Wednesday, September 29, 2010

pick and choose puppy comes home Friday! I temperament tested the litter Sunday and out of 7 available had 5 I would have taken. I also found out I get to pick next! I was trying so hard not to get attached to one pup that I didn't narrow down a favorite, so luckily I get to see them all again before I choose.

Seriously, how do you choose between this...

and these?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

8, 8, I forget what 8 was for...

8 mile long run-check!

Totally better than 7 miler. Griff ran with me and was a total trooper. He was unflagging. I managed all the crazy hills, paced myself down the downhill so I wouldn't blow out my knees. Took a few short water breaks for me and Griff and then walked the last short monster hill to our house. Took me 1:34: 18. About 11:45 per mile, not bad. I think the actual distance was 8+ but I'll measure to make sure. It was a great run and a great confidence booster after my 7 mile disaster.

In other news, have some potentially big news coming up...but I'm not going to jinx it. Just hope hope hope for me.

Temperament testing on the litter tomorrow! 8 Aussie furballs to snuggle! Can't wait.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Trying to decide whether to a. run 4 1/2 miles, b. run 8 miles, or c. sit on my ass and watch Golden Girls.

May get started and see how I feel, and decide later how far to go. Although I'd much rather hide at home. Action before motivation sometimes, right?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I think I have the flu

Or else just feel like crap.

Agility class last night was a total mixed bag. I was very much to blame as I was really distracted.

What was nice: weaves (except for one really difficult entry), contacts, no knocked bars.

What was not: almost all my handling. He ran off when another student and his dog were too close to the obstacles, but came back when I called without making contact, so that was a mixed bag.

He's funny in agility. I have no problem taking him to the dog park or off leash hiking around other strange dogs, but I worry that his degree of arousal in agility makes him likely to have a snark fight with another dog. He's not serious, but there are a few dogs (one in my class, and the belgian in the next class) that really set him alert, and I'm not sure what he'd do if he got too close. Bah.

I think my trainer gets annoyed with my inconsistent handling, but sometimes I get lost in class! Before trial runs, I study the course map in detail over and over, but in class it's walk a few times then run.

Poor Griff. He tries so hard to cope with my shortcomings.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I was looking at a few pictures today that really made me feel a bit sad.

This is my graduation from Veterinary School in June. I am wearing the tassels that indicate I was in the top percentage in my graduating class (in my case, #1). I am surrounded by my parents, who look pretty proud. For all intents and purposes, it should have been one of the happiest days of my life. I finally get to call myself Doctor!

This was several years earlier. Leg one, of the Hood to Coast Relay. I was still working a lowly research job at the med school, was a few years from starting vet school, and was making a pittance. I didn't know that what I wanted to do with my life was possible.

I was pretty darn happy that day.

Sadly, although I should be closer to my goals today than those years ago, I was much happier when running the HtC, in fabulous shape physically, than I am now. Things have not gone according to plan, bitches. I don't know that a stupid half marathon can help this at all, but right now I am clinging to the hope that somehow those 13.1 miles can make a difference. What else can ya do?

New shoes

Time for a new pair, so I ordered the best running shoes ever. Asics Gel-Evolution. Maximum motion control for pronators like me, they keep me from getting flares of Achilles tendonitis.
Stop telling me they're endangered, Road Runners!

7, or wtf was I thinking

Yesterday was the seven mile long run. This was longer than I have ever run before at one time.

I went to my dad's as he agreed to run with me. He lives out in the country and had mapped out a 3.5 mile distance from the house which we would run out and back. I drove the route on my way and thought, this really doesn't look so bad.


There are no flat roads, in real life.

The first 3.75 felt so easy, I began to feel like a real distance runner and thought, wow, all this training must have been working. Then, I realized why the first half had felt so easy. The road back was a consistent upward slope. We'd been running slightly downhill for most of the way out, except for a hill or two. This is not good planning.

At about mile 5, I developed a stitch in my right side, which never resolved until the run was over. At about mile 5.5, I began to wonder what in the hell I was thinking, how was running fun in any way? At mile 6.5, I wondered if my legs would just give out, and whether any of my dad's country neighbors would stop if we were laying in heaps on the side of the road.

The whole thing took 80 minutes, or just under 11:30 minute miles. I didn't time each mile. This is not too shabby, considering how uphill the ending 4 miles were.

