How to Train a Champion

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I'm not a fan of driving our car in the city and will usually do anything I can to take public transportation or grab a cab, but sometimes it just has to be done. Like last night for example when I had to go west to Logan Square for improv, then go a little south for stand-up, then back up north for more stand-up. It was roughly -8 degrees last evening so taking a car was simply my best solution. I'm dreaming of those summer nights when the city opens up to me and I can just hop on my bike and go anywhere my little heart desires...

The worst part is coming home at midnight and trying to find a parking spot (only the rich and fancy get garages here.) For starters I don't like walking six blocks in the freezing cold at midnight, but then there's also the fact it's really dark and I'm really alone, even though I live in a safe neighborhood, it's still Chicago (the homicide capitol of the country.) So this is where Harlow comes into the picture. We've got this nice little system worked out where I quickly park outside the house with my flashers on, wake Harlow up from his cozy little slumber by saying "wanna go on a walk? a walk? yeah?!" and he immediately comes running after me like it's the best thing he's ever heard. Wouldn't it be nice to be a dog and just go from sound asleep to ready to run in literally two seconds?

And then we proceed to drive around together looking for a parking spot while he asks me how my set went and I ask him how his nap was and if he chewed any shoes while I was gone. Poor Har has had cabin fever so bad this winter he'd do anything to get out of the house, even if it means a freezing walk at midnight.

Luckily a few weeks ago I was able to take him to Chicago's new Zoom Room and he absolutely loved it. I've got to share some of the photos because he has the biggest smile on his face in all of them, it's seriously the cutest thing ever.

Right when we got there he had to say hello to some of his new classmates for the day. Harlow opted to take an agility class (because he's just athletic like that) and he was definitely the new kid at school.


This is his nervous smile. He just wanted to fit in. I guess we all do.


When it wast time to begin the course Harlow jumped right in. He wasn't exactly the most "well behaved" kid in class, but by golly he had the most heart. He approached every ramp and jump with all of his might.

If my comedy stuff doesn't pan out I think I should be a dog trainer, what do you think?


I'm not kidding you, he was smiling the entire time. He only stopped for a second or two when he jumped on me because he wanted another treat.


The tunnel was his absolute favorite. Some of the other pups (who have been going to agility class for quite a few weeks I might add) were hesitant to run through it. But not Harlow, he took it like a champ. I think he would have been happy just simply running back and forth through the tunnel over and over and over.


The hardest part of the course was the hurdle jumps at the end. Harlow has great ups, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that he also has great strength and he insisted on simply barreling through all of the hurdles.

But after a few pep talks, a lot of encouragement, and even a slow clap while chanting "Harlow!" "Harlow!" "Harlow!" He did it! He went for the gold! And it was wonderful.

*dog fanny pack was on loan from Zoom Room, I left my own treat holder at home. 

If that's not a face of determination I don't know what is. (Harlow too.)
Did you catch that knee slapper of a joke? Did ya?


And this is what pure joy looks like on a dog.


So thank you Zoom Room, for putting a much needed smile on Harlow's face after this long winter we've been enduring. Like I said, we just tried out the agility class but Zoom Room offers a variety of classes from puppy training, to obedience, to tricks and even therapy dog classes. The instructor we had was incredibly kind and patient with Harlow even though he was clearly the problem child of the class. I finally understand why parents sometimes get embarrassed of their ornery children out in public, especially when they suddenly decide to pee on the equipment right in the middle of class.

We're just three days away from March! Hold on doggies, it's almost park season again!

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27 comments:

  1. Daw he really is too cute. I want a dog so bad!

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  2. That is such a great idea, picking Harlow up so you don't have to walk alone. He looks so happy in his class!

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  3. Loved this! He looks so excited. Such fun pictures!

    the Shelby lens

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  4. He is so adorable! A happy dog is the best, nothing cheers me up like my pup:)

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  5. I love this! I am so jealous there isn't one in Washington!

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  6. AW, i wish we had one of these! Harlow looks so happy and sweet! Pups :)

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  7. You go Harlow! I should see if we have something similar close to me. I feel bad that Izzy has been cooped up all winter. She doesn't like being out in the cold so she rarely gets to run around the yard or get any real exercise!

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  8. rockin the fan pack, nice try calling it a treat holder. they're all fan packs. you're such a great fur-mom. Love that puppy smile!

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  9. Yay Harlow! Speaking of happy pups, you might enjoy this:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/25/pit-bull-photo-booth_n_4848766.html
    Thanks for sharing the pics!

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  10. Such a great idea! I need to look into something like this locally! My Lilah would love those ramps and hurdles!

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  11. This is adorable!!! Yay Harlow!

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  12. I can't wait till it's warm again - our pups are getting stir crazy, too! These pics are great, I'd love to get our bigger dog into agility training!

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  13. Seeing a dog smile is pretty much the greatest thing. Ever.

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  14. harlow has the best facial expressions. and i love that he is your protector when you walk home. that's just the greatest.

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  15. I really want to put one of my dogs in an agility course because he would be so good at it. I don't know if there any around where I live or not. My other dog? He's too lazy haha

    He looks like he is having a blast!

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  16. How fun! I wish I could take my dogs to an agility class. I'm glad that Harlow had such an awesome time!

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  17. Oh my gosh I neeeeed to take my dog to agility class; she would love it!

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  18. 3 days until March.... AND it was a balmy 16 degrees today. We're getting spoiled around here.

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  19. I wonder what kind of post it would have made if Harlow was the trainer and Taylor was jumping hurdles?

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  20. Awww! What great photos. Looks like you both had a fab time!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  21. Great post. It really made me smile. And yes, I am sure your dog fanny pack at home is much cooler (hahaha...you don't have to be ashamed of it.)

    Amanda

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  22. You look so proud! haha! Love it! Go Harlow!

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  23. Gosh he is just so adorable! I wish there was something like that here; my dog is so bored and the babies are taking away all of her attention.

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  24. Thanks for bringing Harlow to class! Love his energy!!

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  25. I think my obsession with Harlow is unhealthy at this point - he's just so gosh dang cute!!

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  26. AWW!! We do agility at Zoom Room too! It totally looks like the exact same setup as you guys did. It's so fun and the teachers are so nice! My dog LOVES the tunnel but also has some problems with the jump -- he just walks around it haha.

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