Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy Birthday-Happy Birthday

It's right around Strummer's 1st birthday and today seems good a day as any to declare it (since he's a rescue I don't know the exact date). He graduated from Advanced Beginners obedience class tonight but you'd never know it. He's currently having a full blown puppy fit, tearing around the living room full tilt, growling & throwing his toys in the air, doing 4 legged leaps onto the couch then launching off again only to start right over. I really should stop him but I'm laughing too hard, which only eggs him on. One thing we didn't cover in class-how to stop him from taking my shoes hostage. We're constantly in hostage negotiations-drop my shoe and I'll give you a, you drop the bickie and I'll give you your shoe...and on it goes. I always win but he always gets the bickie so who really won in the end?

I've started teaching him stupid, hokie little tricks (roll over, sit up & beg, gimme five, etc.) and he's hilarious. He's still in the beginning stages of learning but he was amusing his foster mom today with his little routine. He's coming along well with the agility flatwork, going around trees when I send him, turning away from me on a hand signal, getting better with his sit & down stays. I was able to put him in both a sit and down stay and go out of sight in class tonight for the first time and he did great. Just 2 weeks ago simply turning my back to him while he was in a sit or down stay was stressing him out so that was some great progress. He's such a fun dog, I'm really fortunate to have gotten him.

As for my knee, it's coming along o.k. Walking feels almost normal though I still can't straighten my leg all the way. The doctor said it may be months until it's totally healed. The P.T. started me jogging on a trampoline and doing 'jumps' on the Home Gym weight trainer thingy. She's going to let me try running on the treadmill on Friday to see if I'll be o.k. for an agility class this weekend. I'm pretty sure I'll be fine. I entered a trial 3 weeks away in Albuquerque so I need to start practising again. I had decided to stay away from the agility field until I could run properly because it stressed the dogs out too much but I think I'll be o.k. for running short sequences in a class by the weekend. I'm still a ways away from being able to run run but I think I'm going back to the pool next week since I finally feel like I can push off the wall. I haven't been to the pool in a couple of weeks because it was way too frustrating so it's not going to be pretty when I hit the water again. I'm bored of the bike trainer and the strengthening exercises but oh well. Despite the gimpiness, my knee feels so much better without the cyst, esp. now that I can walk somewhat normally again. Funny, it's been so long since I've run (and even longer since it's felt good to run) that it seems like I barely miss it. Hopefully I won't turn into too much of a slug living this life of rehab leisure.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My World Gets Ever Smaller

No posts for a while, I've been cranky about not being able to go out and play in the nice weather. The physical therapist put the kabash on my outdoor bike rides, restricting me to the trainer. And it's working so I can't argue. Nonetheless, I was in a foul mood this weekend, riding the trainer in the mid-60 degree weather on my deck, watching all the runners and cyclists cruising by and drooling at the mountains in the distance. A cyclist waved at me as he passed and I restrained myself from flipping him off. Of course he was just being friendly, no need to inflict my foul mood on the general public.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been battling with the list owners/members of Boulder's spin off from the national Freecycle group, called 'RecycleBoulderValley'. For those unfamiliar with the concept, freecycling is a list on 'yahoogroups' where you can offer your crap up for free and people take it if they want. If you need stuff you get it for free and if you have excess crap you can dump it. Everyone wins and the landfills get filled up a little less quickly. The original Boulder group split from the national Freecycle group so they could make up their own rules. Most people followed this split including me because I couldn't be bothered trying to find the proper Freecycle group. So the splinter group has around 3700 members, the Freecycle group only 700 or so. Anyway, RecycleBoulderValley started a poll to see if they should start offering pets up for free on their list. It sounds like a nice idea in theory but the problem is that it's a disaster for the animals. Only 20% of animals offered for free end up in a loving, permanent home. The rest, well, it's not pretty. They get sold to research labs or dog fighters for bait dogs. Or they end up with owners who are unwilling/unable to care for them properly, including animal hoarders with mental problems, or sickos who are just outright abusive. Never mind that there's no guarantee the new owners will spay/neuter their pets so the rescues/shelters will have to bear the brunt of all the unwanted litters.

Unfortunately, the 'animals for free' vote is winning right now. If it passes, I'll leave the group, I just couldn't stomach staying and watching the ensuing carnage. It seems bizarre to me that I should end up boycotting an otherwise great group but there you go. I boycott about a zillion scumbag companies and businesses but this seems crazy. But I'm not budging.

If anyone out there would like to vote on this matter you can go to: , join the group and go to the 'polls' section on the web to vote. If you're not a member of 'yahoogroups' you'll have to join but it's free and easy. The poll closes March 10.

As for my training, I'll spare you the excruciating details of my rehab. It's boring even to me.