Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tummy Rubs and the Bichon Blitz

My parents have two dogs, one of which is a Bolognese (which is a smaller version of the Bichon). In order to protect their privacy, I will refer to the Bolognese as Neurotic Jr. and the other dog as Jane Dog in this blog.

As dogs, they have a fairly easy life, partly because they can sleep whenever they want and they get treats just for being cute. But they have their own ways of dealing with stress if it does come up. For example, Jane Dog is extremely clingy. Whenever I visit my parents, she follows me around everywhere. When I come back after going out, she immediately rolls over onto her back, demanding a tummy rub. When she does get it, she gets this look of pure bliss on her face, as if she's saying, "Ahhhh....."

Neurotic Jr., on the other hand, hates baths. After I bathe her, she goes berserk every time. She does something called the Bichon blitz, where she tears around the room, rolls around on the carpet, and runs up and down the stairs in a fury, as if she's saying, "I can't believe you BATHED me! How UNDIGNIFIED!" Then she crawls under a chair and glares at me for the next hour, as if she's saying, "I wouldn't turn your back if I were you."

Here's a video of a dog doing the Bichon blitz. It's not a video of Neurotic Jr. I found it on Youtube. (The dog's name is Ditka.)

I, on the other hand, am not a dog and therefore do not enjoy tummy rubs. I don't even like hugs because I could get the flu from those. I have done some version of the Bichon blitz, though. It usually happens after I've done a bunch of work and downed several cups of caffeine. But I have my own ways of relieving stress.

One way is by going to my favorite place to write: the coffeehouse. I also like going to the gym, where I have a student discount. It's a worthy investment because I can burn calories, build muscle, and blow off steam. It's also a good place to check out muscular guys with cute ... um ... shorts. (I fell off an elliptical machine the other day because I was looking at one of the hot guys. I did get his attention, just not in the way I wanted.)

At the gym I can get my mind off my problems, at least temporarily. And the endorphins make me feel better too. There's a pool at my gym, but I haven't tried it yet. One reason is because I'm not a very good swimmer; I really only know how to doggy paddle. I even kind of pant a little when I try to doggy paddle from one end of the pool to another, and it's not very attractive. I can't really do the butterfly stroke that people do when they swim laps.

Besides, I'm afraid that if I do show up at the pool in my swimsuit, all the guys will take one look at me, start pointing and laugh. Then they'll all fall into the pool, one by one, just like the women did in that birth control commercial. But then one of the guys might still be laughing and end up choking on pool water, and I'll have to pull him out of the pool.

I'll try to revive him with the CPR skills I learned in a first aid class, but I took the class ten years ago and I really only remember how to do the Heimlich maneuver. And anyway, we only practiced on dummies, not people. So I'm afraid that the guy will suddenly come to, see my mouth aimed at his face and he'll jerk away and scream, "Get AWAY from me, weird girl!" And then all the other guys will come to his rescue and throw me into the pool, and I'll have to doggy paddle my way out. So I haven't tried the pool yet, because you never know. It could happen.

I usually go to the aerobics classes, and I also work out on the cardio machines, like the elliptical, the treadmill, and the exercise bikes. The last time I was on one of the machines, there was this guy exercising beside me. He kept banging on the sides of the machine with his hands, and I thought at first that he was listening to music and was pretending to play the drums or something. But then I realized that he was staring up at one of the TVs on the walls and was apparently watching "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". So I'm not sure why he kept flailing his hands around like that. I do know that one of his hands suddenly shot out and slapped me in the arm.

He didn't even apologize for hitting me. I glared at him and was all ready to say, "Oh, you WANT a piece of me? Get ready to rumble, JERK!" But he was too absorbed in Rudolph's antics to notice. Loser.

Even though I have a history of embarrassing myself at the gym, I still work out at least four or five times a week. It's a good escape from everything else that is going on in my life, and I don't have to feel like I'm wasting my time when I exercise.

What do you do to relieve stress?


  1. Your dedication to exercise impresses me. Writing and taking yoga classes + bike rides were my stress relievers. Sadly, I don't do any of them right now. Must be why my blood pressure is high.

    Reading or writing in a coffeehouse is one of my favorite things to do too. I don't like getting my tummy rubbed either. ; )

  2. I wish I could go to the gym, but alas too poor. Today I firmly put "yoga" on my to-do list, but I probably won't ever get around to it. Instead, I will go out with my friends and drink booze. That is my best stress reliever.

  3. The gym is my favorite way to reduce stress, but I'm terrible at dealing w/exercise machines. I also happen to hate running lol. I usually just use weights or the elliptical for a bit. My favorite thing, however, is yoga. This year I've take my first ever formal yoga class and it's been a real blast :D

    Oh and that dog video almost makes me want to get one. And that's saying something since I'm a cat person.


  4. Hi Theresa,
    There's definitely something relaxing about being in a coffeehouse. Maybe now that Christmas vacation is coming up, you'll have time to do some of those things that you like to do.

    Hi gem,
    I can't really afford the gym, but I have to go because I love junk food. :)

    Hi Delilah,
    I hate running too; that's why I could never do a marathon. I admire anyone who participates in one, though. I haven't tried yoga yet, but maybe sometime...

  5. That dog was cute & the best part was when he went into his little bed & was dashing around in it. That dog was very entertaining!

    I admire you for having the gumption to get out & go to the gym so frequently. You're wise to stay away from those pools as they're so overly chlorinated [they have to be] that they stink so bad & wreak havoc on your hair.

  6. er, I can't mention all of the things I do to relieve stress. tee-hee!

    I do like yoga, movies, singing loudly while playing mindless computer games, and dancing. Those are a few things that help with stress.

    I never see hot guys at the gym, not including my Man. I have found myself drooling at him while I'm working out, which is probably why we've been together for so long and things are still spicy. ;)

  7. Hi notesfromnadir,
    I love Youtube videos of dogs like that one. They're so cute. Often when I get ready to go to the gym, I don't really want to go. But when I come home after working out, I'm always glad that I went.

    Hi Hannah,
    I like dancing too; it's definitely a good way to relieve stress. I wish I could go to movies more often, especially during the holidays when a lot of good ones come out.

  8. Oh, I don't go to the theater. I have Netflix and own quite a bit. I love to re-watch faves and get massive quantities from Netlix. Good times and now annoying people talking behind me. ;)

  9. I also love going to the gym. My fave ways to relieve stress are either spin class or going for a long run. I also clean when I'm stressed out!

    Your post made me smile, between the flu-hugs and the worst-case-pool-scenario. You're too funny! But absolutely right, checking out the hotties is a definite upside of the gym...

  10. Hi Hannah,
    Netflix definitely sounds like it has its benefits; I wish I had it! :)

    Hi Guinevere,
    Cleaning is a good stress reliever; I read somewhere that it calms people to be able to restore order in that way.

  11. Um... what birth control commercial? I definitely haevn't seen that one.

    I go for a run when I'm stressed. Either that or I drink and quiver at my desk for hours!

  12. I wish I had your dedication to exercise. I used to, but it's taken a back burner with work. Lame, I know!

  13. Hi Talli,
    I don't remember what the name of the product was; I just remember a bunch of women singing "Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday..." and then they dove into a pool.
    Running is a good idea, except I tend to trip a lot. :)

    Hi Shannon,
    It's not lame, especially because I've had to forgo the gym in favor of work more than once. I haven't figured out a way to do my work at the gym, because it's too distracting there.