Puppy school paranoia

This afternoon was a last-ditch, backyard bribery fest with dried liver for young Aggi (black lab, now 16 weeks old), in preparation for tomorrows euphemistically called “obedience classes”. There is no point in deluding ourselves into calling it a dog obedience session, as it is clearly all about “training” the people.

Aggi and I have spent two weekend sessions under the watchful eye of a dominating woman with a bad perm, High Vis Vest and huge heart (where the canine beings are concerned);…….the people ?…she could patently take or leave, as long as they know how to avoid harming any little 4 legged friends.

So today was all about me avoiding a repeat of the past 2 saturday afternoon public humiliation sessions at the paws of my wee loved one. You see, she knows how to do the basic commands , all be it with an accompanied bribe/inducement; at least her recall in the back garden practices makes me very proud and am convinced she is a puppy genious……..then off we trot to the group session.

She will perform the perfunctory bits (as if saving face with the other puppies at the start) and then when it comes to our turn in the centre for a SIT /STAY/COME…….(after I have walked away) part, she does the puppy equivalent of “being left hanging” during a high five!!!……in a silence rivaling an old cowboy movie/sun-up standoff she just sits and looks at me when called………..Ms high Vis insists I get more animated and encouraging, and Aggi’s reaction?…..a slight cock of the head to the side (to increase the cuteness and emphasise the point of no comprende’) and leaves me hanging out to dry, yelling encouragement and trying baby noises and flailing my arms about like a windmill in front of strangers…..silently she sits, like a wee indignant rock……………enter the tumble weeds.* today I was mindful and learned to appreciate the abilities of others, even when they keep them hidden.

Watch this space for the outcomes of tomorrows obedience ordeal……..> wish me luck

Toe Breathing for beginners…..

Part of aiming for overall fitness of mind / body/ spirit I have been working on improving my meditation technique……they say it takes 10,000 hours to perfect so this old girl hasnt a moment to lose!

As I have also been fitting in a 5km  daily walk with Henry (Choc Lab) it occurred to me that if I could combine both it would be super efficient……….so was time to give Walking Meditation a go…..>>>>>>

So off my choc buddy and I went, complete with me plugged into iPhone voiceover  app of “mindfulness walking meditation”, well we started off  at a cracking, enthusiastic pace until the soothing voice urged me to “concentrate on where you ARE rather than where you are GOING”…..what the?, OK, slow down and concentrate…..ooops , don’t walk into the lampost…..you can’t shut your eyes to concentrate, focus girl focus….nope…he is definitely reinforcing “just be where you are and be curios about THAT and don’t worry about the destination”……..by this time poor Henry was getting bored with such slow walking and was leading me off in the direction of a pre piddled tree. Having just reached the part where I was to imagine my thoughts like “clouds drifting in the sky” was when Henry became my assistance dog ( he is such a brilliant chum) and stopped me walking out in front of a car by running in a circle and wrapping his lead round my legs…….what a pal {Note to self……dont have both ears plugged in while out and about….even if  what I was doing was  meant to improve “awareness”! what an oxymoron}.

Ok, now with one ear being safety conscious and H having decided it was safer to walk in front we got to the part where ; having scanned the whole self, i was to “breathe in deeply down to my left little toe and then feel same toe breath out all the way up to my lungs”………..concentrate girl, concentrate….nope, cant even feel my wee left toe; maybe my socks are too thick….ooops he has moved onto the right foot and i havent even exhaled from the left!!!!!, wondering if my foot may blow up gave me the giggles and I had to abandon the voiceover.  Clearly this toe breathing is going to take some practice so maybe will start with my feet up on a stool to help with the visualisation…..Maybe one of the occasions when wine helps.

A regular dog walking (nodding acquaintance) very sweet old gent did stop for a chat on our way back and commented on how happy i seemed that day, so maybe part of the meditation worked :). *I learned to be mindful and you can only consciously listen when you make your ears available.