Day 127 – Auroara Goes Down

Geoffrey did it! He got Auroara to go down all five steps to the back yard!

Up until about noon today, Auroara would willingly only jump down one step to the back door landing. Then she’d fuss and bark to get lifted up, held, and moved down to the ground.

This past week, I started lifting her down one more step from the top. She’d be scared and completely stiff. I’d do it again, and she would loosen a little, look at the final stair and the waiting ground. She’d often take that two-step adventure on her own, although a few times she was too tense and had to be lifted down to the final stair from which she could step to the ground.

Today, Geoffrey decided it was time to completely end the Sanctuary of the Back Yard for Apex and the other adults. He was going to show Aurora how to get down the stairs anytime she wanted.

While I was at church, Geoffrey made the pack all go outside. He had Aurora watch all the adults go down the stairs. Then he helped her down to the ground, one step at a time. He repeated the exercise a few times.

When Geoffrey stopped taking her down the steps, Auroara studied the stairs. Then, when Geoffrey went inside, she decided to try out the stairs with no audience. He says he had to sneak up behind her to watch, but she went down all the stairs by herself!

Auroara Goes Down the Stairs by Herself

When I returned home mid afternoon, Auroara was running up the steps and, with proper encouragement, going down them carefully, but decisively.

She can now go out and come in the house on her own schedule. Unsupervised.

Already our back hall has more plant and stick detritus from the back yard forays.

Another milestone toward adulthood!

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Day 121 – Playing Around

There was lots of morning play. In fact the older dogs were exhausted early on. Only Apex stayed outside to monitor the puppy… and occasionally join in some random ball play or twig gnawing.

AuRoara has been expert going up the stairs for a while. She still doesn’t go DOWN all the way, though. She’ll take the first step down to the landing, but then stops.

She’s also started going up one stair, going along it, and then she’s able to jump down to the ground again. Today she practiced the bottom stair maneuver a few times.

Incremental progress is important!

AuRoara Playing along the Bottom Stair
Exploring along the Bottom Stair.
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Day 120 — First Bath

Our vet thinks we should have done this earlier, but she reminded us of some good techniques for puppy bathing. Today, after breakfast, AuRoara took the plunge!

AuRoara in the sink
AuRoara starts her first bath nonplussed.

One tip was to put a washcloth in the sink underneath AuRoara so she wouldn’t slip in the tub.

There were lots of new sensations, but she tolerated the experience pretty well!

AuRoara ready for drying
AuRoara ready for Drying

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A New Year’s Resolution, 3 Years Later

I was inspired on New Year’s Eve 2015 to start exercising regularly. Doug Wilcoxen, a fellow Pomona College student and resident of Wig Hall 30+ years ago, wrote on Facebook that day that he had been to the gym 315 times during the year. I remember Doug in college as being sane and not a freakish jock, so I thought that if Doug could exercise regularly, then maybe I could, too.

I decided to go to the gym or do something physical daily as long as I could. I also decided that if I missed a day or two, I would restart the routine as soon as I was able. I wondered what would happen.

I posted on New Year’s Day 2017 that I did something physical 30 minutes a day every day during 2016.

Galen in the Fitness SF locker room

My resolution had inspired me to drag myself to the gym on those days I felt a little under the weather or felt pressured by time. I didn’t want to end my streak, so I’d go and do 30 minutes of core body, upper body, or cardio… or maybe just walk the streets for a solid half hour.

On 1/1/2017 I thought that after My Year of Daily Exercise, I would give myself permission to skip a day here or there.

I underestimated my own anal retentiveness.

Yesterday I completed 3 years of doing something physical for 30 minutes a day. That’s 1096 days in a row.

As today’s locker room picture above shows, the repetition doesn’t make me a young muscle stud, or muscle stud of any age. But, the fixation on daily activity has been good for me.

My routine has me heading to the gym as soon as the girls have been fed and re-settled down. So, I am usually at the gym at 6:30 am, or at 7 am opening on weekend and holidays. This starts my day.

More important than any physical prowess gained is the understanding and gratitude I have because I have been lucky. I haven’t had any serious illness or injury in three years.

No flu, debilitating colds, or Serious Conditions that randomly hit people of a certain age. I am of a certain age, so appreciate not being a random victim.

I thought I would intentionally break the streak at 1000 days. But, I mis-estimated when Day 1000 would be, and didn’t make an accurate count of the days until something like day 1020. I decided not to stop intentionally at some weired, non-milestone day.

Now, after three years, I am okay with missing a day or two. Life will happen. Flu or worse always lurks. And, some day I could decide that just that day I do not feel like walking or gymming.

But, I will restart when I am able and get back into the habit doing 30 minutes of physical activity most days.,

After all, if Doug Wilcoxen can do it, so can I.

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Day 94 — Christmas is Over. No Need to Hide Our Naughtiness!

AuRoara (note the updated spelling) says that now that Christmas is over, there is no need to feign angelic behavior.

Like any child, she saves the worse (and cutest) temper tantrums for Mom. Mother Zenith does look like she can handle the pressure, though!

Day 94 -- For the Love of Mom
Christmas is over. It’s okay to talk back to Mom now.
Remember to click on this and any other picture for a larger version. Do it twice!

Even the human dads find it hard to ignore the snapping of teeth!

Geoffrey and a Snappy AuRoara on the Bed
Geoffrey and a Snappy AuRoara on the Bed
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