She was my first conformation dog, and I’ve learned so much!
I learned that…
It’s not as much about the conformation of the dog, as it is about the brushing, nail trimming, bathing, diet, training and your bond together.
It’s not as much about the dog as it is about the handler’s skills, knowledge, and attitudes.
It’s not as much about the dog and the handler as it is about the unique conditions of the day, the competition, and the judge.
It’s not as much about the dog as it is about luck.
It’s not as much about the dog, handler, conditions of the day and luck, as it is about love.
Enjoy her birthday video.
We are celebrating Kaylah’s completion of fifteen earth years, on January 8th.
She was our second Schipperke, our first being a divine little beast whose physical form was a disaster; heart, liver, thyroid. Her fighting spirit and Schipperke elan delighted us. We’d adopted her at two, and we finally released her at six.
Kaylah (Mazeru’s Kenya) came to us from Anna Verleg, in Vernon BC. She was a feisty puppy, (factory installed) and I was a complete novice pet owner. She endured my ignorance with equanimity. Over the past decade and a half, I have diligently taught myself to be a better trainer and she has skilfully guided me to becoming a better human being.
Thank you, Kaylah.
Great article written by Dr. Christine Zink, acclaimed veterinarian and research scientist about a study done, comparing ‘optimism’ in dogs trained in nosework and heeling.
Today, I dismantled a single bed box spring with a pair of scissors and some needle nose pliers. It’s a fairly old box spring with Ruby chew marks at all corners.
Its next stop would be the landfill, so before that happened, I considered how I might repurpose it.
Box springs look quite luxurious in the store and they are pricey. It’s interesting to take one apart in about 15 minutes, revealing its less luxurious staples, cardboard, plastic, foam and polyester.
After stripping off the foam backed fabric, pulling out the staples, removing the large rectangle of cardboard, I was left with a fairly solid frame; screwed together, not stapled.
My plan is to bisect it and put wooden tops of each half to make two dog training platforms. I may decide to put some feet or wheels to elevate it from the ground and make them easier to move around outside.
Repurposing makes me feel happy.
Today, I am grateful for my husband who helps make my creative ideas a reality.
Quickly, grab the camera, squeeze your mud boots on sockless.
The sun dazzles in a blue patch the clouds have overlooked.
I run to where the grass glistens and she follows,
Trotting behind me,
Then she turns and sits, waiting like a Dame.
Her moment in the sun.
Samson will be 6 months old, December 15th, 2018.
Digital media makes it so easy to look back and see his growth over time and reflect on how much work a puppy is… but how very worth the effort. Thank you to Brenda Nilio and Virginia Larioza, for breeding a great puppy. Thank you also to Susan Garrett and all the Say Yes Community for teaching me to be a good trainer.
My life offers me many epiphanies, bolts from the blue and similar “oh my Dawg” moments. Sometimes, they stick with me and change me for the better. Other times, I nod and smile at Life’s lovely face and say ‘ I got it’ but She usually knows better.
Winning is obviously one of Life’s pleasures. Succeeding, nailing it, scoring big…these things feel scandalously awesome and are meant to be thoroughly enjoyed and never minimized.
Recently, Ruby and I won a Best in Show at a United Kennel Club dog show. I am unabashedly proud of that.
However, I didn’t learn a damn thing.
And there’s my epiphany.
I’ve always been a bit shy about making friends with Life’s best mate, failure. He intimidated me. I just couldn’t warm up to him. So I usually do my best to avoid him and try not attract his attention at all. A strategy which is doomed to…failure.
Yesterday, after I experienced a nice, plump hunk of dog training failure, I gathered up the shards of my confidence. I turned them over in the light, admiring their rainbow reflections as I built my new plans. That’s when it came to me.
I have never learned a damn thing from winning. As tasty as it is, it’s just the icing on a rich thick cake that’s layered and layered with spicy sweet failures.
I think I’m warming up to Mr. Failure.
He’s starting to look like a real dreamboat.