Friday, September 30, 2011

More Trudy Trials

The inevitable happened. Trudy's day care called on Wednesday and oh-so-kindly recommended she get more training before returning. So technically, she was not kicked out, but it may be awhile before she's welcomed back. While disappointed, this incident clearly indicates we're doing something wrong.

Trudy is fantastic. It's fairly disgusting how much we love her and when you love a dog that much, it's difficult to discipline them. (All you with kids are saying, "duh.") We have not done a good job of positioning ourselves as the pack leaders, so she's confused. Therefore, her aggression comes out at random times. Coincidentally, she is more aggressive when she's regularly attending daycare.

So no more day care for Trudy, which saddens me mostly because the burden then falls on us to wear this dog out. When Boyfriend's out of town, all three walks per day with some park time fall to me. While I enjoy this interaction with Trudy, sometimes you have a day when you just want to sit on the couch, spoon and peanut butter jar in hand and watch House Hunters. Not easy with a restless dog.

Needing to come up with a solution stat, I stumbled across KC Dog Runners. They will come to my house and take Trudy for a run several times per week. Yes, it's ridiculously expensive and many would say overindulgent, but I am ecstatic with this option.

One might ask, can't you run with her yourself? You are 3athletejen. Truthfully, I'm just not a consistent enough runner to take this on. Plus, it's going to get cold out soon and I'm a fair-weather runner only. Fingers crossed this is the answer to some of our issues. The other issues will be handled by the behavioral analysis we have scheduled in two weeks. Seriously.

The pic is Trudy with her peanut butter jar. However, she prefers Animal Planet over HGTV.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My lats are bigger than yours

Maybe. Maybe not. I do know that as a swimmer, there are a few muscle groups of which I can be proud. Lats. Triceps. Flexible ankles. Okay, so flexibility is not a muscle group, but I'm still counting it. Where am I going with this rambling post?

Here's the deal. If there was some sort of award for working out a lot, I may be in contention. Swimming, running, yoga, cardio....I can knock it out fairly easily. However, throw intensity in there and I have a problem. Not to mention a definite lack of strength. Ask my stepbrother about me try to do a pull-up. Singular. It was really more of me just hanging from the monkey bars and him laughing.

So I decide to mix it up. Try something new. $40 for six Bootcamp classes. Real Bootcamp, not YMCA Bootcamp. (Sorry, Y.) Monday, 4:45pm, a male instructor named Dana. Don't let the name fool you. For sixty minutes, I had my ass handed to me. As I'm struggling to do the ring push-ups - on my knees no less - it hits me. I suck at this. Really suck. Like no one wants to be stuck with me as a partner suck.

Embarrassing side note: I choose to wear one of my cheap Target t-shirts and running shorts. Not the best choice. Mostly because there is a reason the Target shirts are cheap and that is because regardless of deodorant and Tide detergent, the armpits smell like body odor the second you start to sweat. So I'm hanging from a bar trying to raise my knees to my elbows and then slowly lower them down, when Dana decides to assist me. Standing next to me, his head is directly in the B.O. danger zone. I'm sorry, Dana. I am hyper sensitive to hygiene, but clearly failed this test.

Regardless of my sad and smelly effort, I went back today on still wobbly legs and tried again. I like it, in some sort of sadistic way. We shall see how much I like it when it cost $129 instead of $40. We'll save that for another post. My smelly armpits and I must go to a meeting now.

P.S. For those expecting Reunion 102, my apologies. I'm including pictures, but just didn't have much more to say. It was a lovely weekend and I hope not to have to wait another ten years to see everyone. Yay, Hornets.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reunion 101

Last night was the kick-off of my twenty year high school reunion. A school tour was planned (I was too late), a home football game was scheduled (I didn't make into the bleachers), and a follow-up gathering took place at a hole-in-the-wall bar. (I was one of the first to arrive.) So my priorities are clear.

It was a more intimate gathering than I expected -- around 25 people. Fortunately, I liked everyone there and let's be honest, this is all about my good time. Though the celebration continues tonight with a more formal and hopefully highly attended event, here are some tidbits that fall into the Reunion 101 curriculum.

