Tuesday Totals: Crazymomlady Eats Crow

Well another great week was had by all as we have a new grand total of 1,350.75 miles!

Now you may be thinking, “Hey that’s not 2000 miles!” You would be correct, this is not the week we reach 2000 miles even though I posted that yesterday. This is the week you all want to fire me as the book keeper for the Challenge since I can’t add!

Seriously, math and numbers have never been my friends. Is there such a thing as math dyslexia? ‘Cause I swear I have that! Now that my woeful inadequacies at reading numbers and doing math have been exposed perhaps you see the importance of keeping a grand total for yourselves safe from my confused brain!

Now that I’ve eaten crow and confessed my mistakes I’m going to have to make this an even shorter Tuesday Total’s since my poor little ‘puter is sick and can’t keep up with me typing. It goes to the ‘puter doctor tomorrow and it may have to stay for some ‘puter surgery so I don’t know how long I may be offline. I’d still love to hear from you all so drop me comments and wish my ‘puter a quick recovery! I’ll be checking in on the dinosaur of a desktop, but will have limited access and time to really post, but I’ll be back soon!


Walking Challenge: Monday Miles

Gonna be a short Monday Miles again folks, although we did manage to up last weeks’ ante a bit with 7.75 miles. That brings our total to 93.75 miles. We’re creeping up on the 100 miles mark and looking forward to it!

I want to send a call out to those that I haven’t heard of in a while. If you have miles and prefer not to report in each week, no problem, but we’d still love to hear how things are going. How ’bout a month end report? I’m sure you’ve all been out there, so we’d love to hear your progress!

I also want to make sure I have all of your miles correct. If there are any mistakes in my records in the sidebar please feel free to correct me in a comment or email me privately at katie @ lessonsfrom4legs dot com.

Looking at the totals it looks like it’ll be an exciting Tuesday Totals, as we’re closing in on 2000 miles and with the early totals I already know about looks like we’ll fly on by the 2000 miles mark. Awesome!

So let’s hear it folks! We have 15 members in the challenge and I’d love to hear from all 15 of you!


Walking Challenge: Tuesday Totals

Another great week! 1,176 miles total! That’s great!

Another great thing about the Challenge is when I have a slow week I still get to be excited with our cumulative progress. We had some great accomplishments this week.

Beth and Chispita certainly had a great week. Beth says, “For me, this week has been the best one in the whole year. It finally stopped raining, so we were able to walk seven hours this past week, including a record (for us, and for this year) walk that was one hour long. It started raining again on Friday and through the weekend; otherwise we would have been able to do eight hours. But this week we at least got up to 62 hours total and actually managed to do the seven hours in one week.” Congrats Beth and Chispita! Great job!

Carrie, Teddy, Jamie and Ruby had a great week too with 10 miles, double their weekly goal of 5 miles. Congrats to them too!

I also know Debbie, Miss Kodee and Becky had a fun nature walk planned so I hope we’ll hear more about their fun later.

See? When we are all sharing in each others fun it makes those slow weeks seem not so bad!

I’m happy to announce our fifteenth member of the Challenge: Brando and his family have joined us with a goal of 30 miles in 30 days. I hope to have more details for you all later, but let’s give them a warm welcome.

Meanwhile back here in rainy Lessons From 4 Legs Land Magnus is begging me to get better faster so he doesn’t have to resort to anymore doggy pilates to get his exercise!

"This pilates thing is not near as much fun as walking!"

Hopefully I can accommodate him ’cause I’m sick of being sick! Thanks for all of your nice thoughts and get well wishes, they may not have cured my migraine and flu, but they did lift my spirits! Thanks all!


Walking Challenge: Monday Miles

Due to a raging migraine and or flu, cold or whatever malady it is that’s kept me in bed the last two days Monday Miles will be short today.

Good thing I wrote that nice lecture last week about not saying “only”, or I’d for sure be saying “only” 5 miles this week. I mean 5 miles? It’s been a while since my poor pups have had to be content with a mere 5 miles of walking in a week. They aren’t loving it at all! So my mere (notice I didn’t say “only”) 5 miles brings us to 85 miles for the year.

We have a new member, to be announced in tomorrow’s results post and other than 5 days of unending rain, the current thunder storm and the aforementioned malady’s that is the sum of the news around here.

Hopefully you all have some exciting walks to report so I have something more lovely to write about tomorrow! Let’s hear it folks-dazzle me with those miles!


What’s Wrong With Thinking?

Does your dog think? To some it may seem their dogs only think of how to get in trouble!

I keep jokingly saying of Magnus, “Why did I teach this dog to think?”

He is not afraid to try anything! He is on top of, under, over, inside, outside, around and all over everything. Apparently teaching him he doesn’t have to be afraid and is capable of anything really just taught him there is nothing off limits to him.

Kitchen table? “What Crazymomlady? I figured out how to get up here, why shouldn’t I do it?”

Bathtub? “Oh you don’t want me to get in the shower while you’re in there? Why not?”

Under the couch? “What do you mean I don’t fit under there anymore? I can just dig a hole in the floor and then I’ll fit!”

You get the idea. This boy has decided he has a brain and he knows how to use it. Well, at least he’s learning how to use it. I hope.