However, it did put the fear into me. All the long runs from here on out (8, 9, and 10 miles) will be farther than I've ever gone. The course includes a wretched hill at about mile 11 (near my house, I've run it before...mostly. It sucks).

Today I feel a bit sore in the legs, but not awful. Might do a very short run to loosen muscles as tomorrow will suck more. Also, better plan for eight miles on Saturday. I'll have to map out a doable course.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Time to go run seven miles now. I think I will run with my dad, at least for part of the mileage. I may update later, if I don't die.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rainy dog torture

One of these dogs is not like the other...

Griff says if balls are involved he could care less about rain. Guinn says old mendogs should not be subjected to the elements. Zoe is confused.

We are getting rained on intermittently at the Oregon Coast this weekend. Griff and I did my last two runs (40+ mins, maybe 3.6 or something miles each) on the beach. Yesterday's was face-full-o-rain run, and I could barely see while running downwind on the beach. Griff, luckily, is unphased and chased seabirds like the herding dog he is. It was pretty awesome. That, plus trips to the beach for ball-chasing and tomfoolery have yielded three pretty tired dogs.

It's a nice time to get out of Portland and do some reflecting and planning. And a quick trip to Rogue Brewery, which yielded a new hat, two large bottles of Chocolate Stout, and a case of the new McRogue XS Scotch Ale. Wanted to stop in the bar and try their new whiskey, which the Rogue guy told me is very much like a single malt Scotch. But drinking whiskey, alone, at 12...hmmm. Maybe next time.

Tomorrow is the seven mile long run, and I am freaked. I have never, ever run 7 miles at one time. 6.5 is the max, ever. I can't decide whether to suffer through treadmill monotony, run outside and risk overdoing hills, or combo it up. I don't want to run Griff that far, so I could only take a dog through part of the run. Zoe kind of hates running unless it's off leash at the park, and Sunday is usually really busy at the park we run at (off leash is sort of illegal there...but often done).

I really want to make soup today, but don't want to buy the spices and staples I have at home, so I bought a can of Amy's tomato and will make do with that. Maybe curried butternut squash carrot soup will be made next week, especially if I score another home grown squash at agility class.

Now gonna sit around, pondering whether a run today is a sabotage of the seven miler tomorrow, and watching Twilight on Showtime. Does anyone else watch movies they own when they come on TV? I will do it every time with the Shawshank Redemption, even if I come in the middle of the movie. Strange.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I have no pride

Now begins Operation Desperation: Job Hunt! This involves emailing anyone and everyone I know who might have a contact in the area who is hiring, then shamelessly whoring my resume around Oregon and Southwest Washington, while contacting every humane society and the Feral Cat Coalition to see if I can volunteer in a veterinary capacity while waiting for something good to show up. This is the hardest and most demoralizing period of my life in a lot of ways. I am trying to keep faith that four years of hard work and excelling in classes and clinics means that I can at least score a job in the next three-four months. I could use a kickstart of hope to keep me from despairing.

Granted, hindsight is 20/20, but maybe I should have taken one of those three jobs earlier this year...bah.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Car death, fleet feet trial day two.

Today started out with a massive car fail on the freeway on the way to agility trial. Spent 45 minutes waiting for triple A about 15 miles from home, had to call someone to pick up Griff and I, follow the tow truck to the dealer, come back home, and borrow John's car. Finally made it to the trial after Jackpot had been run but just in time to walk the level 4 standard course.

Today was frustrating, just because it was a lot of work with a low yield, and I felt like he had run so much better yesterday. Standard 4 I blew because I sent him inadvertently into the wrong end of the tunnel, and you can't have any off courses to Q. Wildcard was a messy, messy run but he qualified. Colors would have been a q but he ...KNOCKED ANOTHER BAR!!!!

I have many theories on what makes him knock bars. He does it when he's tired. He does it when he's focused on the obstacle ahead of the jump. He does it during tight handling courses if he's not 100% sure where I want him to go. So, with these problems in mind, my potential fixes are...1. build value in the jump ala success with one jump so that he is committed regardless of handling concerns...2. play jump grids to strengthen his ability to correctly stride and evaluate jump position, and 3. work on my tight handling and distance handling so I don't pull him off if I'm not excessively working the jump. I would like more advice from my trainer, because this is three runs at the last two trials where knocked bars have cost me Q's. Meh.

