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Doggone Class

I'm back in dog class for 8 weeks, but as an observer only - Clint's handling Zada and I get to watch. We (and by "we" I mean Linda and I) decided that Clint should take her through Level II obedience in order to get some formal training. He's worked with her before, out on walks and in the house, but this way he can start from scratch and have it be taught by Linda herself instead of me...because, having taken riding lessons from my sister when I was young, I know what it's like to have a loved one be your teacher. Doesn't work so well sometimes :)

Anyway - last Tuesday was his first class, and I was looking forward to merely sitting back and watching everyone, but Linda had a different idea. Since there are only 5 participants, that means since I'm coming every time I get to handle Elsa, Linda's 7-month-old Bullmastiff puppy. And, by "puppy" I mean 85 pounds of lion-like animal.

Before that class, I considered myself to be pretty adept at being a "dog trainer" because, well, Zada responds so well with me and I've even worked with Tesa and Hogan, etc...well, I received an eye-opener after having Elsa on the end of the leash. She was good, just VERY hard to work with as she had other interests in mind...namely, wanting to play with her 2 friends in class (Zada and Stanley, a 6-month-old French bulldog, and cuter than cute). She'd be working beautifully for me, but then would lose interest and start staring off at some other dog - which I'd let her do because frankly I was working my butt off and needed a break - when all of a sudden she'd LUNGE at the other dog.

That was fun. She's not mean; just exuberant and, well, HUGE. Finally the class ended, the other members cleared out and we could let the 3 dogs off-leash to have at it and wrestle. Should be interesting to see if Linda asks me to handle her again this coming Tuesday!

But, Clint and Zada did very well together - he was having fun, learned some things, and she was VERY good so I was proud of both of them. (Plus, he still had energy at the end of class because he didn't have a bouncing lion-cub at the end of HIS leash!)

I'm looking forward to the next class, if only just for the fun that's had afterward...I have to admit, both Clint and I think Stanley is probably the cutest thing EVER. His head is a bit large for his body (Clint's definition: "Look at that orange on a toothpick!"), and he's full of himself - just charges right into the thick of the 2 bigger dogs wrestling. I'll have to get a picture of him this next time and put it in here to prove my point.

Well, that's it for now. Nothing else of note to blog about except - of course - my dog.

PS: Read more about Dog Obedience Classes and Linda's method of training :)

Shake Your Tailfeather

We leave for Puerto Vallarta in a little over a month (March 29th!), and as our trip approaches, I'm fluctuating between being excited and exasperated at having to WAIT.

The temperatures have plummeted back to the "below zeroes" and I think we Minnesotans are losing hope it'll EVER warm up. Well, maybe just THIS Minnesotan. My skin is dry, I can't shake my cold/flu, and I have to give myself a pep talk just to take the dog for her walk.

But, there's light at the end of the tunnel - sunny Mexico!

I've gotten to thinking, though...the last time I went this late in the season, it was in college and I was there on spring break. The entire country was basically at the whim of thousands of 20-somethings hyped up on rum drinks and "shaking their tailfeathers" at nightclubs until the wee hours (before stumbling back to their hotel rooms or the beach to sleep it off and begin again at dusk).

Hopefully that's not the case when we're there - I'm too old for all that now. I want to relax, soak up the sun and hike around taking pictures. (PS: Hiking is really just walking...but us runners are loath to say we WALK; hence the covert term.)

In preparation of this vacation, I'm forced once again to start my oh-shoot-I-only-have-one-month-to-go-before-I-have-to-wear-a-
bikini-again diet and exercise regime. (Please see previous post about my new buddy, Ana.) Having the flu for a week helped out greatly with the "trimming down" process - I must've lost about 7 pounds on my chicken noodle soup and fruit diet in that time period alone :) And, there was a lot of shaking going on then, too...but only because I had the chills.

So, as I listen to Nelly's "Shake Ya Tailfeathers" on my iPod right now - hey, it's on shuffle - I'm thinking maybe the cold is my incentive to get in shape. Because, see, you've gotta jig and dance just to keep warm in this blasted arctic air. I guess for the next month and change I have to keep in mind that at least I get to leave MN and head to my lovely Viejo Vallarta - if only for a week!

Ana Cabán is Kicking my @$$!

Before Christmas, I was in Target and bought myself a mat and a Pilates DVD - Pilates Core Challenge with Ana Cabán - in the hopes of getting myself back in shape by starting with my core.

I finally unfurled the mat and popped the DVD in this past Tuesday. The workout took ~40 minutes, and no less than 3 times I had to pause the dang thing in order to rest! At first I thought it was going to be a bunch of sit-ups and stretching.

Whew. This woman is SERIOUS about Pilates - and she's just sitting there serenely on the tape, looking like she's not even working and I'm on the other end of the TV, sweating, cursing and muttering under my breath, "Are you KIDDING me, lady?"

I've done the workout twice now, and the 2nd time I still had to pause it - but only twice! - and when I do it again today, maybe it'll be a bit easier goal is to be back in shape by Mexico (beginning of April). Meaning, no IT band problems or having a sore back from just standing/walking for more than an hour.

And, Ana, you're going to get me there...let's just hope I have the fortitude - and time - to keep with the program!