Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Adventures of Oliver the Marshwiggle: So, this happened...

In today's installment of the Marshwiggle Chronicles, we talk week three.

After two weeks of getting stuck in traffic and arriving barely on time, sis and I left an hour before we had to be there, took a new route and arrived with 25 minutes to spare. Lots of time to show off Oliver's behaviors to the teachers. 

BEFORE that, however, we decided to walk him around to get some energy worked off, and to do his business. While cleaning up said business (my job. Lucky, huh?), I hear a wolf whistle. Very 1940's Red Hot Riding Hood. I turned my head and saw a guy driving by, who winked at me. While I had a baggie full of dog poo. 

I will never understand men. 

The only thing that went through my mind was not to be flattered. Instead, the wise words of Adele, the singer, echoed in my mind: "If a man whistles at you, don't respond. You're a woman,  not a dog."
Very wise words indeed. Even if I was at the Humane Society. 

After that, we found the training room (there was an event, so we switched rooms to the main building). If you've never been to the Nebraska Humane Society on 90th and Fort, and you like animals, go. Its like a zoo, where you get to pick a pet to take home with you! There's even a pet store, where I bought Oliver a new 6 foot leash. It's awesome! 

We're getting a new Humane Society in Council Bluffs. I hope it's as cool. 

Oliver was pretty distracted in the new space, but all the dogs were. Lots of barking, but we did get to go around and meet the other dogs in class, which was fun. So many pretty puppies! We're continuing with positive reinforcement, but Oliver seems to be getting bored. Were halfway through the class, though, with tentative plans to continue with more advanced classes over the course of the year. 

Maybe people will stop trying to get my attention with a whistle. Maybe next time, I'll get this!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Adventures of Oliver the Marshwiggle: Training Day 1

The Adventures of Oliver the Marshwiggle!



So, as you might remember, about three or four weeks ago, we got a Marshwiggle. Well, today he started Obedience Training at the Nebraska Humane Society, and my sister and I were pumped. Probably a bit more than Ollie at first. Last time he was in a car for any length of time was when my sister brought him home, so I don't know if he was prepared for a longish car ride. He was a bundle of nerves for the entire trip, and was "Play" biting me. Not amused.

The Nebraska Humane Society has a big Omaha campus, complete with Bone Jour Doggy Day Camp, a Training Center (where classes were held), on top of the Kennel where they adopt out pets. It was apparently Free Kitten Day. We didn't go in, though. We would've left with a couple, and then been in REAL trouble! Jane, Henry and Tris would NOT have been amused.

Anyway, back to training. When we got there, we had no idea which building it was in, and ended up at the Doggy Day Care. We needed to be up near the main street and Walgreens. Rather than wrestle Oliver back in the car, we just walked up. We, thankfully, weren't the last ones to show up, and class had barely started. Now we know to take Crescent to 680 instead of I-80 around. Silly Google Maps. We also know which building to go to.

When we first got in, there were about seven or eight other dogs, mostly with at least two handlers. I feel like my job today was to watch and take in information. And to run over to Walgreens when we ran out of treats halfway through training. I also opted to drive home.

I really enjoyed our first day of training. Our teacher (I didn't get her name) was very knowledgeable, very kind, and she didn't stick with the same dog to demonstrate things on. Oliver was mesmerized when she came over to us, and I was confident we'd made the right decision coming to THIS particular class. And it was half the price of the one at Petsmart, where we had friends who'd taken that class.

This afternoon, after we'd all gotten a bit of a rest, my sister and I took him out to the front yard to practice what we'd learned.

Learning Loose Leash Walking
Allons-y is his Mark word for walking

Our teacher taught us the carrot on a string trick,
using a spoon and peanut butter!
Brilliant!


Henry's not too sure about this training business.

He watched the entire lesson.

Learning Down and Stay. Needs work. 

Finally got him down to stay.
He was significantly more calm and attentive. On the way home, when he was sitting in the backseat with my sister. So different than the dog we took out there. I'm confident that Oliver could be the most improved this week. I still think we need a new leash. I honestly feel like ours is going to snap.

This is the first installment of the Marshwiggle Adventures in Training. I hope to have a video to present at the end of the 6-weeks to show how well he's improved. But after one week, I'm impressed with how the Humane Society Training is done.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Workout Update, Ollie Update, Lotsa Updates in Here

Happy Friday, everyone! So glad the week is out! People are all kinds of crazy this week. Glad to stick around Council Bluffs this week. How was your week?

This has been kind of a crazy, emotional roller coaster of the week. It started out well enough, I was getting my three workouts in (Butt Challenge, Plank Challenge, BodyRock), but on Tuesday, it got a little crazy up in here.

Firstly, remember Ollie the Marshwiggle? Or puppy, as you might remember him.


Well, he was giving us a LOT of trouble last weekend, and at the start of the week. And by us, I mean mostly my sister. Then on Tuesday when I got home from work, I decided to give my sister a break and play with him, myself. Funny thing. His lips had started getting red, and we couldn't figure out why. Things were going okay in the backyard. He was on his tie-out, I was throwing him a ball. He explored. Typical dog stuff. Then he kept running at me and jumping. And biting at my red pants, which were a similar color to his red squeaky ball. He get play biting at my legs and jumping up, honestly freaking me out. It was really scary. My sister came to take over for me so I could change my pants. I thought maybe the red color, like a bull, was setting him off. I get back downstairs, and he's a bit calmer, but we decide to put him back in the kennel.

