I've been doing a fair bit of video scoring at work this week. Because I need to keep my attention to detail keen so that I catch all the different behaviors and interactions, I only score for an hour at a time. Then I get up and go back to my desk for a little break before sitting down for another hour. I had to ponder what I would do for those little breaks and I decided to read some blogs!:o) More specifically agility blogs. I've got a particular one that I'm very fond of right now because of it's positive and upbeat tone in addition to the many years of experience the handler has. I also like her thought provoking style. Her posts have gotten me to think about a lot of things and more specifically how I run my dogs. I don't want to specifically name the blog right now because I plan on featuring it as a Blog of the Week at some point and I'll link back to this post at that time.
Many of her posts got me to thinking that I don't appreciate my dogs enough. Not in an accusatory or negative way. But really got me to thinking that I don't fully appreciate my dogs the way that I could and really just revel in every moment I have with them. I can't dwell on things that don't go well or don't work out the way that I wish they should. Heffner and Bess are both young dogs with a fair amount of spunk who are happy to just BE with me no matter what we're doing. Only I can alter how they feel about a situation or event. This also kind of goes in line with what our agility instructor said to me at the end of one of Heffner's runs at the last trial. They're still baby dogs. They're happy out there running the course and they can only improve from here. I should savor this time with them where they have so much room to improve. Once you hit those upper levels of competition, you're looking at correcting very small things where it's harder to notice the improvements and it's easier to seem like you're at a platoe.
So my goal from here on out is to try and appreciate my dogs for their MANY positive qualities an attributes and for all the many great things that they bring into my life. When it comes to specifically training, I'm going to try (I think this will be a bit more difficult at first since I tend to focus on what went wrong and how I need to fix it) and focus on the positives from each experience and build from there. I'm going to try and be more mentally in sync with my dogs when we're together. I've experienced those moments of zen with each dog. With Heffner, we've had agility runs where I just had this feeling that they were going to be great! I could almost swear that he could read my mind and it honestly felt like we were the only two living beings out there on that course. And you know what? Those have been our most beautiful and memorable runs! And it's not just at a trial that they happen either. With Bess, in the conformation ring there have been times that we've stepped into the ring and I just KNEW that we were going to get Winners Bitch! We felt so connected and just on. She was showing beautifully and I could just feel this great connection to her. And it happens outside of training as well.
There are just so many positive and great things about each of my dogs and I know that I don't spend nearly enough time focusing on them and really appreciating and enjoying them. From here on out, I'm going to try and sign off my blog entries with something about either of my dogs that makes them special/incredible, something about them that makes me thankful I have them in my life, or something that they did a stellar job at.
Here goes!:o) It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I'm sitting down at my computer and Heffner picks up some toy and comes and pokes me with it (times like right now!). For starters, he's just absolutely adorably goofy when he's doing it. And it reminds me that even though he can be serious at times, there's still that adorable little goofy puppy inside of him.