I got up and was reading blogs this morning and saw some that really made me think about my dogs, and me. My goal is first and foremost to enjoy my life and my dogs, and dog training is a hobby and something I enjoy so getting angry and frustrated and pushing for something my dog is not yet capable of does not seem to fit with my first priority. I have worked really hard and the one thing Liz has really helped me with is to ENJOY THE JOURNEY, pushing it too hard does not get you there faster and sure does not make it fun. These two blogs really spoke to me this morning, so I wanted to share them. The first video is about a dog who did not measure up in the service assistance program but thank heavens she had a great trainer that was able to adjust and use her special talents.
I saw this video on Susan Garretts blog, http://susangarrettdogagility.com/2009/12/the-best-five-minutes-of-your-day.htmland she said she feels this video " It is about gratitude, it is about the love of dogs and it is about allowing your dog to communicate with you."
I totally agree with that, but I also think it is about accepting our dogs are dogs and they all have their special talents. I always try to remember that my dogs were not born knowing or loving agility or tricks, or anything else I would like them to know so of course it is my job to find the things that make it fun and motivating for them, and if they are not totally cut out for some things then it is not a defect in them, it could be my training or just something that is hard for them, or they have not been given enough tools that they really feel confident and find it rewarding.
THE LIZARD HITS A NEW MILESTONE, and GRADUATES HER FIRST AGILITY CLASS-another notch in Lizzies belt:
My little Lizzie is a dog that has really brought this whole concept of appreciating what you have home to me. I picked her out as a puppy to eventually trial in agility and she is a dog that handles her stress in a way that has taken a lot of time for her to mature enough to handle the training, it has taken a lot of work, and it has not always been easy to sit back and relax and just enjoy who she is-and there are days I have done better at that then others, I get trapped in my own wants like everyone else for sure. Training Lizzie has not turned out to be the path I thought I was getting on when we started on all of this-there have been a way more twists and turns and a lot of learning I have had to do. I am VERY proud of what we have accomplished because nothing feels like it came easy for Liz and me, not like training Breeze, who has always felt pretty easy to train and to understand-she is an easy dog, LOL, and with Liz at each step of the way I had no clue how we would get to the next level,and there was many a day I was frustrated and just wanted a "easy" dog, and who cares how much personality they had? LOL....but time, and patience and wha laaa, something would happen and she was able to do more then I had imagined. I have to say having to work harder for each thing has made me appreciate each step so much more then I probably would have working with any other dog, hahaha. She just completed her first ever agility class series-HANDLERS plus-and she worked great, it was not always beautiful but she was able to complete the class-and it was a fairly challenging class level. I am so proud of Liz. I have tried and sometimes it has been work to respect and listen to what my dog tells me, and by very gently pushing the limits I have also found the type of friend and companion in my dog that I might never have dreamed was there. I think by respecting what she told me she was capable of I have also saved myself a lot of frustration with her and myself by not pushing for things that were just beyond the level she was at - and I have achieved way more then I would have if I pushed for everything all at once. I have also learned so much about myself and developed more patience and faith, and it is helped me dealing with a lot of people too. I think the sky is the limit for Liz, but if not she is already the best dog I have ever owned. It really does not matter if she ever lives up to anyone elses expectations of her because she more then lives up to mine, even if my goals have had to change over time, LOL, but hey that is life isn't it? That is what makes it fun and exciting. I have to tell you I am really so happy and proud of Lizzie, and the more time goes on the more I can truly say I do not care if other people share my opinion of the situation, LOL. I do not want anyone to misunderstand and think I am saying I was always so patient because all this acceptance has not been easy and like I said I have done better some days then others but I can truly say that I have found peace with accepting and being grateful for what ever happens with Liz, not sure where our journey will lead but I am determined to do my best to make it a fun journey.
Also if you get time check out what my friend Tammy says on her Livejournal about what we expect of dogs. Tammy says- "We ask our dogs to be so many things. We ask them to be our companions, our friends, our family members, to be well mannered, well trained, well behaved, to perform on cue, and in some extreme cases to be an extension of who we are. This is a lot of pressure to put on an animal that really only knows how to be a dog. I think many of us forget that we live with animals that would rather roll in shit, eat underwear, growl at the dog next to them, than to do our bidding." I hope some people can read her post as I found it very interesting-and I tried to link to it, but with LiveJournal you have to be friended to someone for them to see the whole post. Tammy is a very wise trainer, and a super terrific dog owner, and a very nice person. Anyway, thinking about what we expect from dogs seems to be a theme of the day, LOL.
ON another side note there was another big event at the bordergirlsmoms house today. Little Cricket had the "tag" ceremony. I got her a cute little "spiffy dog" collar, one that matched Lizzie's and Breeze's href="http://www.spiffydog.com/product.php?productid=16156&cat=252&page=1">< we got the yellow dots. So it is so cute with all the girls with matching collars. I also got a little tag for Crickets collar-with her name and our phone numbers. It sounds stupid but when I put my new tag on my dogs it always reminds me of Lady and the Tramp, when the Tramp gets his collar and license. A tangible way to tell everyone this is my puppy and this is his home. Silly as it sounds it is a ceremony of sorts, the collar and the tag just seems like a tangible sign that this dog is a part of our pack now. When you think of it from that day forward, in this house anyway, every dog always has a collar with a tag, until the day the vet, or who ever removes them and gives them to us when our pet goes to the rainbow bridge. My daughters have the tag and collar hanging from Madison, our last dog that passed, hanging off her bed in remembrance. So Cricket, WELCOME again and hopefully as she moves forward in her life I will always try to remember to treasure her uniqueness and be open to the gifts I know we will find in her, and I will promise to try to always respect who she is and not just who I want her to be. Maybe someone can slap me if I stray too far off the path and am not sticking true to what my ideals for pet ownership are.