Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Work Out!

For my birthday this year I decided to give myself the gift of a nice treadmill. I shopped around, researching like crazy, as I tend to do, and then found exactly the one I wanted at 50% off. AWESOME.

But the thing is, I have this dog that likes to walk and play outside, so I feel a little guilty justifying a big purchase that theoretically takes time away from that (it doesn't, actually, because I can hop on the treadmill for five minutes at a time, which I can't do for actual walks outside but still...) And there are a lot of times when I'm too tired to take Oscar for a full walk and then do the other things I have to do during the day. Add to that, his agility class makes his head explode a little bit (as in, he is "in control" like your average two year old hopped up on sugar then put into an inflatable room filled with balls and circus clowns would be "ready for a nap") and I need something to take the edge off of that but still makes me able to stand for two and a half hours of dog school. So it's pretty clear the treadmill is for Oscar as well.

Here's the set up, along with the kitten, showing her usual extreme fear of all things new (ha)
checkin' things out

And here we are on week 2 of the training! The first day he got praise for standing on it (off) or reacting calmly when he was nearby and it was on (when I was on it). Neither of these were the slightest problem, nor did I expect them to be. After that, we worked on having him on it when it got turned on. The first time he stayed on once it was turned on he was on it for ten seconds before turning it off. (There's a cool emergency function, where there's a little tab you're supposed to tuck into your waistband (or, you know, collar) and if you go too far back, it unattaches itself from the machine and the treadmill turns off.)

We're up to about 30 seconds now, with constant feeding (and, as usual, tail wagging) throughout, although to be honest, in this video he finishes the food in the first few seconds and is simply gumming my hand after that.

I can do much, much longer than thirty seconds, but that's only because I'm in SO much better condition than Oscar. *cough* Okay, but really, I can run for two minutes straight and not collapse afterwords, so that's a pretty huge change from just a few years ago!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Waking up?

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

--Rabindranath Tagore

Marriage is love.