Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Safest Way to Own a BIG Dog

In case you're just tuning into my channel here, I own 2 'large breed' dogs. Well, 1 of them is considered a 'Giant Breed', even though both are small for their respective types.
Me and Clydas on a Northern CA road trip in 2006

Clydas, my nearly-nine year old Boxer has been my shadow and best bud for just about his entire life (give or take about 3 months of puppydom).  Clydas is about 55-57lbs most of the time, which is small for a male boxer dog. Usually, males of his breed are about 66-70lbs. It's been speculated that he was a runt (he wasn't fixed until he was 2 years old to get the full growth hormones out of it), but he's been a pretty healthy runt (aside from the cancer which resulted in 2 twos amputated from his rear leg  - but he doesn't notice the loss of the toes one bit).

Clydas, December 2012
Odin came into my life in October. My Sailor wanted a fluffy dog. I wanted a large breed that was already house broken. He wanted a dog no older than 2. Odin (then name Ilork) showed up at a local shelter. It's pretty rare that purebred-anythings end up at the shelter, so we were pretty lucky to have met him, got along with him, and bring him home.

Odin is probably about 2 years old now, and at last weigh in was about 87lbs. Since he's only gained about 2lbs since October, it's a good bet his pretty much as big as he's going to get by now. He might get a LITTLE beefier and hit 90lbs, but that's still pretty small for a GP boy. Males usually weigh in between 100 and 130 lbs.

Odin, December 2012
One of my fears of owning a Giant breed (as much as I LOVE big, durable dogs) is "How would I get a beast I can't lift to the vet in case of an emergency?" I have a big car, so that much is taken care of, but I've always been a little scared of owning a dog I can't pick up.

Well, all that changed today.

Today, in the gym, I proved I can lift Odin - and a little more. Today, I hit a personal record of 95lb front squats, cleans, jerks, and split jerks. (Just in case you've never heard of those, here's a quick youtube Split Jerk video- No, I'm not in it.)

It's really interesting to see how far I've come from my first training session (where 50lbs was heavy) to now (where my work out today included a 55b bar for 65 Clean Jerks - which are a lot like the above work out, only instead of starting with the weight already by your shoulders, you start with the weight at midthigh instead). I used to die getting through 15 whip ups... They still aren't easy, but I'm getting through at least 10 before I really start to feel exhausted. A lot of my work outs are just a matter of body over brain. The key seems to be "Don't think. Just Do." And ya know, it works!

I'm pretty excited to say that my schedule is changing and filling up with MORE writing projects! It's making me seriously consider going back to school and finishing my English degree. Most editing jobs require them now a days, and with My Sailor's Navy service, we wouldn't be launching ourselves into student loan debt. It's a little daunting to think of going to school, writing pro-bono part time (gotta keep up with those commitments), working on the house AND the adoption. But then again, all I really have to do is what's right in front of me.

Everything else will fall into place.

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