This puppy runs a tough fitness camp.
I guarantee you’ll never meet a drill-sergeant personal trainer like Leia.
The workout starts as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning.
We start with the stair-master – 13 steps down, 4 steps up, 4 steps down, 4 steps up, 4 steps down, and 13 steps up – only to repeat throughout the entire day.
Then we move to jumping leash – step over and step back, twirl around, hand off from right to left hand, and repeat every time Leia is attached to the other end of the tether.
Deep knee bends follow to pick up turds, feathers, bits of paper, and random sticks.
Lunges follow the deep knee bends when Leia does surprise bolts. The object is to lunge forward and grab her securely before she jumps out of the yard boundaries.
Squats are performed to pick up and retrieve all toys that Leia has scattered randomly. Then these items are returned to the storage bin which is dumped repeatedly throughout the day for additional squats.
Leia then provides a yoga break where we run through all the dog poses, starting with Puppy Pose and ending with Downward Facing Dog. By this time, facing downward is the only thing I can do.
Weight-lifting is next. Leia makes me lift the dog food bags, starting with 15 pounds and graduating to 30 pounds. Then she makes me pick her up; I swear she adds 2-3 pounds per week! Pretty soon I’ll only be able to manage her front end!!
Juggling bowls is very important and is done three times a day. Leia makes me include Heidi’s 2 bowls, so I am constantly juggling 4 bowls – 2 for water (no sloshing), and the other 2 for meals. And this has to be performed quickly, within 45 seconds.
Push-outs replace push-ups. Pushing open and holding the doors for both Leia and her assistant, Heidi. The pushes vary in intensity – some are short endurance, and others require a long hold while Leia and Heidi intentionally proceed very slowly through the opening.
Walking is ongoing throughout the entire day, both indoors, and outdoors. Outdoor walks are dictated by Leia and Heidi who are romping about unrestrained. I am required to be vigilant to be sure they don’t pick up or ingest anything not on the walk list. My walks are interspersed with sprints and high steps.
Finger dexterity is also enforced all day long. Leia makes me lock her within her crate and let her out again – flip, slide, and push down, over and over again. More finger dexterity is provided by opening and closing treat bags and containers.
By the end of the day, every bone and muscle in my body aches. A perfect remedy is a glass of Lab red wine with dinner.