Setbacks and lessons learned

Two weeks ago I was bitten by a dog. My dog. She had issues that we were trying to overcome from past abuse. We’d had her about a year and had made progress in many areas but one. Leash agression. Probably because as a young pup she was kept on a chain for hours on end. That kind of thing plays on the mind of a dog. They begin to feel anxious and fearful, which in turn leads to agressive behavior. So whenever we took Koda walking on a leash, if we encountered a dog, she became highly agressive…trying to protect herself and me. That’s what happened the day of the bite…except this time, in her frustration to get away from me and go after the other dog, she turned and bit me. Sadly, we made the decision not to keep her because of this, even though I totally understand her motives. So now my walking partner is gone and I have a large bruise and bump on my leg. Walking has been put aside for a time. We are looking into getting another canine companion, this time, one without the baggage. Soon I will be out and about, walking another pet.

Lesson learned: Be very careful when picking a dog. Make sure that it has no agressive tendencies toward other animals and people. Have some play-dates with it first. Take it out for a walk. Watch how it behaves toward unfamiliar people. Then decide.

Moral of the story: Dogs should never, never, never be kept on chains. It is inhumane and it causes mental trauma to them. How would you like to be adopted by a dog in a dog’s world, only to be chained up? You’d be fearful that every passing dog would attack you, that you couldn’t run away and save yourself. Totally vulnerable. Don’t do that to your pet…please!

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Walking, Autumn in the Woods, and Kipling

I haven’t kept track of miles walked this week, due to the soreness in my hip. If I were to guess, I’d say I walk about 8 miles this week. My weight has not changed since the reported loss of 4 pounds last week. I’ve been avoiding it, but will see the chiropractor this week about the hip. It simply must heal up. I want to walk longer and farther! The pictures below were taken yesterday, while walking Koda through the woods. As autumn descends upon the forest, it’s become darker and deeper…more mystical. It rained yesterday, and it was delightful to hear the drops falling on the canopy of leaves above, with very few actually reaching the forest floor.

The Way Through the Woods

THEY shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.

Rudyard Kipling

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Walking Along a Sandbar on the Upper Skagit River

Last weekend we camped at Goodell Campground on the Skagit River. We spotted a beautiful path strewn with fallen leaves and followed it to a river bar.

Inukshuks everywhere…I built one too. Here’s mine. The bottom rock is my faith in Christ. The ones above represent my life and all of the things I love. The fragile leaf balanced atop stands for spirit, and for the transience of this life; and how one should embrace the moment.

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Walking Along Early Winters Creek

We camped at Klipchuck Campground outside of Winthrop, Washington. Early Winters Creek winds through the campground. We were eager to explore the trails, but a little hesitant because there was a post cautioning campers to beware of rattlesnakes. However, we spoke to the ranger, who assured us that the rattlers were probably hibernating this time of year, and if we did run across one, it would be too lethargic to strike. Nevertheless, I wore my boots! Here are some pictures of the campground, trails, and Early Winters Creek. What I cannot convey via photos is the fresh mountain air, the smell of pine, coffee percolating in the morning, and the crackle of our campfire.

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No, I haven’t abandoned OWW

I haven’t abandoned One Woman Walking; I’ve just returned to work after a summer hiatus. It’s taking some time to adjust my schedule and allow time for blogging. I’ll be back soon, I promise!

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Week 4 of walking; a belated report

 

Above: My grand-children, strolling along the South Bay trail. The path connects Bellingham to Old Fairhaven and is 2.3 miles long. The piece we walked was from Boulevard Park to Fairhaven. It’s 1 mile, round trip.

 

I was supposed to report each Sunday about my walking for the previous week. I’m a bit behind, so here is my belated report.

My daughter was visiting last week with her 4 children. We did quite a lot of walking together, but frankly, I was too busy to remember the pedometer every day. So today’s report will be an estimate. The other problem this week was the dog. She had an injured shoulder. I took her to the vet for x-rays. There were no broken bones, but she can’t walk more than 1/2 mile a day for another week.

Progress Report

Miles walked this week: Approximately 12

Weight gain/loss:  My weight bounced back up to my beginning weight. I’ve definitely been eating too many ice-cream cones!

Good things: Walking to town is becoming a way of life. Grandchildren make great walking companions!

Bad things: Still nursing a sore hip…but thankfully it’s improving. Now the dog can’t go with me…that’s hard. She’ll be up and running in a week.

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On the Injured Reserve List

My faithful walking companion, Koda, woke up with a bad limp on Wednesday. We took her to the vet and had x-rays taken. No disease or permanent damage, but her shoulder and arm were somehow strained…probably chasing tennis balls and jumping. The vet advised us to keep her relatively quiet for 2 weeks; she can only walk 1/2 mile a day. He was telling me how, when dogs start feeling better, they are prone to reinjure themselves because they start exercising too soon. Hmmm, sounds like someone else I know! I’ve been trying to keep going in spite of a sore hip for over a week now. Maybe I need to ease up too! I asked the vet if I could take some of Koda’s ani-inflammatory pills…he thought it was a bad idea! So I think I’m gonna postpone the walking program for a few days, give that hip a chance to heal.

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Today’s Walking Thought: Multi-tasking is Over-rated

'Walking Books' from the Library

It’s 1131 steps from my front door to the library…give or take. A little less than a mile round trip. I walked it today in a misty summer rain. It was quite pleasant. Of course, for me, going to the library is equivalent to hubby attending a Seahawks game. If he had tickets to the Seahawks, and had to park 5 miles from the stadium and walk the rest of the way…he’d do it. That’s how I feel about the library.

