Friday, September 12, 2014

Bad Dog and Good People

Don't worry. The irony is not lost on me - not at all - that after mentioning that I have a raving-about-Max post pending I end up posting next about what a bad dog he is. I'll probably still post that other one (whenever I get around to writing it) because this post doesn't make that post any less true. I've realized that while he is an awesome dog in so many ways, he's still human. Or, not, rather. But you know what I mean.

Oh the way to take my brother to the airport I ignored a phone call from a number I didn't know (I do that). They left a message and when I played it I heard, "I'm on the trail and I have your dog Max." Before I could call them back, and as Graydon is parking the car and getting out, they called again. She told me where they were, I told her where I lived - just North of where they were, she said she'd walk him North. The problem is, I wasn't home, and I still had to go back to work until at least 3 (early day today, yay!). I told her that I have great neighbors and if they were home they would help me with this. I texted Marie my address and then called Susan. After a quick catch up chat she asks, "What can I do for you?"

This is how wonderful she is.

I told her it was sad, but she was right. Every time I call her I'm asking for something. I quickly explained and she said she'd get shoes on right then and walk toward the trail. I texted Marie to let her know my neighbor was walking to meet her and she texted me this -

my bad dog with Susan.

I thanked Marie again, she told me that Max was really sweet and "such a good dog." When they called him over he came right to them, when they told him to sit he sat...

He's a good dog except when he decides to be an escape artist! Drives me crazy.

Susan called me later and said Belle was in the front yard when she took Max home so she put them both inside. I told her that I owed her dinner for at least a week and she said "No, that's what neighbors do!"

I'm so glad that people like him when they meet him but I really wish he didn't feel the need to make new friends this way.

So there's my story. I have a bad dog, and I am so so so grateful for good - and super-helpful - people who go out of their way to help others. Marie mentioned this was their second "rescue" in as many weeks. What a good lady! And Susan and Brad are saints. They have been so helpful in so many ways. I am so blessed to have people like Marie and Susan in my life - and so is Max!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big News!

I have a post pending that is going to go on and on about what a good dog Max is.

You've been warned.

(It actually won't be that bad - promise! But while a friend of mine was over at my house this last weekend being sick, he was at his rock star therapy dog finest and hung out with her a few times after I left the room. And that dog follows me everywhere. So he knew what he was doing. He knew. And he's such a good dog. (: I've come to the conclusion that if there's someone who doesn't like this dog, there's something wrong with them. Because he's just great. Right Jen B.? :)

On to the big news!

A few years ago I read an article about a therapy dog working with veterans. I decided right then that that's what I wanted to do with a therapy dog. Come last November, I finally took the day-long course required for the human part of the team. In February I took him in for our evaluation and we couldn't do most of it because he had an ear infection (they start with a mini-physical and won't do the evaluation if there are any open wounds, infections, etc.). March was full, we went back in April and passed with really good scores. I may have written about that before. Anyway, that's a summary of it all.

Then, this past summer our first therapy dog outing was to the West Jordan library. While we were there I was talking to Deb (the director of Therapy Animals of Utah - TAU) about trying to get started with veterans. She said she's been talking to the VA for a while about getting a team in there, but nothing had happened yet. She told me to go ahead and start the volunteer process since it takes a while (background check, TB tests...) and hopefully then it'd be easier for her to get us in if we were already ready.

First week of August I got in there with all the completed paperwork that I had been emailed and got my fingerprints scanned. I was expecting to have to get inked up, but it's all digital now. Pretty cool. I went back four more times in the next couple of weeks to get a TB test started and then checked - twice. On August 27th I got an email saying that my background check cleared (shocker, really). I called in, scheduled my orientation, and that brings us to today! I'll be going in this afternoon to go through their confidentiality policies, learning what code blue, code red, etc. mean, their emergency protocols, and then I'll be setting up visits! I'm so excited. I'm nervous - we'll be working in the mental health hospital, which honestly, makes me a little more nervous - but I'm more excited than I am nervous, so I think it'll be good.

