This picture is from the first Larry Painter clinic I went to 6 years ago...Went to my second one this weekend. Long time in between. Long journey.
I have a love hate relationship with blogging and writing. It's not really natural for me, but very useful to sort out thoughts, feelings, training issues...whatever.
Rumi came along at a transition time in my life. That time where your parents go from always being there for you to needing you to be there for them. And as my father struggled with health issues and I struggled with finding a new balance in my life Rumi was always there to give anything a try, but sometimes I asked him to do things in ways I wouldn't have at other times in my life. This showed up mostly in herding. Obedience training is fun, cathartic, therapeutic and second nature to me. Love problem solving the training issues and have no doubt that I can over come any mistakes I make. Especially with an eager partner like Rumi. And if I had to take a month or two break I could always do a quick front and finish on the run.
Herding is newer to me. A lot of learning to it. And it's never the same twice. No such thing as running out and doing a quick herding session before school. So it was hard to keep it up and hard to make good decisions all the time. On top of that Rumi was my first dog from herding lines so I put pressure on myself to do herding better with him without giving him as much benefit of making mistakes because he was supposed to have more instinct. I headed to more clinics with a wider variety of clinicians because I was sure my herding bred dog could take the training of any trainer. And I was not in a good place to make smart decisions with everything else going on so some of the clinics did not go so well....and I didn't really see how bad they were until later. So I took a break from herding...it was broken and I didn't have the time or energy to fix it.
But now I've found some help to start fixing the things that were wrong and have the energy to do things the right way and make good choices. Which brings me to the fun I had this weekend. Hanging out with good friends who make me laugh. Watching dogs work. And getting to work Rumi once.
And it wasn't just that he did well...which he did. Hit a head. Hit a heel. What more could you ask? But also because I got out in a clinic situation again. Made good decisions. Was fair to my dog. Had fun. Learned a little something along the way. Banished some lingering demons.
I have some big obedience goals this year, but it is nice to be back in a place where I can play with herding again and enjoy it :) I know Rumi forgives my mistakes...just sometimes harder to forgive myself.
I train my dogs for fun, teach middle school students for a living. I love behavior in all its many forms. I am not so good at journaling regularly, so this is an experiment I will try to keep going :)