Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Apr 4 2015, Page 80

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - April 4, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE D12 D12 left turn intersection CONTINUED FROM D11 SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2015 Each post is denoted by an H or a D: H meaning the human exercises first and D meaning Spot kicks things off. “ At this station, for example, the human would do a series of repetitions, stepping on and off the riser for approximately two minutes, until I say stop,” Hustad says, pointing to a 20- centimetrehigh apparatus — the sort used for step aerobics. “ When it’s the dog’s turn, it might simply mean touching ( the step) with his nose or climbing up with his front paws, only. When dogs aren’t familiar with something it can be super- scary to them so we don’t force them to do anything; we make sure all the dogs progress at their own pace.” Classes, which cost $ 15 per pooch, run for about 45 minutes — enough time for everybody to take a turn at each station. Tricia Montgomery founded K9 Fit Club in 2012. But its origin goes back more than 20 years, she says from home in Hinsdale, Ill. In 1991, Montgomery took her basset hound Louie to the veterinarian for a checkup. The vet told Montgomery that Louie was overweight. Then he looked at her and stated, “ And you’re not getting any thinner, yourself.” “ I had always been heavy, but aside from my parents or friends jibing me about it from time to time, that was the first time in my life somebody had just come out and said it,” Montgomery says. “ So I did what any normal person would do: I went home and binged.” Four days later, Montgomery shed her clothes and took a good, long look in the mirror. The vet was right, she said to herself; “ I am fat.” The next day Montgomery and Louie went for a jaunt around a nearby track. Except because she was embarrassed by her fitness level, or lack thereof, Montgomery set her alarm clock for 3 a. m. so nobody would see her in action. By the end of the year, Montgomery had lost 130 pounds, while Louie had shed 20 per cent of his body weight, or about seven pounds. During that stretch, Montgomery also landed a job with the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, which is when the seeds for K9 Fitness Club were officially sewn. “ Working in a veterinary hospital, I saw my and Louie’s story happen again and again. I realized there were a lot of people just like me, who needed a program of healthy living and weight loss designed around them and their dogs,” she says. “ When you’re overweight, you’re not going to go to conventional fitness classes a lot of the time because you’re not comfortable with yourself. But the dog makes it OK; the dog gives you the confidence and reassurance that you can do this.’” K9 Fit Club, which has facilitators across North America and as far afield as Denmark, Singapore and Australia, offers a variety of fitness classes, including Bow Wow Boot Camp, Tai Chi WaWa and — how’s this for a tail- wagger? — Pupilates. On the day we attended Hustad’s class, Andre Lavergne and his dog Burger were on hand for the second time in two weeks. “ Everything’s still pretty new to Burger,” Lavergne says, noting he heard about the classes via Facebook. “ He’s a pretty fit dog. We do a lot of dog sports with him already, like Frisbee in the summer and skijoring ( an activity where a person on skis is pulled by a dog) in the winter, but we thought this sounded interesting, too, and we’re always looking for new activities.” Lavergne, dressed in a track suit and crosstrainers, says his own workout is as light or as strenuous as he wants it to be. “ I have to push myself a bit to get there but yeah, I’ll probably be taking off my jacket at some point,” he says, as he prepares to do some biceps curls using weights Burger has already sussed out. ( While owners are working out, dogs stand at attention or stay tethered to the wall until it’s their turn.) Hustad has four dogs at home and for two of them, the classes are just what the veterinarian ordered. “ I own a pair of Chinese crested ( dogs) that have no fur except for on their heads and paws,” she says. “ When it’s cold out, they get depressed because they’re stuck inside all day. They literally go in the backyard for 15 seconds to pee or poo then run back in and hide in the bed. “ But since they started coming to class with me, as soon as they get in the car they start freaking out because they’re so excited about where they’re going.” For information on Hustad’s canine/ human fitness classes and to see the full schedule, go to grassrootscanine. com. david. sanderson@ freepress. mb. ca While Andre Lavergne works out, his dog Burger seeks a treat from class leader Shalin Hustad. Both owner and dog warm up with a few laps around the gym. PHOTOS BY SARAH TAYLOR / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS T HE first trailer for Spectre , the 24th Bond film, dropped last week. I have mixed feelings. Daniel Craig is my favourite Bond, and Daniel Craig in a form- fitting charcoal turtleneck is my favourite anything. That man really puts the tease in “ teaser trailer.” But Spectre also seems to be continuing the series’ slide toward broody, moody seriousness. Do I really need a Bond who’s like “ a kite dancing in a hurricane,” as one character rather portentously suggests? Maybe not. Remember when Bond spent a lot of time driving, drinking and fighting sharks? In Bond 24, James seems to be dealing with geopolitical doom and psychological trauma, possibly even daddy issues. The rise in franchised gravitas could be the result of what some commentators are calling the “ Batmanization” of popular culture. Christopher Nolan’s influential Dark Knight reboots would have us believe that comic- book movies are the Greek epics and Shakespearean tragedies of our day. This is an ambitious position, but it sidesteps the fact that making something grim and confusing isn’t necessarily the same as making it profound. And call me shallow, but I want my Bond to be a bit fun. I mean, if I really want something challenging and complex, I’ll watch Tarkovsky films. When I see that 007 logo, I want Tom Ford tailoring and good- looking location shoots and Komodo dragons. Spectre director Sam Mendes made his name with suburban despair ( American Beauty , Revolutionary Road ). He declared that Skyfall , his 2012 Bond debut, was about “ lassitude, boredom and depression.” I liked that film but found it a tad gloomy, a bit prone to gorgeous shots in which characters gaze pensively over distant vistas. Mendes looks like he might be out- Skyfalling himself in this followup. According to the Spectre trailer, Bond is up against bad guys. But he also seems to be battling self- doubt, buried memories and existential angst. He has, as Miss Moneypenny suggests, trust issues. Do we really want an action- man to be this mopey? It’s tricky. We can’t go back to the days of glib one- liners and cat- stroking villains and invisible cars. Austin Powers and Dr. Evil have killed that approach. ( And who would want to go back anyway?) But has the Bond series overcorrected? Daniel Craig’s mission, since his 2006 Bond debut, has been to embody a 21st- century Bond, a self- aware but not self- satirizing Bond. He’s a Bond who — scandalously! — doesn’t give a damn whether his martini is shaken or stirred, and who retains a slight thuggishness even when wearing a dinner jacket. With Craig’s updated angle, the Bond franchise has been able to suggest layers of realism and emotion. When this approach works, it really works. But it has to be calibrated carefully. Done right and it can yield the grounded, gritty excitement of Casino Royale . Done wrong and it can fall into the murky slough of despond that was Quantum of Solace . On the evidence of the trailer and some leaked information about frantic script revisions, Spectre seems to be flailing, caught between holdovers from the early fun Bond and looming shadows of the recent glum Bond. On the one hand, the title suggests that James will be fighting SPECTRE, the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. With its fabulously retro, slightly goofy name, SPECTRE reaches far back into Bond mythology. The movie also features an old- school henchman, another throwback. On the other hand, there are suggestions the Spectre storyline will be wandering once again through bureaucratic wrangling and political complexities, asking tortured questions about the fuzzy morality of covert organizations and the inevitable decline of British relevance. The film might end up with an awkward mix of Get Smart and John Le Carre. There are hopeful signs. Christoph Waltz, featured in the trailer as an evil mastermind sitting behind what appears to be a 30- metre mahogany table, might be the one actor whose mad sardonic skills can handle both the silly and the sublime. But what about Mr. Bond, the aforementioned kite dancing in a hurricane? In Spectre , he seems to be taking the “ this time it’s personal” position. But maybe the buried secrets and unresolved childhood issues and sad orphan backstory are a little too personal. Clearly, Bond is going to be wrestling with his demons in Spectre , as part of the pop- culture trend toward pervasive darkness and dysfunctional heroes. Let’s just hope he can also spare some screen time to wrestle with enemy agents. Or ski close to Austrian cliffs. Or romance Monica Bellucci. Or model Italian sportswear. Or do something with Komodo dragons. alison. gillmor@ freepress. mb. ca THE SPECTRE OF A GLOOMY JAMES BOND BY ALISON GILLMOR D_ 12_ Apr- 04- 15_ FF_ 01. indd D12 4/ 1/ 15 8: 14: 02 PM

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