May 2, 2009 at 11:12 am (Jumbled Jabbering, Livin' North of 60°)
In an effort to train my dog to stop jumping on people, running after joggers, and chasing other dogs, we enrolled ourselves in dog obedience training a while back. She’s made some progress, but the biggest challenge has been keeping her from pulling on the leash. It seems like she always wants to be in the lead. I try and try, and I just can’t manage to make her stay behind me.
Suddenly, the light bulb came on, and I got a bright idea. Since she wants to pull so badly, why not give her the opportunity? On a recent training session on the ski trail, the trainer suggested I try it.
Off I went to Duffy’s Pets to get her fitted for a harness. Reggie, the store-owner, was extremely helpful. She spent time asking questions about my intentions, about my dog, and offered valuable tips about Dos and Don’ts. I couldn’t wait to get Smidgen into her harness to see how she would react.
The next morning, I hook her up, get onto my bike, and voilà! The dog’s a natural. It only took her a few minutes to figure out what I wanted and that it was okay to pull. Wow! I was so pleased.
This morning was her third time out with the harness, and she pulled like a pro. Fortunately, there’s no turning required on the pathway we’ve been taking, but the next step will be teaching her “Gee” and “Haw” (right and left).
May 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm (Education, Fight the Good Fight, Livin' North of 60°)
In trying to reach my goal of losing 30lbs before my 40th birthday, I joined Weight Watchers and increased the amount of physical activity I do. One of those activities costs nothing, needs no specialized equipment, and can be done anywhere: jogging.
The school in Carmacks hosts the annual Tantalus Ridge Run, and other Yukon schools are invited to take part. There’s a 3k portion for the younger ones and a 5k for the older kids.
The two wonderful teachers in grade 7/8 at our school invited me along with their class to join them in the run. Because I was always busy teaching while groups of kids trained for the run, it was up to me to train on my own time.
I didn’t expect to run the whole race since I hadn’t quite worked myself up to 5k’s by today, the day of the run. But I got three girls in my truck, and while they took care of the tunes, I sipped my coffee and bopped along with them as we drove the North Klondike Highway two hours north, stopping to gawk at members of the Braeburn Elk Herd basking on a hillside along the way. (I love the Yukon!)
It was sweltering hot, but my water bottle kept me hydrated as I started off after the starting signal. The race started on a wooden boardwalk along the Yukon River, then edged its way left on a refreshing trail in the woods where not all the snow had melted yet. The coolness was a welcome sensation halfway through the run. (Another reason to love the Yukon!) Then came the ridge with the hot sun beating down on us. That was the hard part. While someone offered water about halfway, the sun offered my first sunburn of the year.
I’m proud to say that I managed to run the whole race (except for a short hill that was so slippery with mud that I had to hold on to trees to keep from sliding back down).
The most exhilirating part, of course, was near the end hearing my name shouted as I ran across the water-logged lawn to the finish line. I don’t know what my time was, nor do I care. I’m happy I did it! YEAH! The great people of Carmacks had water jugs full and huge bowls of orange wedges waiting for runners finishing the race.
Oh, and did I tell you I’m down 20 lbs?