Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Getting Back in the Groove

While things at work really aren't getting any better right now, I figured that I really need to put in some concentrated effort at getting things at home back in order. As I said previously, the dogs are my stress release. However, sometimes that stress release becomes a stressor for me. Generally the more stressed out at work I get, the more I seem to stress out about a lot of things. On top of Bess' calamities this month, I've had a really erratic training and exercising schedule with the dogs. I don't like this. I like having a regular schedule (who doesn't, regardless of what that regularity is defined by?). Having a set schedule makes goals more attainable for me. I feel like I'm able to accomplish more. When my schedule is all out of wack, everything else seems to follow. Sometimes this is out of my control, but I need to take control of what time I have. I also have a feeling this means that I will be getting even less sleep than is normal for me during the week. Oy!

This morning I didn't really need to be in to work until 7:30am. I've obviously had a lot on my mind there, and I was in by 7:15am. This month there have been a TON of mornings where I needed to be in to work by 6:30am. And no that does not mean that I am guaranteed to leave earlier in the day to compensate. That schedule is hard on me. I normally get up at 5:30am, so that I can do my various morning training sessions with the dogs one-on-one. This works very well when I don't need to be in to work until 8:30am. Not so much for the 6:30am. To get to work by 6:30am I'm getting up at 5:00am so that I have enough time in the morning to spend a bit of snuggle time with the dogs, feed them, take care of Bess' maladies, and grab food and coffee (and yes, I'm aware that I should probably be cutting the caffeine out of the diet for a while when I'm this stressed, but I really prefer being functional in the mornings versus a walking zombie) and head out the door. We've missed a LOT of regular training sessions as a result. So I'm trying to change that.

There are still going to be mornings for a while where I need to get in at 6:30am, but I'm honestly toying with the idea of getting up early to fit at least some training time in with the dogs. Today I got up at 5:00am so that I could do our morning walk/obedience training session. And it felt FANTASTIC! BEST way to start my morning. Good lord it felt good! It probably also helps that it's summer now and my fingers aren't freezing from the cold as I dole out treats to my "little" velociraptors. I'm also pretty sure that the dogs were happy get some semblance of normalcy back to their schedules. Regardless of what time I get up, they're always eager to go with me where ever I'm going. Guess that's what happens when you get to spend the majority of the day asleep on the couch!

I'm also getting my rear in gear on our after work training sessions. I'm trying to figure out a routine for me to shake off the work funk after getting home and get excited about training. I know it won't always be easy, but once I pattern the behavior that should help.;o)

And did I mention that Bess has stopped oozing?! Yay!! She got to go naked today after our morning walk! We are both very happy about this. I'm still sticking to walks with her right now, but I think that next week I'll start throwing in some jogging. I am now very excited at the thought of having both dogs fully functional soonish.

As part of my get my butt in gear on training regimen, I'm spicing up our previous after work "routine." I threw in the rally offset figure 8. Yeah, I kind of forgot that we should be working on that one. Good thing I remembered! Bess has a pretty good leave it and did quite well. I used a bowl of uncovered yummy delicious treats that they don't get very often, on one end. On the other were wonderful toys. Bess did great. Heffner had a harder time. ESPECIALLY with the treats. That took some getting used to. And one of his high value toys was in the toy bowl. I probably shouldn't have started out so hard on the boy, but he actually did adjust quite well. It took a few times around for him to get the idea that he really did need to leave everything alone. Then I put him on a down stay. I took the treats out of the bowl and placed them at the opposite end of the yard on our target disc and released him to the treats. I have a feeling that our "leave it" command and our targetting are about to get a whole lot better! I interspersed some of the other stuff that we were working on with play sessions with the toys from the toy bowl. He was quite pleased.

I really like how Laura makes monthly training goals at the beginning of each month. I'm going to take a stab at it tomorrow and we'll see how that goes!


houndstooth said...

Sometimes just having a plan helps a lot! I'm sure you'll sort it out!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

wow, I'm amazed what you do so early in the morning! I used to have to work at 6:15am but there is no way I ever motivated myself to get up at 5 to train before work!!! Even now when I don't have to be at work till 9 I haven't been able to do it!

I also find that training with distractions on the floor really improves our heel work. It seems like once the dogs get it they work even harder to maintain a nice heel position. Most of the time I release them to go get the treats once they're in a good position and looking at me.

I find that the monthly goals really help me to stay on track. They aren't too often that I feel stressed to get it all on, but yet soon enough that I better do something. I hope it helps you!