Sunday, August 29, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead, Living Today

Last Sunday, as I mentioned, I was in Bellingham, Washington running a VST track with Asia. We didn't pass and it would have been easy to spend the week ruminating and being disappointed, but why? What good does that do?? Remember -- we can't change what we had for breakfast!

However, we can say to ourselves, "Self -- since frosted flakes with garlic and liver chunks coated with chocolate syrup and served with yak milk was not a good breakfast this morning, how about if we skip that in the future?" While we cannot change what is done, we don't have to keep doing it in the future!

So, I came home from the VST and thought -- not about how sad it was that we did not earn the title -- but rather about what went well (a lot!) and what I need to do differently. The dog did a great job but needs more work on transitions (i.e., grass - mulch) and being committed when her handler is not sure; that said, Asia came in season two days after the test so who knows how that influenced her work.

I need to work on reading the dog better -- and that will require that I lay my own tracks more often. A training partner/blind tracks are critical for VST -- but I forgot how important it is to lay one's own tracks as well.

Once again, life with dogs offers an important life lesson. We have a choice -- we can spend our energy beating ourselves up for being human and not knowing everything/doing everything right or we can just learn the lesson and move forward, doing things differently in the future. Here is the take home message: the past can be informative but really is not a place we should set up residence.

I spent months focused on VST, and now I find myself in the inevitable state of, "now what?" This always follows the attainment of something -- we got in the tests, we did them, and now what should the focus be??

Well, school is starting up so that certainly is a focus. I am sad that the wonderful summer is ending but looking forward to what fall is bringing. And there are a few things that we need to gear up for...

First, Halo has a couple of shows in September to try for that last UD leg. We have been diligently practicing so hopefully she will soon have that very difficult obedience title. The irony of Halo deVil being considered an excellent obedience dog is not lost on me, especially after this morning when she was sitting under the table with a small box of cereal in her mouth -- unchewed -- that she had gotten by opening a cabinet (without knobs) to retrieve.

Second, Zoey Rosebud is working on draft. In October we are traveling back east because I am presenting (with Dear Friend and Rainey Toronto's mom, Joan) at the Children's Hospice International conference in Washington DC. Who would fly to DC when one could drive?! Well, everyone -- except me. And so I devised a scheme to make it seem a tiny bit sensible to drive -- fall colors! Draft test! Do-nuts!!!!! (Rumor has it that we might be treated to some very special handmade yummy do-nuts :)

And so we will present and then go to Rhode Island for a draft test, and to visit with our friends from that part of the world. This means that Zoey is busy with draft -- well, and learning to stay, which is not easy for her

The third dog related thing that is happening is with Cadi -- tracking is now shifting gears back to TDX training and so Cadi will be doing that. Cadi is also working on open obedience and should be ready to show in November, when we are planning a trip to Washington -- this year we will be prepared to spend the night snowbound in a rest stop (as opposed to last year when we were ill-prepared and used dog bed blankets to stay warm -- sigh).

And the fourth thing is beauty pageant stuff -- there is a show in Helena, Montana in September and we had so much fun with Cooper Whitby and his mom in Idaho that we are going to Helena together -- but she has agreed to show in TWO things per day!!!! Progress :) Zoey is bald so Sydney will get to compete in that show -- and that is also where Halo will do obedience if she needs that third leg still...

So a busy fall -- dogs, work, moving Dear Husband up here, the Mystery Event that we are still plotting, etc. It is fun to have things to look forward to and to work towards goals -- always mindful that what really matters is what we do today.

I caught Asia and Karma having another conversation...

It went like this:

Karma: So you went all the way to Washington and flunked?
Asia: Shut up -- I had PMS and a bad handler. And I thought you were going to take down George -- obviously that has not happened...

Karma: You shut up -- George got too big and you won't help me catch him. But what about that mouse I had the other day?! I don't see you bringing home a mouse...
Asia: Really?! That thing was puny -- I don't think you should be bragging about that!!! And it was probably dead before you found it...
Karma: You are being bitchy -- I will ignore it because of your PMS but I hope you get over it soon.
Asia: DUH -- I am a bitch. You, on the other paw, are a cat!!!
Karma: That is rude -- I'm telling mom that you are being mean!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a picture of Grandma Maize and her granddaughter, Sydney -- don't they look alike????

Galen wants more pictures of Sydney on the Blog so here she is, curled up like a cat.

Halo, the excellent thief/obedience dog (!)

I hope you do not have a permanent dwelling in your past, have exciting things to look forward to in the future, and are relishing a wonderful today :)


  1. MYSTERY EVENT??!!!! No fair teasing us like that!!!
    And there are some of us, ME, that will ALWAYS want more pics of Syd!
    Great post M-A, lost for me to ponder, as always...

  2. I'm with Lisa on MYSTERY EVENT....Teasing=no fair!
    Zaida send Halo her sympathy for being caught with the goods. She has a dog door and I would have just found the wrappers out in her rat's nest on the side porch. She drags all her thievings out there quickly-it's where I go to look for any lost tupperware, bags of sweet potatoes, salt & pepper shakers etc.
    Great pictures! Asia and Karma do look like they are having that conversation.