Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Stretching - A Contact Sport?

I like to stretch.

It was something indoctrinated into me way back in my high school days when I was (briefly) in the track squad. You run, you stretch. It's almost an automatic response like a dog drooling when he's looking at your dinner and willing it to fall onto the floor.

I don't know if it makes me a better runner. I don't know if it prevents injuries. There are studies out that encourage stretching and others that say it doesn't really make a difference. All I know is that it makes me feel better. And I feel like I'm delaying the inevitable onset of rigor mortis.

But since we've gotten this little guy, stretching has become an extreme sport - only to be undertaken at your own peril.

My prime time for stretching is the little window I have between breakfast and when I really have to get going for the day. And this seems to be the exact same time for the daily battle of strength, skill and agility between our three dogs. 

So far Toby has it all over Ricky on the strength and skill side of the daily challenge. He generally wins tug-of-war with most apparatus - rope, teddy bear, underwear, urine-soaked towel. And he can always outwit Ricky when they're playing chasey. He knows that if Ricky runs from the lounge through the laundry and the kitchen, the puppy will appear at the kitchen door and he doesn't actually have to chase him to catch him. 

Ricky always wins the agility section of the skill test. Mostly because he's young, fast and isn't wearing a cone-of-shame that tends to get caught on door frames, tables, chairs and the legs of humans.. Although he has tried it on for size.

Might as well get used to it Ricky. You'll be wearing one in just a couple of months after you visit your favourite vet.

Bubbles wins nothing. She'll try tug-of-war but only having half the requisite amount of teeth puts her at a distinct disadvantage. So her major contribution to the daily mayhem is to stand and bark from the sidelines. I think she's trying to cheer Toby on - not the interloper.

Today's stretching session was particularly brutal. I ended up with three minor injuries and the very real chance of bruising. 

Toby bit my foot when the toy they were fighting over ended up a little too close. I'm sure he was aiming for the pink gorilla but I think the cone-of-shame refracts light like a prism and he ended up with a wayward lunge. And I'm not just talking a little nip.

Then Ricky decided that it was quite acceptable to walk over my face. And, hey, what are those shiny little baubles in your ear lobe? It wasn't a through and through injury but it made a little tear leak out of my eye. 

And finally I was almost decapitated by the cone-of-shame. Actually that could make an interesting murder mystery novel. Where the crazy dog lady seeks revenge for all the perceived wrongs committed against her by way of a razor sharp, carbon fibre cone-of-shame fitted to her lovable golden retriever.

Anyway I'm going to have to re-think my stretching time. Or location. Or the need to do it altogether. It's become way too much of a contact sport for my liking.


  1. You could write a book with all of your fun dog stories!!
    I'm impressed that you are so diligent with your stretching!!!

  2. I am sympathetic with every word of this post, Char. We are up to three dogs now, also, and I'm not sure I'm going to survive :)

  3. They really are just like kids aren't they? Ours play chasey thorough the house as well. I've had the odd coffee cup knocked from my hand when one of them barrels on to my lap.

  4. I'm not into stretching, but I'm into strengthening, and I also get attacked by our 2 Jacks when lying on the floor!

  5. Sounds like our home! I do upper body exercises 4 times per week and this includes some time on the floor. It is totally impossible to this if any dog is in the same room.

  6. I'm sure people without dogs won't fully understand this post - but you're EXACTLY RIGHT! Anytime we get on the floor to stretch, Jack first assumes downward dog position right beside us mimicking our stretching which is hilarious, but then he usually grabs a toy and nudges you or sits on you while trying to stretch. Dogs man, dogs.

  7. Ah yes, maybe you'll need to shut the dogs out during your stretch to avoid future injuries! Although I'm sure it wouldn't be as fun!

  8. This is so funny and so recognizable. I do my workouts at home and often when I have to do floor exercises or a cool down Bella thinks it's playing time :) I am a terrible stretcher after running however. I have been lucky so far that I never had an injury, makes you a lazy stretcher.

    And the first one of Ricky is so cute. I love it how dogs can lay down and be totally relaxed. Makes me jealous sometimes and wish I had the life of a dog and relax all day.

  9. I assume your puppies are slyly getting back at you for making them wear the cone of shame.

  10. Oh dear, you have your hands full with those guys. I can't imagine.

    I think I stretched once back in 1984.

  11. Perhaps you could get the dogs to help you stretch - you hold the rope and they pull?

  12. I can't understand how people can survive with two or three dogs. Those dogs are like kids: they aren't able to think after themself.It's easy to imagine about the additional job for you at home.

  13. I am terribly at stretching/foam rolling, but when I do attempt it, you can be sure my 4 legged buddy is there to help! LOL!

  14. You need a screen like I have. Or something. Dogs can't resist rough and tumble when we get down on the floor at their level.


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