2,959 Miles Walked!

Thanks for walking with us all year long!

It’s here-the last Walking Challenge post. It has been an interesting year and a lot of fun walking with you all. As a group we walked an amazing 2,959 miles! Whoohoo! You guys all rock and I’m so happy we did this challenge together. What an accomplishment!

We ended the year with 326 miles. Those last 39 miles eluded us, but it surprisingly it doesn’t bother me at all. As I looked back through the photo’s of the walks we took I know the Walking Challenge did exactly what I set out for it it do-it got us out and walking. I’m thrilled with all the fun we had and hope you all feel the same way!

I want to give a special congrats to Dare and her gang-they achieved an amazing feat and finished out the year with 1002 miles! That is so amazing! Carrie, Tanner and Oliver also blew us away with 549 total miles since they joined us in April. Both teams not only met but exceeded their goals and their loyally keeping me up to date all year really kept me going. Congrats guys!

I started out thinking I’d post a few of my favorite photo’s from the whole year, but it ended up being so many that I decided to slideshow it instead. We walked so many beautiful places all over the state, with friends and family. I couldn’t be happier with how our Challenge turned out. Thanks for joining me and supporting me all year long!


Wordless Wednesday: Happy Dirty Princessface


2011 Walking Challenge Winds Down

There is officially only one week left in the 2011 Walking Challenge.

Wow! I find it hard to believe there is only one week left in 2011! The Walking Challenge is a complete success for me. It helped motivate me which was my purpose in starting it and I think it did the same for many others.

I’ve connected with so many new readers and walkers, met many new blogging 4legged friends and been inspired by everyones’ determination and success.

I’ve debated extensively wether to make a 2012 challenge and I’m sorry to say I decided I just don’t have the time to organize it and keep up with everyone as you deserve. Life changes so much in any year and my life has changed more this year than any other since the year I got married. With all the changes I just don’t feel as an organizer I can give another challenge what it and you deserve.

We’ll still be walking and training. I’m still going to set a goal for us, but it will likely be centered around much more training activity. At least for the first few months of the year. My plan is to set quarterly goals that will work with the classes the dogs and I are both taking and the goals I have now that I’m professionally training. More on that later, I’m sure.

We check in this week with 319 miles. Most of our winter miles aren’t getting done in pure walking, but in short walks with lots of training, but were still plugging along.

I hope you all have a good last week of walking this year. I appreciate the loyalty and determination you’ve shown to support me in the Walking Challenge this year. Most of all I hope you had fun!


An Overhaul?

I am loving this blog: Ruffly Speaking. I mean I am go back and pour through all the archives until the middle of the night as if you were reading a best seller loving it. It’s simple, clean, written by a writer and filled with beautiful images. All things I wish my blog was.

So I thought in January I am going to overhaul my blog. I am going to get back to words and images and messages that inspire me. I am going to take the time to let words flow like waterfalls onto the page.

Then I remembered that in January Maizey starts Fiesty Fido class. In January Magnus finishes Beyond Basics class. Okay, so it might not happen till February.

Oh, but wait, in February Maizey still has two weeks of Fiesty Fido and I start CAP Class. Yes I said CAP, as in Kay Laurence, hardly anyone gets to take this, has always been my dream to take, Competency Assessment Program class. I am THRILLED and OVERJOYED! (In all caps since I am THAT THRILLED and THAT OVERJOYED to even have the chance to take it.)

Hmm. . . the flowing words like waterfalls may not happen when I am working 5 days a week, taking my dream class, praying Maizey can even handle Feisty Fido’s and . . . the best part of all?

Also in February I hope to have a day of wonderful dog fun and photo’s with a Seth Casteel photo shoot. Can you hear me squealing in delight? It’s not paid for yet, but it’s in the works and I can’t believe I have the chance to have him shoot my dogs.

Of course on top of all that I promised myself I would sit for CPDT in the fall and I have to apply to sit for it by July. Which means I have to have a reasonable amount of my recommended reading list read by then to even bother applying, let alone testing. And somehow that reading doesn’t get done when I read wonderful, simple beautiful blogs till the middle of the night.

The moral of the story?

If we disappear it’s not that I ignored your encouraging words of comfort and abandoned blogging all together, but that I decided to redo and ran out of time to compete the project. Never fear, we shall return. . .

Of course it may be in March after all our classes are over.

As a nod to aforementioned beautiful images I leave you with a contemplative Princessface.


Totally Wordy Wednesday: Magnus Drives the Big Truck

I wasn't trying to drive away! I'm innocent!