Dad took me to the library when I was 5 years old for the very first time. It was a quaint little place…a log house-turned-library that was nestled under a grove of fir trees on the shores of Lake Whatcom. Being in the deep shade made it dim and cool and musty inside. Mysterious. But the best part was getting a book for free…any book I wanted! I still shake my head and marvel at libraries.

Today I returned one book and picked up 9 more. Stuffed them in my knapsack and hoofed it home. I was certainly breathing heavier on the return walk because of the load. Here’s what’s funny about that. If you asked me to carry some weights on my walk, I’d reject the idea outright. But give me 9 books and I’ll carry them all the way to Nooksack and back. When I got home I weighed the books…10 lbs.

So that got me thinking…what will it feel like to walk when I’m 30 lb. lighter? Glorious, I’ll bet.

Final walking thought…multi-tasking is over-rated. How many times have I run into the library on my way home from work, rather than walk there? Trying to save time. For what? I’d probably be 15 lb lighter and much saner if I’d have strolled to the library and back all of those times.

 I distinctly remember the day I became a conscious multi-tasker. My toddler boys were 17 months apart and it was bath-time. Since I couldn’t leave them unattended in the tub, I scoured out the toilet and sink, washed the mirror, and mopped up the floor as they bathed. I remember sitting on the toilet congratulating myself on how clever I was to get the bathroom all spic n span while they played in the tub. From then it became a game. How much could I accomplish at one time? And later on I was handsomely rewarded for keeping multiple balls in the air in the business world. But as I look back, nobody really gave a rip about my clean bathroom but me…and I missed out. I could’ve been giggling with my little boys–floating toy boats and squirting water– making memories instead of making a clean toilet. Ahhh, wisdom is wasted on the young! 

Well from now on I’m gonna be more lavish with my hours. Walk to the library. Play with the grandkids. Let the dishes sit in the sink for awhile while I sit on the porch with hubby.  

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Two steps forward…

This week’s walking has had it’s up’s and downs. For starters, I wrenched my back/hips lifting a heavy bag of potting soil. I knew better, but you know how it goes…when you want to do something right now; sometimes you pay for your impatience. Should’ve asked hubby to move it for me, but darn it, I wanted to pot those chrysanthemums right now!  I’ve still been walking, but I’ve been sore.

Good news…We’ve finally gotten some hot weather here in Lynden. That’s also the bad news. I don’t want to walk the dog on burning hot sidewalks, and I’m a little wary of walking in the woods alone since my ‘getting lost’ incident. (See my post entitled ‘All Who Wander are not Lost…’ for details of that exciting excursion!)

In lieu of all this I’ve purchased  a new lightweight backsack, a little plastic soap container (to be fashioned into a small first aid kit), and replaced the broken pedometer with a cheaper but more reliable model. Also dug up a whistle, a bottle of sunscreen, bug repellent, and a water dish for Koda. I won’t venture into the woods anymore without basic essentials like these.

PROGRESS REPORT

The past week I walked 11 miles and lost 3 lb. I know my weight may fluctuate up a bit, but I feel pretty good about my progress.  Aside from the sore hips, I am feeling wonderful…strong and healthy.

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A walk from Zuanich Park to the Bellwether Hotel on Bellingham Bay

Squalicum Promenade

It was a beautiful 70 degree day here in Lynden. I whiled away most of the day visiting with my elderly neighbor, Alice. Besides being a lovely neighbor, she’s a fabulous quilter–so I took my camera over and did a little photo shoot of her quilts for my other blog…www.thingsthatarelovely.blogspot.com. 

By 5 p.m., I still hadn’t walked. This is a problem on two levels. A. I need to keep the program going. B. I hadn’t exercised Koda all day. Since I was tired of walks in the trees, I loaded Koda into the car and we headed off to Bellingham. Destination: Zuanich Park on the Bellingham Bay waterfront. This was a bold move because Koda traditionally hasn’t reacted well to walks with lots of strangers and dogs. But she’s been pretty good since I discovered an aerosol can that I can spray whenever she loses it…it pulls her attention off of the thing that’s making her crazy, and back to me. Works really good.

So off we go. First thing, Koda poops on the park lawn and I’d forgotten doggy bags. I scooped it up with some newspaper. This wasn’t exactly hygenic…my hands got soiled in the process. Since I couldn’t take her in the restroom and there were no visible water-fountains, I cleaned my hands as best I could with newspaper and proceeded on the walk with a mental note not to put my hands anywhere near my face until I had washed them 17 times and doused them with sanitizer.

 Shaky start notwithstanding, we proceeded on. What a charming walk! The path leads from Zuanich Park to the Bellwether Hotel, all along the waterfront and marina. There were beautiful boats, brightly colored kites flying in the wind, and the flowers along the walk were spectacular. Masses of coneflowers in every color imaginable interspersed with lush grasses. Wish I’d had my camera. (I’m going back soon, armed with my Canon.)

 The walk is a couple of miles, round trip, and it is paved the whole way. Some of Bellingham’s best restaurants are in your path, so don’t go hungry…or you may become sidetracked along the way. I give this walk 4 stars!

 (By the way…Koda was an absolute darling on this walk; after the pooping incident!)

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