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Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Students

When I was a little girl, I was always playing school -- with my friends, with my little sister, and when no one was around, with my Barbies and my dolls. I didn't have dog until I was in Junior High/High School, or I probably would have played school with him too!

Now that I'm all "grown up" and have had to find jobs that I enjoy, that I have a talent for, that I want to get up and do every day -- I have been blessed the last few years to have several students in my dog training classes who have been committed to their dogs, to their goals and have been faithful and loyal to my classes. Having these students have made my "job" not a job any more, but a passion, a joy, a realization of a dream. I am very proud of them and their many accomplishments.

Last weekend, one of these students accomplished a goal he had been working towards since he began competing with his dog. They earned a score of 99 (perfect is 100 -- that's their next goal!) and a first place in Fortunate Fido's C-WAGS Rally Trial at Canine Affair in Chesterland, Ohio!!! It was a personal best (so far!) for Jim and his dog Bear. Unfortunately, I was not able to be there that day, but I was with them in spirit. I am so very proud of them and congratulate them on their accomplishment!

Liz and her dogs -- Zupan, Ditto, Chutzpah, and Happy -- are constantly achieving goals and needing to come up with new goals to work towards. It has been a joy and a privilege to be associated with both of these wonderful handlers and I look forward to many more years of classes, trials, and dogs with them!!!

Thank you Jim, Liz and pups!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The best thing...

It's hard to know sometimes what the best thing is. What's the best car for my family, where's the best place for us to live, what's the best school for my children, who's the best instructor for dog training???? So many questions and not very many answers.

Something I have long advocated and try very hard to live by is "follow your gut." If you have unease with something, it may or may not be right. But I truly believe that if you are at peace with your decision, it was the right decision no matter how difficult it may be. Personally I have struggled with many decisions in the last year. I can say with confidence that the ones I "followed my gut" on, were good and right decisions for me, my family and my dogs.

I also apply this philosophy to dogs and dog training. If I am at peace with it, I have made the right decision. I like what I see in my dogs in relation to the foods they eat -- I made the right decision on dog food. I like the excitement I see in my dogs when I get out the clicker and the treats for some training -- I made the right decision on how to train my dogs. Our dogs fit our household, family and lifestyle as far as adaptibility and energy are concerned -- I made the right decision when we brought these particular dogs in their particular breeds into our home. The list goes on and on.

Bottom line? Follow your gut, trust your instinct. If it feels like the right decision it probably is. If something doesn't sit right with you, it's probably not right for you. There are many, many choices out there; in my opinion, we have no other choice by to trust ourselves and do what gives us peace. It's hard, it's sometimes not the "popular" decision, but in the long run, if it's what gives us peace, isn't it worth the effort?