Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let Summer Begin!

Good Morning Friends! Welcome to summer vacation -- at least for me and I am sorry to rub that in for those who do not get a summer vacation. Of course, I will be working all summer on various projects but it is still a vacation to me because I actually love the work I do, and because I get to work on my schedule and primarily from home. So with the Spring Semester grades completed, Summer Vacation has officially started -- yippee!

We have recovered from our Specialty and the 50 hours of total driving time that it entailed. All year I look forward to that Specialty and then it is over in a flash -- it would be really sad if we were not already planning the next Specialty, which is April 4 - 9, 2011 in San Diego, California :) Thankfully it is the week of my Spring Break so no work conflicts!!

Something that occurred to me this morning is that as silly as all those weekly training schedules might seem, they seriously work. Consider all the success that we had at the Specialty and in the weeks before with Asia's TDX and also Syd's TD -- those things do not happen because we click our heels and make a wish! No, accomplishments happen because we prepare for them, and because each day we do the little things that need doing to help us achieve our goals.

Two things that seem worth saying about all this. First, if we look ahead at some distant goal it is very easy to get overwhelmed and just give up. Instead, we need to "chunk it down" -- breaking the goal into smaller pieces that can be accomplished today or this week or whatever short-term time frame feels manageable. These little baby steps will indeed help us get to where we want to go, even though it is tempting to view them as small and insignificant.

As we drove across the country, Dear Husband and I discussed the pioneers who did not have the advantage of a car to get them from Point A to Point B. Can you imagine facing a 1500 mile journey without a car or plane? But in the end, those brave souls did what we all have to do if we want to accomplish something -- they took one step at a time, and in doing that were able to accomplish what really seems unimaginable.

The second point I want to make is about how critical it is to have a proper foundation. At the Specialty I watched owners who clearly had the vision of a goal, but who obviously did not take the time to lay a proper foundation to achieve that goal. It is hard for me to understand why people rush a dog into events that clearly they are only ready for in class or the backyard -- what a waste of money and more importantly, how demotivating for handler and dog!

Okay, I have a third point -- stop blaming the dog! I watched a Novice B obedience handler twist her dog's ear outside the ring because the dog broke the stay and heard more than one person complain about a dog not listening/being naughty/whatever. Come on folks -- quit whining and recognize the truth -- your dog wasn't ready and whose fault is that?! Do you think the dog sent in the entry form?!

This is all related -- can you tell? Success is not about showing up with lucky socks and crossed fingers -- it is about weeks and months and even years of little baby steps (and yes, lucky socks ;). Success happens because we position ourselves for it -- not because we wish it. And success demands that we both dream and be realistic, and perhaps it is the ability to balance these two things that allows the greatest accomplishments.

How about some pictures? After an early breakfast, the girls all settle in for a nap -- here are some sleepy girls...




Asia -- does that even look comfortable to have your face all squished?



We all know that Zoey LOVES her big sister, and thinks they should inhabit one spot at all times; here is Asia giving up trying to get some personal space and using Zoey's paw as a pillow...

I took this yesterday -- it is Asia on the deck and Karma practicing her agility skills. You can really see how green everything is getting :) If you look through the trees, you can see the training yard.

Finally, I took this from the deck this morning -- the Eds (PaintEd, BrownEd, and GoldEd -- I named them all myself :) enjoying the early morning...

I look forward to a summer of baby steps and accomplishments and Camp Berner and lots of other fun things -- hope you also have wonderful things to look forward to!

1 comment:

  1. So I remember you telling me those same foundation things. . . and now I know exactly what the heck you were talking about. So it is 4 years and two more dogs later. . . Keep telling people but don't be disappointed if they don't get it. Really until you have done it and gotten to the good foundation point and can look back it is hard to see. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again. :)