The hubs was out for the evening yesterday, so once the boys were (finally) in bed, I attempted to do a “relaxing” yoga video. I spend a lot of time reading — scholarly articles, book chapters, people magazine exclusives — so I probably should have aimed for a more rigorous workout. But with less than two weeks before my oral defense, that exam that determines whether the last eight or so years of my life have been worthwhile or not, my stress levels might just be a tad elevated.
All was looking good as the puppy snoozed on the couch, his suddenly-long limbs stretched to ensure there would be no rivals for his coveted spot.
I unrolled my mat, opened the laptop, and clicked “start”. One of those pesky ads popped up, loud and grating as they usually are, and startled the pup awake. Apparently advertising jingles signal playtime for the four-pawed and furry.
He looked at my little set up on the floor as if to say “And what is this? A new squishy mat to be chewed and rolled-on and scratched? Yippee!”
Thinking he would quickly loose interested if I ignored him, I let him play for a few minutes. But clearly I under-estimated the allure of the yoga mat with all its squashy gloriousness.
So I determined to proceed with my routine and try my best to ignore my companion.
It wasn’t, as it turns out, all that easy to simply ignore a four month old puppy who wished to play. In fact, something about Labs I’m quickly noticing is how little regard they have for how close is too close. As I read in the puppy training manual: the shortest book in the world would be entitled Labrador Retrievers on Personal Space.
When his attempts to sit in my lap as I “found my centre” (here it is, mum, right where I’m sticking my elbow!) were rejected, my canine companion determined that his best bet for my undivided attention would be a dedicated strategy of interferrence.
To that end, he dutifully “helped” me discover the true potential of classic yoga poses: downward-facing-the-dog’s-rear-end flowed somewhat awkwardly into cobra-with-licked-face, and my personal favourite, warrior-with-nibbled-toes.
At the five minute mark, I determined that perhaps the puppy would be happier outside, but after a thirty-second bathroom break he was back crying at the door to join in.
For his second act, he brought props: his much beloved “broccoli” that he squeaked in my face as I tried to “focus on the (dog)breath”, followed by his all-time fave, the kitchen broom, no doubt to evidence his commitment to “clean” eating.
When these items failed to attract sufficient attention, he began throwing himself rather acrobatically through the metal stools in the kitchen, suggesting that he would prefer a Pilates equipment class.
At 11 minutes, the crashing of furniture, galloping paws, and shouts of “no!”, “down!”, and “for the love of …!” awakened the baby. Sighing, I stopped the video and went to soothe him.
When I returned, many minutes and several rounds of lullabies later, the puppy was passed out cold on the yoga mat.
Not wanting to see what modifications the puppy would make to chair, lotus, or heaven forbid, tree, I opted instead to pour myself a glass of wine.
So while I didn’t technically achieve the workout I’d planned, I consoled myself with the knowledge that recent studies have shown a glass of wine before bed is as good as thirty minutes of exercise. But how does it compare to eleven minutes of dog yoga, I wondered? Judging from my level of exhaustion, it felt comparable to running a marathon.
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