Thursday, April 24, 2014

to Portland

Tuesday, April 23:
I just finished typing this whole blog and then lost battery power and my computer shut down without saving it. (Command S! how hard is that?) Anyway, so I’m starting over, forgive me if I sound curt.

Sitting in the parking lot in Olympia yesterday, waiting for Starbucks’ wi-fi to load, I finally called AT&T to set up my iPhone as a personal hotspot. Not only did they set me up immediately, but they switched my plan to save me $30 a month based on my usage history. WTG AT&T!

River also had a big day in the parking lot. I took him on a long walk. First I let him explore all the bushes around the shopping center and apartment complex next door. Then I took the lead and asked him to heel, come stay, sit, etc. He did great.

I also started working on how to approach doors. The people inside the Verizon store must’ve thought I was nuts for continually walking up to the tinted glass door and then turning back around again. They’re probably glad I didn’t come in. River’s instinct is to charge to the door, but we practiced staying at my side as we approach.

And then I gave him a bit more free time behind the stores. Just as he was about to go sniff a pile of boxes, an employee came out to break them down. All it took was for me to stop and say ‘wait’ and River stopped. I explained to the guy that I was training him to respect strangers, and he was a dog lover so he understood and went about his work. River watched him for a while and then I started walking away. Without a word, he followed me out of that situation and was back to exploring the rest of the alley.

After a good half an hour of stuff like this, I said to him, Find the Car. And he immediately turns toward the three nearest parked cars. I followed him as he walked by the first two cars. Thumper was the third car, which he also walked right by. And I did my best not to influence, but just to watch as he took a quick turn and walked down the drivers side, around the back and to the passenger side before he looked at the car. I opened the door and he hopped in.
River, wet and exhausted after a big day in the park (-ing lot)

It was a short drive to Centralia for the class, and Julia suggested I take the back roads. She was right. It was nice to be driving through trees rather than back on the highway.

Class was small and fun. Julia taught the first half and I came in to finish with the second half of Goldfinger. One woman who was friendly and smiled as we chatted before class, and despite my frequent and various references to the power of the smile, she never once broke. Not even to humor me. You gotta respect that. haha.

After class, she was all smiles again. My experience of her gave me a sense memory of when I was in ballet class. That, combined with the rigidity she admitted to be struggling with losing in her body inspired me to ask if she came from a ballet background. And she had. We had a discussion about how much unlearning one must do if they have a strong muscle memory of ballet. It is not a body-friendly art. If it were, I might have stuck with it longer.

It was raining pretty hard the whole drive to Portland after class.

video

APRIL 24

Today is a day of rest. No driving. No teaching.
Sleeping in on our day off
Perfect timing because I ran out of human and dog food today and it was nice to have all day to run errands.

Thanks to Portland's cool, sunny weather this morning, I felt comfortable leaving River in the car while I went to the co-op and bought my food. He seemed remarkable calm when I returned. He was actually lying down, not staring frantically out the window. When I unlocked the car with my key, I saw his head pop up. I took him for a quick walk in the neighborhood before we drove off.

The next stop was the pet store and he was so excited that he got to come with me this time. I picked him up some rabbit and a raw bone with marrow.

It was sunshiny all morning, but pouring rain for our trip back to the room with our purchases. It’s nice to chill... to have food... to be able to take the time to sit and catch up with everything. An old client of mine was able to come over for a session, which was nice because so far all of the classes I’ve taught are paying me with a check in the mail, so this was the first income, perfectly times with needing to restock.

I also have a friend in Portland, so after he gets off work River and I will go bother him and his cats.
Today I ate Untitled and Aquamarine Boy

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