Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Keeping up

So far more than a week of walking 2 miles a day. Well actually, I didn't do Sunday but my plan wasn't to necessarily go on weekends anyway. Monday the gym didn't open until 11 (Memorial Day) so I took Zipper to a local park and walked a paved trail. He did so well! I had him on a flexi and it was early morning so we didn't get interference. He wasn't quite sure at first when I just kept plowing ahead and didn't stop to accommodate him wanting to water every bush and stalk, but then he really went to it. Two miles and he was still pulling a bit at the end--didn't faze him at all. But this is the dog who runs off leash with the big dogs at Bradford Farm.

Found out last night that the pond the dogs have been swimming in at Bradford has occasional high levels of toxic blue-green algae. Great. We already sort of knew that and I keep away from it in high summer when the algae blooms are on. But it's frustrating. I used to go to another lovely park, Grindstone, but both the creeks that border it (Hinkson and Grindstone) have been found with high lead and heavy metals as well as medical waste. In summer, it's really nice to have a place where the dogs can cool off on a walk and it's sure getting harder and harder to find a safe place for them to do so.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On exercise and loose dogs

I've been leaving all three dogs loose in the house this week for the hour I'm gone to the gym. Well actually this morning I crated Cala, left Viva and Zipper loose. I figure it's only an hour and that gives them some extra morning time to wander outside and do whatever.

This morning I come home (more than 2 miles today but I lost count of laps) and Viva is HOWLING. Loudly. From in the living room. Why? It's beyond me. And Zipper is barking. So Viva's howling, Zipper's barking, and I'm rethinking this whole "dogs loose" thing. Thing is, neither of them were outside, they were just not happy inside.

I'll monitor it and see what happens...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ouch, ouch, ouch

I finally broke down and joined a gym--in this case our local city recreation center. I've decided to try to walk at least 2 miles every work day, both to help my fitness and perhaps to even lose a bit of weight.

Right now I'm way too intimidated to try any of the machines, so I'm only using the indoor track. My plan is to start with walking then expand to maybe jogging.

First day, about 1 1/2 miles. Second day, 2 miles, today, 2 miles. I'm walking about a 17 minute mile. Not awful, but not the fastest either.

Today my shin muscles were killing me most of the first mile before they finally warmed up. I think I need to drink more water before going into the gym. But at least my hurting shins took my mind off my feet. I have plantar fasciitis. What the heck is that? Basically it means my feet hurt. I've irritated the big tendons that stretch from my heels to my toes, they're mad at me, and telling me about it. Loudly. The weird thing about PF is that it's not so bad when you're actually moving, it's when you stop for a few minutes then try to walk again that it really hurts. So I'm able to walk 2 miles, but my mid-morning run to the restroom is more like a slow painful hobble.

However, I already am feeling the benefits of increasing my exercise. I've always been a walker but realized that over the past year my evening walks have decreased due to weather or time constraints. An indoor track takes weather out of the equation. Time is solved by moving my wakeup time an hour earlier. So I now get up about 5:15 to get to the gym by their open at 5:30.

It's a really nice facility. As I walk along one curve of the raised track I can watch the sun rise over the whole wall of glass. I can also discreetly scope out the other exercisers and the machines. I circle them warily, perhaps someday to ascend.

The dogs aren't really quite sure what to do. I've been experimenting with just leaving them all loose in the house for the hour I'm gone. I think Cala is going back to her crate, not sure what Zip is doing. I'm going to have to ask the neighbor if they run outside and bark. But they watch me leave, Zipper and Cala perched in the front window. So far no house damage at all evident. We'll see how things progress...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Huh? Not me!

This morning I heard a huge crash in the living room. Went in to see Zipper innocently sitting on his chair and everything that was on the coffee table down on the floor. Hmmmm. How do you suppose that happened?

A half-hour later I passed my bedroom door and saw white stuffing on top of my bedspread. Somebody had chewed a quarter-sized hole in the coverlet and had pulled stuffing out. Now who could that be? Nobody was anywhere near it...

In other news I'm just really, really happy with the way Zipper's training is going. I use a harness for his agility class so I can work with him on drive and resistance training without choking him and when he sees the harness come out he's starting to become all business. Far less acting like a vibrating phone when he sees other dogs!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Big sisters are always mean!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned that Zipper has a litter sister who is also taking classes at CCSC. Zipper is in Agility Foundations at 6, and Josie is in Pet Manners at 7.

Our first week I saw Josie and didn't realize she was a littermate but noticed she was a very nice bitch. I confirmed with Eddie and Pam that yes, it's Zip's sister. The last time I had seen Josie had been at a show, when she was being an absolute terror to all of her brothers. After all, with two girls and four boys, she needed to put those guys in their places!

Last week I walked up to Josie's owner and introduced myself. She was holding Josie and I picked up Zipper who, immeditately on seeing Josie went into total vibrate-and-hum-with-joy mode. Josie's owner was telling me how much she loved her and how she got along so well with everybody and her own dogs. Meanwhile Josie was going beady eyed on Zipper. There was no doubt she recognized him--one of pesky little brothers. To her owner's horror, Josie started snarling at Zip. I started laughing, and Zipper was just ecstatic with joy. "It really is you!" Josie was saying, "yeah, it really is and I can still whip your butt."

We did not allow them to get together. Poor Zipper would have been like he was when he was a baby, accepting all of her punishment as his due.

The DDGraphix store!