Monday, August 15, 2011

Keeping it real ... and some rambling ...

Run Sally
Balancing my natural optimism, pragmatism and realism (in life not just agility) can feel like a bit of a juggling act. I don't want to be pollyanna-ish (from the World English dictionary: Pollyanna:n. a person who is constantly or excessively optimistic) and annoy those around me but by nature I'm pretty take it as it comes and make the best of what you have. That isn't to say I can't be plunged into a funk or completely situationally overwhelmed but I can often get my groove back reasonably quickly. I'm very very fortunate that way - and believe me, I do appreciate that!

Animals ground me. They give me an outlet for emotion that is non judgemental and positive. They allow me to be entirely true to who I am (or think I am) which allows me to rehearse being true to me. That means I can bring that sense out when something is difficult. I have a bit of a reputation at work for speaking my mind no matter who I am addressing (apparently Superintendents are rarely told they don't quite get an issue and then educated about it- whoops!).

Brody keeps me real.

When I reflected on the brand that is Susan Garrett last month I left something out. I left it out on purpose because while this blog feels private (or shared in a small circle now)  it is very public. I also have not gone to Say Yes because there are people who would pay to attend the same workshop as me in the hopes that Susan would go after me publicly. They think that would be entertaining to watch as I am not easily intimidated. I didn't include this info in my last post as I don't know SG personally at all and had no clue if she knew there was a perception of her that included a yelling, losing it side. She wrote a post last night that makes it obvious she does know she has this side so I can include it as a further demonstration of my mixed up personality.

I am a great believer in capturing a good feeling and holding it so you can bring it back when you need it. I use this technique in life and agility often. I am also quite committed to the notion that you can and should plan interactions. Rehearse and visualize success but be prepared to adapt if need be. Stands me in good stead doing lawn agility and in the classroom.

Agility NOW please - enough talking - more action!

Quiz will be leaving us this week. It's taking some deep pulls from my fatalistic what will be will be side to be OK with this. She is going to a fabulous home that is part of the larger extended family of the rescue I work with so all is good but will Sally and I ever miss her. (The boys not quite so much).

Have been paid some very nice compliments during and since Nationals including "you have more just plain fun with your dogs than anyone I know!" from a fabulous handler/judge running fabulous dogs. That means more to me than just about anything*. I hope the dogs have fun with me too!

Pay somebody a compliment today - you may never know the power you give them!

Speaking of which - I am very proud of Sally's sister Sophie. She ran steeplechase at Nationals and did a heck of a job in a very distracting new environment staying right with her mom! They both were a pleasure to watch and be with. Nancy -you've done me proud! And I can promise you neither Brody nor Sally would have made it nearly as far in the weave ole challange either!!

* including being, forgive me, NATIONALLY ranked! Still blows me away!


Sara said...

What a nice post!

Speaking your mind to the superintendent? Wow. Everyone I know kisses their butt. So annoying!

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

Oh my, I'm so glad I've found your blog.

First of all, THANK YOU for clearing up where the "Good girly" thing is from. There's a lady I've taken some lessons from who has trained with Greg Derrett and I think SG too, and she always says "Good Girly!!" To my Layla. I could never figure out where that came from.

Second, I don't like how everything is a plug for a product. Yes I'd like one of those crazy recall courses - but I can't afford those prices! I'm still in college. I'm poor.

Third, your personality sounds very much like mine. I'm not intimidated much at all. I would not go see someone just because I was told I "had" to. It's that very reason I've refused to see "The Social Network" or read/see "Twilight". I won't give in to sensationalism.

Congratulations on Nationals and being ranked - but especially for having fun with your dogs! I've seen a lot of people locally winning their heights but the dogs look passive. The people run, Q, and put the dog back in their crate until the next run. I'd rather enjoy my dogs as dogs.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I definitely have to train with someone who is flexible. My greyhounds aren't so much better than other greyhounds because I was able to fit someone's mold... its because I have a good "feel" for what is needed. A take away something from every trainer, but I'm also not afraid to say... "no" and so far all trainers have been good with that.

I agree with what Amy said... I do get tired of everything Susan does as being a plug for some product. She is quite the business lady and she did manage to rope me into Puppy Peaks. :-) LOL

None of my greyhounds has ever tugged, but in watching Puppy Peaks it is interesting to see her struggle with getting Swagger to tug when he'd rather have food. So I'm trying to figure if I had a greyhound puppy would I insist on tugging and if so... why? Where have I failed so far having never trained a tugger? I'm pretty good with food motivation. And do I really want a dog that pulls my arm out of the socket and makes my back ache?

Wow that was a long comment! :-)

andrea said...

NSN - you are proof of why I don't think you have to tug - you are an awesome trainer :)

Amy - glad you found thiws blog too - I always enjoy your point of view

Sara - kissing butt is no more my style than yours ;)