I’m not always good at looking at the big picture. I get wrapped up in what is happening right this minute, or today, or tomorrow. I lose track of how those things stack up into months and years. Setbacks are even harder–when that tomorrow becomes today and doesn’t look at all like I wanted it to, I’ve been known to have a little meltdown.

I can handle the day to day of dog training–wickedly smart Silas makes that very easy–but I’m not good at patience.

Thanks to the Pet Blogger’s Gift Exchange, I’ve been reading along with Maggie of Oh My Dog! And Maggie is one of those people who can look past the little setbacks, see the big picture, and have faith that all those little efforts will be worthwhile.

When she wound up, unexpectedly, with Newt the Cat, she knew it would take some work to integrate the cat with her three dogs. The dogs first met the cat in June. By July, everyone had realized there might be a bigger problem. Did Maggie give up? Did she get deterred by a few setbacks? Did she lose sight of the goal? Hell, no.

She kept training and training. For six months, until she finally got everyone on the same page.

If you like narratives of dog training that worked, it’s a heck of a story.

And, of course, integrating the dogs and the cat is only one example of her wonderful patience. Just try to read her Letter to Lucas, her reactive middle-dog without getting a tear in your eye. Or the one to Cooper, her brilliant-but-anxious youngest dog. Watch how casually she drops in the year and a half that they worked on Lucas’s dog reactivity. If you click around her blog for a while, you’ll see it over and over again.

Thank you, dear Maggie, for being a wonderful example and teaching me to have faith in the process, however long it takes. Happy holidays.

8 thoughts on “Inspired

  1. Holy moly. I am completely blown away. We just returned from our week of Christmas travel. I snuggled up with the herd to catch up on blogs, and now I’m practically in tears! Thank you so, so very much! This means so much to me, and I’m incredibly grateful that you took the time to put this together. You are way too kind and generous, but I’m seriously floored that your takeaway was faith in the process… that is such a beautiful sentiment but something I seriously struggle with, so I’m honored that you got that from reading about our struggles, er, progress. Thank you, thank you!! I can’t wait to finish putting YOUR exchange together (coming very soon)! 🙂


  2. I was Maggie’s gift exchange partner last year, and I was so glad I got to “meet” her and I have been following her blog ever since. I also admired her and her husband’s unfailing patience in integrating their household. I’d like just a quarter of their patience.
    Now I’m also glad she introduced me to your blog too!


  3. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Maggie live at BlogPaws. She is absolutely as wonderful in person as reading her blog would make you think.

    I’m so glad you were encouraged reading her blog. I hope it will help you see all the great progress you’ve made with Silas over time. It’s very evident to me, reading regularly.

    Thanks so much for your kind and generous post for the Pet Blogger’s Gift Exchange. You really expressed the spirit of the thing.


  4. I could not agree more. Maggie is a huge inspiration for me as well and I am super impressed it only took her six months to integrate her cat into a household with three dogs! That shows just how patient and dedicated she really is. I have become the laziest trainer in the world these days but when I see all the hard work you and Maggie are doing, I am reminded of how far I need to go. Thank you for helping me find the motivation I sorely need.


  5. Maggie is definitely fantastic – I love her blog and she is truly inspiring. Your words are an absolutely wonderful gift – thank you so much for sharing it with all of us as part of the gift exchange!


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