Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

According to, it's a little bit chilly here right now:
I say ugh!
By 3:30 this afternoon, I was already curled up and snuggled in bed with my lamby jammies, my bunny socks, my pup, and a book.  I'm an excellent hibernator.
Could a girl possibly need anything else on a cold, blustery day besides lamb jams and a dog?
Tuesday and Wednesday were such lovely days (if an overcast day can be called lovely); Barley and I got in great walks and I didn't need more layers than a light sweatshirt.  After Barley's behavior in class on Monday, we NEEDED some great walks.

Monday night's class became a three-ring circus with Barley and I as the lion and lion tamer.  She couldn't focus on anything except romping.  Last week, Barley had done so well and had gotten so comfortable with her classmates that we worked off-leash, so I decided we should give that a whirl again this week.  I can't remember which activity was our downfall, but about halfway through the class Barley decided to make a break for it.  Instead of coming to heel at the end of whatever obstacle she was doing, she zoomed past me.  Our training center has folding gates that can be stretched across the room to divide the space, and since we have dogs that are just beginning the course and dogs that have taken it before, the gates usually separate our two sides of the room.  This means that even when Barley makes a break for it, she's stuck on the side with dogs that are calm and focused and owners that pay attention.  New dogs and owners aren't always that way.  For whatever reason, this week the gate wasn't pulled all the way to the wall.  Barley ignored all of my commands to come to heel, come to front, and down.  She ignored me running away from her.  After zooming past me several times, Barley  ran through the narrow opening proceeded to herd the new dogs and owners into a group in the middle of their side before coming back to our side and getting trapped behind A-frame that we weren't using and the wall.  She was on her leash for the rest of the night until we switched sides to work on jumping and closed the gate completely.  Jumping went a little better, but after her escapades she was worn out and didn't want to work anymore, so she'd do her send out over the first two jumps of the pinwheel and then run away from me instead of coming to side and going over the last jump.  She never ran far, though, and she'd stop and let me catch her this time.

I can't really blame Barley.  For the entire week between classes, she'd had very few walks; with the wind chill making it below zero in our neck of the woods, it was just too cold for us to walk.  On the few occasions we did venture out last week, we'd walk a few feet and Barley would start to limp, sit down, hold up her little paw so pathetically, and then I'd clean off the clumped up snow; then we'd walk a few more feet and start all over.  Neither one of us has the patience for that, so we didn't walk far or often.

The weather here is not supposed to get any better in the next several days, so when I got home from work this afternoon I decided I should get Barley out for a quick walk.  I thought that if I had to spend too much time layering up, I'd lose my will to walk, so I piled on upper body layers and hoped that plain old jeans and walking fast would be enough to keep my legs warm.  By the time we got to the end of our street, I was already regretting my decision not to put on leggings and decided to make our walk as short as possible. 

We hurried home and I drowned my sorrows in leftover lo mein; homemade Chinese food isn't quite as comforting as the takeover version, but it helped me forget the cold for a minute.
Delish! Thanks  for the recipe Woman's Day magazine!
After our hibernation session, Barley and I practiced some jumping and patience.  We set a new record for the number of treats on the paws--14!  
I don't know what our record was before, but I know that we've never gotten that far up her legs with treats before. We might not ever get too many more than that, either; I'll need a taller dog if we're going to fit too many more treats!

I guess I should be thanking Mother Nature for keeping us inside because despite the weather, we still had a pretty good month of walking.
44.21 miles--even after taking 8 days off!
That means that in order to not fail my resolution at the very first opportunity, Barley and I have to walk at least 44.3 miles in February!  With the way the weather's looking tonight, things aren't looking like they'll get off to a promising start.  Wish us luck!


  1. Holy crap that's cold! Not gonna lie, I laughed really hard at your description of class even though I'm sure it wasn't funny in reality. Good luck with walking! You can do it!! :-)

    1. Actually, it was pretty funny in class, too. When she first saw our trainer, she was doing her kangaroo hop (and this isn't even the trainer she LOVES) she was so excited to be in class. Our whole class was amused (except for maybe the new dogs' owners).

  2. How funny! I sympathise with the walking, it is zero here in the UK most of time at the moment and so walking Marley is not a fun thing to do but if he doesn't have his 3 walks a day he makes sure I know about it!! I LOVE the picture of the treats on Barley's (such a cool name by the way) legs, I should try it with Marley although I don't think we would get very far! Here's to some warmer weather PLEASE!!!!

    1. You're braver than I am! I am such a baby when it comes to the cold, and usually if I let Barley curl up under the blankets with me, she'll settle down and snuggle. And if not, I turned my dining room into a temporary agility gym with jumps! Good luck with the treat trick--they catch on quickly! We started small with 2 or 3 per paw for a while before working up to this, and sometimes she still cheats and steals them before we're done :)