Monday, February 8, 2010

A Learning experience

This weekend, Terry Simons came to Lethbridge for his second year. It will be my fifth year working with him and as always I take a ton of info away, as do our students. He is a great instructor, person, as well as a great mentor.

He taps into what makes dogs tick - fast, slow, self-motivated and those that need a little extra oomph, and he has a great eye for timing. He figured out Kaleb for me when no body else could, and I still use what he taught me almost 5 years ago to get the very best out if him. I say it all the time, but a huge amount of credit is owed to him for that.

I guess that is what it comes down too. He gets the very best out of every dog and handler he is working with, they see that potential first hand, and it is inspiring as a team.

This weekend a little different for me though, since I can't run yet, I did small sequences where I could, was able to practice my directionals - since I got so far behind not being able to run, she was great, and I was impressed with her skills - but that is NOT how I handle my dogs - it is not the same connection for me. I had a couple friends run Gyp too, just so I could see her cute smile with other people. I was pretty deflated mentally on Friday after I realized what I could not do, the leg isn't moving as it should yet, I want soooo badly to run, and my body just can't yet.

Then Terry took Gyp on Saturday and ran her in a pretty tough sequence. She was brilliant. I wanted to do that - that should have been me handling her. He got the best out her in those 15 obstacles, she was sooooo happy. I couldn't get that out of my head for the rest of the night. That was my most memorable moment that day, I felt the adrenaline rush I get when I run her, and I was on the sidelines.

I had an epiphany.

Until I can run her again like that - full speed, no holds barred, there is no point even trying to half-ass it, and I don't want my dogs to wonder why I am not handling them normally, and I don't want them to get used to that. Yes I will work my distance, proofing etc, but as far as the REAL handling goes, that will have to wait until I am able to run in more than a straight line for 40'. I am so grateful he ran her. I feel good with my decision.

I pulled Gyp Sunday from the Seminar and it was hard choice, but the right one. And out of the 5 sequences they ran, I would have only been able to do 1 - and it would have had to been handled from pretty much one spot, relying on my directionals alone since I can't be there or get there. And she already proved she could take my direction that way on Saturday.

So I practiced something really huge this weekend at the seminar, something I am not good at, patience.

I'll be back, hopefully better than ever, it's just gonna take some time.

28 days and counting, tick, tock, tick, tock. Oh right, patience.


Judy said...

Sarah, you did a great job of being patient on Sunday...I know that will make you heal better.
I hope you realise the reason the dogs (and handlers) all did so well on Sunday is because of your ever patience, and good planning in our training sessions

Anonymous said...

Sarah I think your decision is a very wise one and your dogs would agree...they will be ready and willing to be up and going as soon as you would and have done anything needed to look after your dogs, now look after yourself.
As a student I can say you are a great just teach yourself some patience.


Jenilee said...

Patience...easier said than done...just think, its one more thing you'll be able to teach us lol!

Thanks for letting me run Gyppie Saturday was fun even though I was a dork, I love that dog!

manymuddypaws said...

you made a good choice to not run gyp- one that will make it all the sweeter when you can finally run full out again with her. :o)

gussysmom said...

That sounds like a brilliant epiphany Sarah. In your heart of hearts you always know what is best for your dogs, and it is sometimes hard to follow that wisdom. Our inner voice tries to talk us out of it, or we have other agendas we're working on, or we let other's comments get the better of us. It takes a strong heart and a determined mind to do what is best. That's why its called doing the right thing, not doing the easy thing. In 28 days you'll be very proud of yourself.

fulltiltbcs said...

I am not patient...I think I would have to look into sedatives :) Might want to make a Dr's appointment :) are doing a hard, but great thing...your dogs will be happy to have you HEALTHY again!

And in the meantime...look into some meds :) HEHE

Sarah said...

thanks everyone :)

some good hard lessons being learned ... baby steps literally.

thank god for wine.