This is my serious, "I'm staying, but I don't want to!!" face.

This pic was taken 9 months ago when I was a little guy.

My Crazymomlady says this shot shows what a "nice young man" I'm becoming.

Awe com'on! I wanna come with you!


Early Morning Training

After all your outpouring of support and appreciation of course I can’t give up blogging! I’m not promising you’ll get anything intelligent out of me, but I’ll try to keep you updated on the goings-on around here.

Yesterday we went to work with Thehusbandy. We’ve taken the dogs driving truck before, but I can’t remember if I posted about it or not. Usually I end of working on those days and it’s not as much fun for the pups, but my back has been really messed up lately so I played the wimp card so Magnus and I could go exploring. We went to a really pretty park with huge tree’s. Of course my camera battery was on it’s last legs so I only got a few pics, but I think they’re pretty cute ones. I’ll post them on a WW one of these days.

It was early and the ground was still frosty. It reminded me of how much I love early morning walks. I used to always walk early with Meeka, but I’ve been lazy this year and almost never got out till evening. There are less people out and about, especially when it’s below freezing like yesterday! Since I’m such a total introvert I really like it when there’s not many people out. It also makes it easier to do “off leash” stuff. (I never really let them off leash unless it’s legal, but I will let them drag their leashes or long-lines so we can work long distance recalls and stuff.)

Magnus has been in a class that is a combo of Beyond Basics stuff and CGC training. His stays are MUCH better. I can pretty reliably get a 15′, 10 second stay now. His back has been bad again so we’ve been doing more down-stays and I worried that would ruin his sit-stay’s, but yesterday he never laid down on a sit-stay once! I’m sure he just didn’t want to put his little naked belly on the freezing ground, I guess that’s another benefit of walking when it’s freezing out!

I'm an easy going guy! I've always loved sticks!

His recall is getting better too. We’ve been practicing recalls with distraction so I call him and when he’s on his way to me I throw a ball or something and if he chooses to come to me we party with treats then I release to go get the ball. It’s been a really good skill for him.

He’s so easy to work with now that his focus is getting better. We have a good rhythm where he works and then I release him to “go sniff”. If he chooses to keep working we work some more, but in the spirit of GMAB if he doesn’t thats okay too. He loves to play and I find this makes working easier and more fun since he needs lots of breaks to keep in the game. He’s also so easy to reinforce with play. I didn’t have toys with me yesterday so I just grabbed a stick and we played fetch. He’s turned out to be a really fun boy! I’m thrilled with where our relationship is and where it’s going.

I have to thank you all for your kindness again. I’ve been catching up with all your blogs and am happy to have joined this blogville community!


I Came Out of Hiding For the Walking Challenge

I’ve been in a blogging quandary these last weeks. . . Obviously I haven’t been blogging and honestly I didn’t know if I was even going keep the blog online. I always feel bad neglecting it and all of you as readers, so should I. . .

Bid you all adieu and shut it down? Or let it rest quiet and come back later? Perhaps I should have at least posted we were taking a blog-cation, but not knowing what I was going to do made me do nothing. Plus Real Life has just been too crazy to even believe.

I’ve felt especially bad for neglecting the 2011 Walking Challenge. It’s coming to an end and I know there are a few our there still plugging away with us. I just didn’t want to let it just wind down with no acknowledgment of how great you all have been.

The thing that decided me was the kind comments that are still coming in. You guys are the best! Carrie, Tanner and Oliver delivered the deciding comment when they loyally checked in with their miles even though I’ve obviously dropped the ball. If my math is right (and I really hope it is!) they have 488 miles and as Carrie says, “One month left…..and we keep walking!” Thanks Carrie!! I really appreciate the boost I needed to come out of hiding!

I know Carrie, Tanner and Oliver aren’t the only ones who have been plugging away. Dare and Marie are creeping up on 1000 miles. 1000 miles!! Can you believe it? It’s amazing. Though we don’t have anywhere near 1000 miles we’ve been chipping away at our goal and were happy to crack 300 miles with 302 miles as of today.

I’m happy we did this Walking Challenge. It helped us get out and about when I may not have wanted too, and I’ve LOVED all the support we got from all of you. So. . .

I came out of hiding, how ’bout you Walking Challenge members update me on how it’s going? Even if you decided to stop I’d still love to hear what you enjoyed through the year. . .

Got miles? Let’s hear them!!

(If I have your total miles wrong PLEASE correct me! I really need your help to make sure what I have is accurate. Thanks!)