For this first week of K9 Kamp it almost felt like we were taking the challenge literally. Perhaps all the complaining I did about the rain got through to those in charge of the weather switch? It’s been sun, sun, sun for almost all of the last seven days. Brilliant timing, I’d say.
However, due to the Blue Nose Marathon on Sunday, I didn’t participate in this first challenge as enthusiastically as I would have liked. I was trying to take it easy before the race and then after I was too sore to get out and run. Don’t worry. I didn’t completely wimp out. Shiva and I still walked our usual 120 minutes every day. I really didn’t have a choice in that matter. If Shiva doesn’t get at least her minimum exercise requirement every day, she puts holes through the floor with her antlers.
Given we are moving soon, we can’t afford to tick off the landlords. I would kinda like our damage deposit back, you know?
A few times up and down had me sweating and Shiva yawning with boredom. The only panting I got out of her was probably due more to the warm temperatures than the activity itself. If I am going to have a hope of tiring her out I am going to need to start training on my own as well. I already feel like I am working twice as hard as she is, maybe if I double my efforts she will actually start to do some work of her own. Because I gotta say, when I feel like my lungs are going to implode, it’s pretty disheartening to see Shiva nonchalantly chewing on some grass.
Training with The Cat was equally frustrating, though for a very different reason: motivation.
Since I can’t really take him outside and expect him to acknowledge my existence, I decided to take it indoors. I also knew I wouldn’t be able to get him to do anything without his favourite treats. Though Whiskas Temptations are probably not K9 Kamp-approved, they are the only things for which I’ve been able to get him to work. It’s a trade-off, I guess.
Since the challenge was to walk, I started by encouraging him to walk with me down the hall. I had some decent success. He already targets my finger and will usually follow me if I shake the treat bag. It’s wicked brutal luring but with The Cat I consider it a breakthrough. The going was pretty slow, sadly, and I couldn’t get him to move more than several feet at a time. After every treat he would sit down and stare at me for three minutes, trying to wear out my patience.
When I tried to take it to the stairs, kind of like with Shiva, I ran into a major standstill. I got him to go up exactly one step. One. It’s not that he doesn’t run up and down them all the time on his own. But as soon as I was asking him to go up with me, he decided stairs were the most repugnant things he’d ever seen. After trying to wait him out at the second step, I eventually gave up and just set a single treat on the stair itself and walked away. At least he would be forced to go up that extra step if he wanted his junky titbit.
He couldn’t eat it while I was watching, of course. That would be too much like obedience. I almost wonder if he didn’t leave it there for several hours, out of spite.
So can I call the first challenge a success? I am not sure. I am also not sure how I am going to get through the next couple of weeks without either injuring either my body or my sanity. It should be interesting.