Dog school, Soap opera name, Learnings from crim week

Today was the second session of puppy school. I was a little suspicious on week 1, when our class included a 6 year old dog who is animal aggressive.

Basically, she is perfectly fine around humans, but wants to attack other dogs.

At first I was simply horrified, but then my mothering instincts kicked in and I decided I’d kick her ass if she messes with Tyler. Now everything is fine.

Today we practiced “come,” “sit,” and “stay” commands. Tyler pays attention when he wants a treat. He’s such a cutie. He’ll do a bunch of sequences of the training, then look around to see what his little Yorkie friend Teddy is doing.

Tyler, Teddy, and Zoe the Pug are always in the same corner of the room. Teddy is all fuzzy, rather like the fuzzy toys Tyler likes. He loves Tyler and jumps up to lick Tyler’s face. Tyler wags his tail and bites the fuzz on Teddy’s chin or ears. Tyler and Teddy both pretty much ignore Zoe. Perhaps they think she’s high maintenance.

Our instructor is kinda wacky. I suspect she’s stalking Cesar Millan. She runs an ad hoc animal rescue from her home. She also seems suspicious of my ability to raise a dog that’s going to be as big as me. She mentions the fact that his breed tends to be dominant rather often. I was tempted to make some joke about being a dominatrix, but let it go.

So Tyler’s doing great with school. He’s a smart fellow. Well, I guess he isn’t ALWAYS a smart fellow. This morning he fell asleep near the water bowl in the kitchen, then rolled over and spilled it all over himself.

Puppy class lasts 8 weeks. I think it’s mostly just to get him used to being in a new environment with a bunch of other dogs. We’ll carry on with obedience classes (I’m tempted to say “real obedience classes”) after this one.


You want to know what your soap opera name is, don’t you? Find out at the soap opera name generator. I don’t watch soap operas, but I do love the names.

My soap opera name is Emma Huntington.

Miss Emma Huntington to you.

Miss Emma Huntington, Dominatrix.

It’s also worth noting that soap opera names are perfect names for cats.


Crim week yielded some good learnings. Yes, from the Anusarans. I guess I could *hear* them because I was off the daily practice treadmill and practicing a bit of awareness.

Not that I want to be aware all the time. Don’t really have time for that sort of thing every morning. After all, I need to be in the office pretty early.

That’s a joke. But not really.

I suppose it’s unfortunate that I can’t spend all my time cultivating deep awareness — that some of my time is really just all about the logistics of getting myself where I need to be at a certain time. On the other hand, there’s a certain beauty to the whole thing. I can’t overindulge myself — I need to be prepared to practice and then to move on. I try to bring as much of it with me as I can, but I figure “tomorrow’s a new day” when the awareness wears off and I find myself at work, irritated with someone for something silly.

Okay, so learnings:

1. ZIP UP the front ribs.

This is big for a rib splayer like me. If the T12 drama was not caused by the front rib splaying, splaying definitely exacerbated the problem. And, of course, it took an Anusaran to say something like “zip up your ribs.” I did it mid-urdhva dhanurasana, and was surprised how different it made the pose feel. Before I zipped, my chest felt like a butterflied shrimp. Afterwards, it felt like, well, a closed shrimp.

2. Hug the midline.

Yeah yeah yeah, right? We all know this. I forget, though, truth be told. So I’ve been very conscious of setting up salabhasana, dhanurasana, and parsva dhanurasana with my thighs, knees, and ankles touching.

And then pull into the midline.

I have to stop — I can’t stand myself when I talk Anusaran. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it.)

3. Day to day practice and a linear sequence can get me a little too focused on what I CAN’T do, a little too focused on what ISN’T “right.”

Knock that off!


Need to go get ready for a cop party. Men with beer, guns, and barbecued meat. Not your mama’s Anusara.


7 Responses

  1. Welcome home, Strange Smurf.

  2. (From Naughty Smurf.)

  3. Will they not let you take pictures? And Tyler and Teddy are correct, pugs are definitely high maintenance.

  4. The opera name generator doesn’t work so well for squirrels. It says Daisy should be ‘Viv Berkeley’ but she’s definitely not a Viv. It wouldn’t spit out a name for Clover.

  5. Yeah, shalabasana, dhanurasana et al are BACK STRENGTHENERS according to Cary. Rather than thinking of them as ‘baby backbends’. It’s such hard work to do them with legs together, but after months I’m really starting to get something from it. I like the rib thing too. I was taught that in shadow yoga and it’s stayed with me – don’t stick out the ribs! We have to move the spine INSIDE the body, and let the ribcage relax down.

  6. Viv and Clover? How dear! They sound like little cartoon characters.

    S, yes! Back *strengtheners*! I kept trying to work them from the baby backbend aspect — meaning I was overly concerned with the bend. It’s a funny balancing act. On the one hand, it seems intuitively obvious that if you approach these as strength moves, the bend will be compromised. But it’s actually just the opposite — building them up from the floor — with strength — is what ultimately opens them up.

    I’d love for you to write more about shadow yoga. I practiced with a teacher who has a shadow yoga background and just loved her. But I can’t seem to find out much about shadow yoga…

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