Paris. The city of love. A year ago I was there for ten days for work and my husband went with me. Our two girls, Dutchess and Ellie, unfortunately could not go but were left in the care of our next-door neighbor who also has a small dog that plays with our dogs. She was supposed to stay at our place with her dog for the duration of our trip. Three days into the trip, at 2 AM Paris time, I get a call from our upstairs neighbor that our dogs have been barking nonstop since we left.

Imagine my horror when I finally got in touch with the person taking care of our girls, who told me she had to go out of town and a friend of hers was coming by once a day to let our dogs out of the kennel to use the bathroom, eat and drink. I immediately got in touch with another very close friend of ours who went all the way out to our place, got the girls and carried them to his home. They had been locked up for three days with probably only a total of three hours out. If only there would have been some way that I could have seen their extremely low and unusual activity levels. This way I would have known that something was off.

Two months later after this near-tragedy, I met the FitBark team in New York at a trade show and I have been pumped and excited about them since. I have been working in the connected health and wellness space for about three years now and I can safely say that there are more ways for humans to track their own health than ever before and it seems like everyday a different company is coming out with a new activity tracker. But what’s truly out there that can provide us the much-needed peace of mind that our furry-four-legged children are home, happy and healthy?…

So what are my two reasons for believing in the power of FitBark?

13 years ago, a one-pound, 6 week old Miniature Pinscher named Dutchess came into my life. When she was 8 months old, two Chows viciously attacked her and they almost killed her. The vet told us if she did make it, she would have multiple problems later in life with her joints and muscles and the best defense was to keep her as active as possible. She was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and has been prescribed medications. They say MinPins never grow up, and she is a shining example of that with still so much energy that no one ever believes that she is as old as she is. She still smiles, like a puppy, for the camera.

A year ago, we welcomed a new member to the family, a rescued 7-month-old French Bulldog named Ellie. She is silly, funny and loves to cuddle, when she isn’t chasing the notorious red dot laser or intensely watching TV. She has never met a squeaky toy she couldn’t kill (and destroy) within just a few hours.

Considering the amount of joy they bring me plus living in the heart of Boston and having such busy lives with work and travel, I owe it to my girls to make sure they are as happy and healthy as they can be. It’s not just about peace of mind knowing that my dog walker is walking them as much as he says he is, or that when I am out of town, they are getting the right amount of play time at the pet hotel. It’s much bigger than that.  When I am having a bad day, guess who is first to cuddle up beside me and who is the one acting silly trying to cheer me up? I want to be able to open my door and see my two happy girls acting like lunatics because they are so happy to see me, even though I just went to go check the mail, for as long as I can. I need them around for many more years. In order to do that, I feed them the best food I can and have them play with the best toys. They only get healthy treats, and they both cuddle up with me when I sleep. But at the end of the day, I am only guessing if they are getting what they need in terms of the right amount of exercise. If you are like me, you’d wish that they can talk. And that’s where FitBark comes in.

FitBark gives my Ellie and Dutchess a voice. It helps me know what my pups can’t tell me. That, in itself, is priceless.

About the Author

Whit Howlit is a Sales and Channel Manager, North and South America for Withings (a human health company).