I realized I never did an official wrap-up of my experiences at K9 Kamp. The time went by so fast it’s hard to remember everything that happened. To be honest, I was looking forward to the first weekend I wouldn’t be obliged to head out with the dog to perform some crazy feat of strength. Now that the time has arrived and Kamp is over, I find myself kind of missing it. How are we going to entertain ourselves now?
Despite all my whining, I did really enjoy myself. K9 Kamp opened my brain to all the various things Shiva and I can do together without having to leave the neighbourhood or sign up for more expensive classes. Back at the start of summer I complained about feeling lethargic and doughy. The only methods of exercise I knew were very traditional. Since I despise the gym with a passion I normally reserve for unsolicited advice, I figured it was hopeless. Furthermore, I spend enough time away from Shiva as it is. The idea of taking a class at night made me feel incredibly guilty. I told myself I was going to have to learn to accept my lazy body. K9 Kamp proved otherwise. It was the perfect answer to my problem! Not only do I not have to sign up for another membership I won’t use, but I can also get more exercise while hanging out with my dog at the same time! It was a win-win for us all.
Back in the spring, the city actually set up some outdoor exercise equipment in the park a few blocks from our house. I have yet to use it due to fears of being humiliated in public. It’s a really cool idea, though, and I applaud the city’s efforts to make equipment like that more accessible for people like me who can’t afford to plunk down hundreds of dollars at a fancy facility. Now that I am feeling all pumped up from my success at Kamp, I think I might give it a try.
In the early morning, of course. When no one can take video.
One of the other important things I learned from Kamp is how to be more present with Shiva during our walks. Now that she isn’t growling at garden gnomes or lunging at plastic bags, I don’t have to be nearly as vigilant. Therefore, I often find myself drifting off into deep thought and only paying attention to her if she pulls or if there is a dog up ahead. The rest of the time we are walking together but kind of doing our own thing. My own thing tends to be worrying about what I need to do when we get home. The K9 Kamp Challenges forced me to directly interact with Shiva again. I tried to take advantage of the time we had together to incorporate some of the work we had to do for the online event. I think we both had more fun during our twice-daily outings as a result.
I hope to continue this even though Kamp is over. It will be tempting to go back to our old style of meandering through the neighbourhood but I plan on trying to think of more creative ways to spend the time. If I see a log, instead of walking by, I will encourage Shiva to jump over it with me. I will try to run more, play more. Maybe I’ll even bring that toy along and see if I can’t get her tugging outside.
Hopefully I can continue the positive attitude I tried to maintain during K9 Kamp. Exercise has never been something I’ve enjoyed to any large degree. But it’s one of I those things I always feel better for doing. I never used to enjoy getting up at 5:30 am either and now I am doing it every single day. Shiva seems to bring out the masochist in me.
Maybe one day, this will be us?