I may find it trying to keep up with this little guy, but most of the time I just love to watch him figure things out. I know he can learn what’s a good choice and what isn’t, we are just in the period of his life where he’s figuring it all out. We’re in the, “manage what I don’t want while he learns to choose what I do want” phase.

It’s actually my favorite thing about clicker training. Every time you mark a behavior you teach a dog what behavior is beneficial for him. You teach him to think, to be discerning and make a choice.

While this is one of my favorite things about positive reinforcement, I know it’s the least favorite thing of more traditional trainers. Today I was looking at a site for a dog training school and the criticism was made that clicker trainers leave the dog to figure things out for themselves, creating stress for the dog.

So thinking is a bad thing?

I don’t get it! This statement was made in the context of using a shock collar to “explain” to the dog that he had no choice.

Now I don’t want to get into a big debate about shock collars. I don’t choose to use that method on my dogs and wouldn’t suggest it for someone else, but while we’re on the subject of choice, I respect that is their choice.

But this statement really bothers me. I mean what’s wrong with thinking anymore?

For me teaching my dogs to make choices that makes them peaceful, productive members of a predominantly human community is inspiring. It’s exciting and joyful. It’s fun and thrilling.

For me to force my dog to make the choice I want, especially by methods that cause pain, is taking choice out of the matter completely. Obey me or be caused pain, is not a choice.

So I ask again, “What’s wrong with thinking?”

I’m afraid as a society we are becoming too non-thinking. We see examples of it everyday and I’ve probably been guilty of it myself, the attitude of “my way or the highway.” I might have what’s the best way for me, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best way for my neighbor, my friends, the stranger reading this, or even for my dogs.

Maizey has been instrumental in teaching me this. My “way” of training was not good for her. I started out using methods I was familiar with at that time and looking back I used some methods I would not use again. She clearly let me know, “This doesn’t work for me. This is not the inforamtion I need to know how to chose what you want.” She let me know it, by never choosing the choice I was trying to explain to her. She showed me I had to look elsewhere, learn more, and most of all think more.

She keeps showing me an amazing ability to figure out how to choose what I feel is a better choice, she shows me a willingness to choose that when it’s in her ability to do so. She shows me she knows how to think, and it’s not stressful for her.

Today brought me a new 4legged lesson:

A thinking dog is a beautiful thing. When my pups use their brains to make choices that benefit our community, that too it’s a beautiful thing. When they make choices that aren’t beneficial I know I need to give them more information to be able to make a better choice.

Sue Ailsby says her training philosophy is, “A philosophy which asks that I do no harm. That I listen to the trainee and respect her opinions. I discovered that listening, respecting, and doing no harm is an AMAZING training philosophy, and an even better training method. When you listen to a dog, the dog listens back!”

I agree and subscribe to that philosophy whole heartedly. It’s my determination to listen to my dogs, give them the information they need to make beneficial choices, to “do no harm”, and always enjoy my thinking 4legged friends!


Wordless Wednesday: A New Addiction

Disclaimer: No dogs were harmed by consuming too much squeezy cheese in the making if this picture .


There Is No “Only” In the Walking Challenge

How did we do this week?


We have a new total of 1,115 miles!

So you all know I’m not much of a rule maker. Generally I find the more rules I make the more rules I have to enforce and I’m not much of an enforcer.

But I have a new Walking Challenge rule: There is no “only” in the miles we walk.

Why is that? When we set a goal, it’s human tendency to put pressure on ourselves to meet that goal. It’s natural that we would feel behind when we are behind in our miles goals.

Now, I’m not some crazy Walking Challenge dictator, so I’m not going to tell you how to feel about your progress. Instead I’m going to tell you how I feel about our progress.

I know in this age of running marathons and half marathons it’s not stylish or cool to admit this, but I’m not a fan of exercise. I was never one of those people that worked out and really enjoyed it. I have always had a reasonably active life, but working out has always been a challenge for me.

The Walking Challenge is changing that for me. Having everyone report in and knowing your all out there working hard to meet your own goals has really got me going. This has had a remarkable effect.

The more I walk the more I love it! If I miss a couple of days I really feel it. I notice physically I don’t feel as well, emotionally I start dragging, I really miss my walks. Yup, that’s right you better watch out, I’m turning into one of those people that actually enjoys exercising!

So where does the “only” fit into all of this?

Well, due to that natural tendency to get down on ourselves when we don’t meet a goal I noticed a couple of Walking Challenge teams that had a slow week posted how many miles they “only” did. The message? The miles they did were somehow not good enough.

I just want to tell you all what we’re doing is good enough! It’s awesome! For me, no matter what the final numbers end up as, the Walking Challenge has already done what I hoped it would.

For me having all the encouragement and the responsibility has led to hours of time spent with my pups, it has led to tons of fun and something I never thought would happen: I like exercising! Shocking I know!

That doesn’t mean I’m not behind. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to work hard to get caught up. It does mean we are all successful. Even on those slow weeks, even when we don’t come close to meeting our goal, we all still win. Every bit of time is a win for our 4legged friends. Every walk is one more walk they might not have gotten.

Your support helped me get to this point and I hope it can help all of us make our goals, but either way there is no “only” in what we’ve already done. At the end of the year we will all be successful no matter what the final numbers end up as.

So the the new rule? No more “only’s”. Every week you turn in miles is a successful week, no matter what the numbers say!