1. You'll be nervous. (I speak for the women.) It doesn't matter if you're married, single, skinny, fat, successful or struggling. There's something about being faced with people that knew you at the most awkward stage in your life. You could now be a CEO of a Fortune 500, but just think about high school and you can feel your chin break out and your posture slump.

2. You will encounter people you don't remember. And they will remember you. Immediately. (Not sure this is a good thing.) So master the art of the polite, but inquisitive greeting. Most of the time, they'll catch your puzzled look and help you out. However, this is much easier to handle then #3.

3. You might warmly embrace someone thinking you know exactly who they are only to realize you are wrong and have no idea. Worse, they will know you and want to start conversation because you've shown such interest. Then you're stuck, planting questions in the conversation to help figure out who in the hell this is. When you realize this is a lost cause, just slowly slink away when they turn their attention elsewhere.

4. You will discuss things with classmates you never would have brought up in high school. One such subject might be "dental dams." Bring this up with a group and see how many people actually know what it is. Then see how many are saying yes when they have no idea. This is a fun party game. Feel free to use it at your reunion.

5. Your 20 year reunion is when you look at the current high school students and realize exactly how old you are. You also question when fishnet tights became appropriate for the cheerleaders.

6. People will be the same, but nicer. Once the initial nervousness fades, everyone is the same and that's comforting. The nice people are still nice. The funny are still funny. Hairlines may have receded and crow's feet have appeared, but people are here for the same reason as you - to see who's aged the best. (I'm totally kidding. That's probably reason #4.)

7. A nemesis in high school does not a nemesis now make. (Huh?) Someone who you may not have been friends with in high school may be someone you thoroughly enjoy now. Nemesis is an overstate, but you know what I mean.

8. I have more, but I need to use the next three hours to get ready for tonight. Reunion 101 will continue tomorrow.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Not-So-Elegant Canine

This is Trudy. More specifically, this is Trudy's butt. Her preferred sleeping method is head half under the bed, butt half out. This is not all that unusual for dogs, but it still makes me laugh.

In the two months since adopting Trudy, we have laughed many times at her antics. Getting asked not to return to dog daycare was not one of those times.

The Elegant Canine (TEC) was Trudy's first venture into daycare, as well as some one-on-one obedience training classes with the owner. The training classes went fine. The daycare did not.

As with most rescue dogs, we are clueless as to Trudy's life prior to being Trudy. She was found trotting through the neighborhood by a kind neighbor who rescued and fostered her until she was eventually initiated into the Saab household. Truth is, we suspect she was kind of a badass dog. Weighing in at a svelte 45 pounds, she doesn't cower from any one or any animal. I have this vision of her roaming the streets with nun chucks, sniffing out criminals to take down.

It boils down to the fact that Trudy is an alpha and while she gets along with ninety-five percent of the dogs she meets, there are a few nemesis dogs we try to avoid. As an alpha, she doesn't back down. So put her with another alpha and you see the problem. The is exactly what happened at TEC and when the worker reached in to separate the dogs, her hand ended up in Trudy's mouth and that's just not good. (For the record, the worker completely understood, but the owner/trainer was not so accepting.)

Upon final payment for training, it was suggested Trudy might do better at a bigger facility. TEC is actually a house where the daycare is in the attic.

Fine. I'm not a ridiculous dog owner that thinks my dog can do no wrong. I know she's...what's the word....challenging.

But I can't help but think there are a fair number of alpha dogs out there. Are these dogs just not welcome at doggy daycare? Imagine the sign: "Dog Daycare, 7am-7pm, Submissive Dogs Only." What's a working, dog owning, fence-less couple to do?

Trudy tried out her second facility for a weekend we were in Colorado. Dog Pawz Stay 'n Play in Leawood is a much larger and better smelling facility. However, I was still a little nervous. I know she's a great dog. Most people who meet her think she's great. But we were 0 for 1, so I wasn't overly optimistic.

Fortunately, she fared all right. When I took her back this morning, she trotted right in. No separation anxiety. No peeing on the floor. Most importantly, no call today from Dog Pawz. I've learned no news is good news in dog daycare. I might silence my phone this afternoon, though. No reason to ruin a good thing.