And I found out yesterday that Max will need to be in my volunteer badge picture too, so I won't be able to get the badge today but I'll have to bring him back sometime to get that done.

Anyway, maybe boring to the two (one?) people that read this blog, and for that I apologize. But I'm really excited. (:

Friday, September 5, 2014

So Glad!

So glad that I had a love affair with running yesterday. So glad mostly because today was not wonderful. It wasn't horrible, but it was hard. Even the promise of listening to the next exciting part of my audio book wasn't a super motivation to get me on.

Don't get me wrong, it worked, but it was most definitely not a love affair this time around. So I'm glad I experienced yesterday. I'm glad because I know that means that there will be days that I absolutely love it. I'm also glad that I experienced today. I'm glad because I know there will be days when the last thing I want to do is get on a treadmill. But even if I walk more uphill more than I run downhill, it'll still be making me stronger.

My muscles are sore.

And I'm exhausted.

That's all.

Guess What!

I like running. It's been so long (I honestly can't remember the last time I went running - aside from last night) that I had forgotten. But when I got on the treadmill, hit 5 mph (at a 2% decline - I admit) and started running, I just wanted to keep running. So I ran. For a mile. That took me 12 minutes. And then I stopped and walked between 3 and 4 mph at a 10% incline for 1/2 a mile. Then ran for another half (after changing it to -2% again).

The point is - it felt good.

It felt good to push myself in a way that I hadn't for a really long time.

It felt good to do something that I didn't think I was capable of doing (running a mile without stopping - albeit on a treadmill set on a decline).

It felt good to feel my muscles straining with the movement.

It felt good to *need* a cool drink of water after.

It felt good to have a reason to lie down and take a minute to cool off.

It felt good to feel my leg muscles shake when I was walking down a few stairs after.

It felt good to feel my abs ache when I sat up (running downhill is a really good workout for the core - that's one reason I use to justify my running downhill, I'm strengthening my core.).

It felt good to run.

And I must say that afterward I felt no inclination to stuff my face with cookies and cupcakes. And that was the big reason I made myself get on the treadmill yesterday. When I did WW the first time and lost 30 lbs. I was on the treadmill almost every day. I don't think exercise is the biggest factor in weight loss. I think it's much more about what you're eating and how much of it you're eating. But for me, exercise gets in my head and when I'm expending that much effort to be healthy, I don't want to blow it all on candy and dessert. And if last night is any indication, this should work for me again.

Here's hoping.

And here's to running.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Didn't Go Far Or Fast

Especially being on a treadmill, but I did something.
And it felt awesome.


Can anyone else hear the echo in here? I can. It's deafening in its silence. I'm just so out of the blogging habit. Not that it really matters, but I do enjoy writing and I feel kind of sad that I've stopped writing as much as I used to. Just for me really.

Anyway, I think I need to start running again.

Yep - *need.*

I realized last night as I was spooning ice cream into my mouth that being a member of weight watchers this time around hasn't been as much in my head as it was the first time when things went really well.

While I don't think running (or exercise in general) is the secret to losing weight (apparently weight loss is 80% food 20% activity... and yes, I'm quoting hearsay statistics, take it as you will), I have decided that running is what gets me in the weight loss mode. If I'm going to make myself run, I'm not going to then ruin it by eating half a pizza.

It's a mental game.

I love that on WW you track activity too. Those things do count.

But I also loved earning activity points and then not using them. It got in my head. It helped me believe that I really was in control of everything I was putting in my body and that what I chose to earn or not earn and eat or not eat made a tangible difference in how healthy I was.

So here goes.

I'm going to go home today and get on the treadmill.

And because that statement is now on the internet it has to be true, right?

And if I put it on wikipedia that would really seal the deal.

But it was true anyway because last night while I was trying to fall asleep I gave myself a talking to. And it went something like this -

"You have to start running."

"Okay. Fine."

You heard it here first.