jhbspca.co.za).
5 Dogs Follow Proper Eating Plans
Most top quality dog food uses good, organic ingredients and is packed with minerals and vitamins to keep their bones and fur healthy. Dogs don’t eat fast food, drink beer, slam shooters or indulge in crisps. Most eat well-portioned meals, partnered with loads of water. No fizzy drinks, preservatives, sugar bombs or artificial flavours. It’s not just elite rugby players like Daniel that need to follow a similar healthy diet, we all need to get the right kind of fuel.
6 Dogs Don't Give Up Or Take Sides
Daniel’s family have always had dogs, his parents even bred Jack Russells for a while. His favourite childhood hound was Tabby, a Jack Russell that had the odd habit of carrying a brick around the garden. “He was a stalwart, an awesome dog with loads of character,” says Daniel. But Lucy has a totally different personality (Daniel describes Lucy as being like Deon Carstens – a quiet giant with serious strength). What is a common trait among all dogs? “Undying loyalty,” says Daniel. That, and their inbuilt tenacity and unwillingness to give up when it comes to competition. What does the the furture hold for Daniel and his beloved pet? “I’m always going to have dogs,” says Daniel. “I would like an American Bulldog, but I need to wait until my touring schedule gets a little less hectic.” But saying that, he almost took home a Labrador puppy a few weeks ago. The bottom line? Dogs are more than just animals, but you need to pick the right one for you and your life
In Dog He Trusts