Yesterday he was a supastar, so I'm trying to be proud that A. he rocked it yesterday, including his first level 4 standard run and a snooker course which is my weakest event, B. that we came back after the trauma of the morning and he performed pretty well, and C. that I made myself go at all after dealing with tow trucks and car trauma. But it's hard...I'm sick of level 2 colors and jackpot!

I'd like to get a shot of him with all his ribbons from the last two trials, maybe tomorrow. Right now I need to run a 5K, take a shower, get some dinner, and plan my week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fleet Feet CPE trial September

Today's runs:

Fullhouse: Q and 2nd place with same points as first place dog, one second slower

Standard level 4/5/C: Q and 1st place!!! First level 4 run and he rocked. 

Snooker: Q and 1st! Snooker win!

Jumpers: Q I think, one knocked bar but I think that's just a fault and he can still Q. 

No pictures because the photographer wasn't there today, and my camera is misbehaving. But he was a very very good dog. 

Four runs tomorrow. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gloomy days call for puppy pictures

Today is not the best day.

Puppies are good, though.

Two babies at three weeks

Thursday, September 9, 2010

small vacation snippet

I was reminded that this blog has become somewhat image-poor...which is true, because mostly I write it for me and didn't really think anyone was visiting! But this is a good time to post a little photo journal of our visit to the Edward Gorey Museum in Yarmouthport last week. Mr. Gorey lived there for the last 13 years of his life after leaving NYC, and it has been turned into a lovely and quirky storehold of his works. No flashes were allowed, so I got the pictures I got...but it was really something to imagine what that amazing brain created in the house...

The front of the house, sign included. The foliage surrounding the house was much trimmed, our tour guide informed us, as it was a fire hazard for a museum to be that swaddled in branches, but I imagine the house was a regular Halloween haunted house when Gorey lived there.

One of Gorey's fur coats. Apparently, when he became enlightened by the anti animal cruelty movement, he stopped wearing the coats, and even allowed a family of raccoons to live in his attic.

A real human skull, complete with glasses. Not Gorey!

The living room, complete with Mystery! backdrop, Dracula sheets, and several of Gorey's stuffed bears. He had stuffed creatures all over the house. My favorite was Figbash, a four-appendaged creature that he could shape into all the letters of the alphabet. Unfortunately no flash meant a crappy Figbash picture.

Finally, the favorite...

The Gorey cat! An approximately 27 lb rescue. Named after one of Gorey's creations. The best greeter ever.

And outside...

A sculpture of the Doubtful Guest. Awesome. Note tennis shoes!
Oh, however nerdy it might be, Griffin is now Griffin McGuinness CL-1, CL2-R, CL3-R. I do get a kick out of titles for my dogs.

Post vacation bleh

Just back from a week in New England seeing old friends and frolicking on the Cape. Luckily the hurricane was pretty much a non-issue in Massachusetts.

This weekend is a CPE trial at my barn. First trial in level 4/5/C standard. I am sort of anticipating not q'ing at all in Standard. Hoping for a fullhouse, wildcard, colors, jackpot, and maybe even snooker?!? We'll see.

Most frustratingly I decided to check my weight loss progress over the past two and a half months. I had to replace my scales because the old one got lost in the moving, so I hadn't weighed in that time. I'd been checking my measurements which have steadily declined, so i thought i was probably on the right track. I was pretty horrified to find that I have only lost 2.5 pounds since July. WTF??? I'm running 3-4 times per week, I've cleaned the hell out of my diet and am eating less than I did during my entire senior year of vet school. The measurements are shrinking but the weight just isn't budging. It's really, really frustrating. I'm not sure what else I can do at this point. I can't run every day, especially when I'm increasing distance every week, or my knees and achilles don't have enough time to compensate. I can't eat less...I am not good with the starvation. It feels like a real setback.

Agility class this week, more weave trouble but seems to be improving. I need to find a place for my practice weaves in the minuscule backyard. We are still knocking bars but in class it seems to only be if I stutter in my handling and he's not sure what I want. Trying to front cross more!

Saw the baby pups at almost five weeks today! They are so cute! Starting to interact with each other and with humans more, which is great. I am trying not to get attached to any one, but there is one blue boy especially that I like a lot... a few more weeks. Temperament tests on the 26th, CERF exams on the 24th...