After dinner, we decided to try to take him for a walk. Or, I did, rather. He's gotten into that bad habit of chewing on his leash, trying to take the lead, and he started going after my feet again, and no amount of bopping him on the face and crying "Ow!" or "No!" would make him stop. Mom saw us from her office, and ran out to shout at him. She's got that angry mommy voice down, and he stopped. Back to the kennel he went, and shaky to the couch I went.

I'm not afraid of dogs. Never have been. This was a big thing for me. We'd pretty much all but decided to send Ollie back to his original owner. The next day, Ollie and mom had a heart to heart, and he was completely different. She came to the conclusion that one of his toys that he'd been playing with might have had a dye in it that reacted badly with him (hence the red lips), and when we went on a walk, he was okay.

Now he's signed up for obedience training, starting next weekend, and I'm pretty optimistic about it. I'm hoping in six weeks, I have an almost running buddy.


Speaking of running, since Ollie going after my feet on Tuesday got my heart rate up so high (took me 20 minutes to calm down! But I got to skype with my lovely bestie, Lauren, so that made it a bit better), I didn't workout. I could've, but I honestly forgot. I'm a day behind, but I"m hoping to make it up tomorrow.

Also, I think I'm going to change my plank challenge. I don't feel like I'm gaining much strength, so I've found some plank exercises that I'm going to start doing instead. Hope to build some upper body and core strength to better my running. Tomorrow morning, I'm hoping the track at the high school will be vacant so I can run. I was going to get fitted for shoes today, but forgot to wear socks. I'm sure I could've bought some, but I didn't feel like it. Maybe next week.

The most exciting part of my day is that I paid off my cruise in February, and it is less than six months away! Getting so close! I was talking to some girls at work today, and since I don't work Mondays, and it was a holiday, so I get PTO instead of a day off (so much better than a day off!). When that PTO goes into my account, I'll have a full week available to me. My coworkers were asking me what I'm going to do with it, and I told them about the cruise. I think I'm going to be known as Weird Disney Girl in the office now. I'll take it.


That's pretty much it. I'll be so excited to finally be on the Wonder. It's getting so close! I can feel the ocean breeze!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

I am a HUGE baseball fan. Mostly minor league, because I grew up with a popular stadium across the river that is no more (Rosenblatt, may she rest in peace). It used to be a fifteen minute drive to see a baseball game, but now it's about half an hour. We didn't get out to many games this season. In fact, I only got to this one game. But it was stunningly beautiful outside, we got wider seats in the shade, and the game was really exciting!

The first homerun of the game!

Game Buddies

Far Left Field
So far away!

There's a Family Fun area with a playground and carousel

Center Field
Even Further Still!

Right Field
Who sits back here?!
This is our new field, Werner Park. It's considerably smaller than Rosenblatt, which closed in 2010, but I think the layout is fantastic. It's not too big (I find Major League stadiums too big), so I can keep track of what's going on in the game while going to the bathroom, or getting a funnel cake. It's nice and breezy, and where we sat, there was no sun, so it was all nice and cool.

Our team is the Omaha Storm Chasers, and the game was VERY exciting today. So many runs, lots of pop up balls, foul balls, line drives, plus at least two home runs. It was awesome!

Mom and I are talking about getting season tickets for next year. They got them my senior year of college, and I was able to go to several games with them that summer. I love baseball. It's one of the few sports I love. I'm an artsy girl, but I love me some baseball. I get it from my mom.

Farewell, Storm Chasers! Until Next Year!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September Fitness Challenge(s)

I haven't talked about fitness here in awhile because, frankly, I'm a bit sad and ashamed that I haven't been more consistent with my workouts. My gym membership has now lapsed, and I've been looking for something quick but cardio heavy to really get myself working up a sweat.

Walking the dogs in humidity will do that to you. Sopping wet sweaty. Fun times.

But, being that it's September, and the countdown to my 28th birthday has begun (28....oh my gosh...), I've decided to give myself the gift of finally completing something. Not one fitness challenge, but two month long fitness challenges. Time wise, I don't think they'll take much time, but I hope they do the trick to get me back into working out.

The first challenge is a plank challenge. I started one a few months back, but didn't finish. It starts at 20 seconds, and by September 30 (after the scary big 2-8!), I should be holding it for a whole five minutes. I wonder if they planned it for someone with an additional X amount pounds on her frame? I guess we'll see.

Planks are good for posture and your core, and strong core muscles help your running.

Ignore the poor posture of the model in the picture
(Source)
The next challenge is the défi du mois (Challenge of the month) for www.shrinkingjeans.net, a grouping of exercises to be done alongside your regularly scheduled workout. It's a butt challenge, and lord knows, I need help in that department. One of the workouts is a Burpee (at :55), which I've never done before. They're no joke. At all. I did two before I had to switch to the non-jump method. I did about four burpees in 30 seconds, and didn't include the jump upon standing. Here's hoping if there are no visual changes to my body, I'll at least feel stronger (But I really want the visual changes!)

Source

I've also started looking into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) through Bodyrock.TV/Daily Hiit, and am taking the beginner's challenge from Daily Hiit. The hardest part of the workout today was that my GymBoss app wouldn't beep when the round was up. Frustrating! So, I downloaded the HIIT Inverval Training Timer AD app through Google Play, and tested it. Works! Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow's workout brings!

This is my birthday present to myself, so if I don't do it, I won't be getting a birthday present. And I really like presents. ;-)

September. The best month there is!

All That Matters Now (Finding Neverland)

I've been a MASSIVE Peter Pan  fan since I can remember. Disney , Mary Martin version, I loved  this story. I actually have several memo...