Lessons Learned

I’m exhausted after three days of agility with the dogs – but it’s a good kind of exhaustion. Hard as it was at times to deal with the cold weather (20 degrees F when we went to breakfast this morning!!) and with being away from Raven and Merlin, it was wonderful spending the time with the dogs and with a group of people sharing this common interest (insanity).

Before we headed home this afternoon, our trainer for the three days asked us each to share the most important things we feel we learned. I had two I shared at the time: my dogs can do more than I think they can, and I need to be a leader on the agility course as much (or more) as I am in the classroom. The difficulties I had day one really came down to Seelie being stressed because I wasn’t confident; he was trying his best, and I was too wrapped up in how I was ‘failing’ to be there for him. I truly hope not to make that mistake again.

Something I didn’t think of at the time, but that occurred to me on the drive home, was how wonderful it is to be back in this world of dogs and obstacles and fun. I stopped years ago. Before that, I drifted away from this particular group of friends – to the point that I was hesitant to go back, unsure of my welcome. I’m so glad I took that step – it’s been a joy to work with my dogs again like this, and to reconnect with these friends.

As wonderful as this time away was, I was anxious to get home to Raven and Merlin. I’ve been away from Raven before, so I knew what sort of greeting to expect, but I had no idea how Merlin would react to my return. I imagined him jumping on me, maybe vocalizing joy… all sorts of scenarios ran through my head.

Then reality hit.

Seelie and Gryphon ran up the stairs ahead of me. I opened the door into the kitchen; Merlin was right there. Seelie ran into the room, Merlin hot on his heels, sniffing and wagging his tail. He did come back to say hi – sniffed, wagged a bit, then ran to bring me a frisbee. As funny and somewhat humbling as that was, it was so nice to see Merlin excited about Seelie… when I let everyone out into the yard, Merlin followed Seelie everywhere. I’ve been hoping they’d get to be friends, and it seems as though they’ve made real progess.

I know this post is somewhat disjointed – a symptom of my mental and physical exhaustion!


2 thoughts on “Lessons Learned

    • I’m so glad you are getting something out of my posts! I didn’t expect Merlin to be so excited to see Seelie… I knew Merlin was taking some behavior cues from him, like running the fence line after cars or barking at the neighbor’s dog, but I think I underestimated Seelie’s importance.


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