The Missing Piece of Our Training

I never made September goals. Even if I don’t always post my monthly goals here, I’ve usually made them.

September has been a big blank, though.

It’s not that we aren’t doing anything. We’re working on Silas’s retrieveI’ve been doing some foot target shaping. We’ve been walking our tiny sidewalk walk.

Still, I want something else, and I’ve been struggling to articulate it.

I’ve been putting off making my goals, waiting for this missing piece to click in. For two weeks, my mind has been spinning and whirling, but not really getting anywhere.

Today I realized that I’m not dealing with an intellectual problem. It’s not that I can’t prioritize my training plan. It’s not that I need to review another book before I decide what to do, or ask more advice from my more experienced friends.

The missing piece?

FUN

We’ve gone from one issue to the next this summer. While we’re in a good place now, it’s been a slog from time to time. We had the car thing, and while I was distracted by that I let some of Silas’s old-reliable indoor behaviors go to pot, and then as I started to get those in order his stomach problems flared up. It’s easy to think about a dog like Silas as just a collection of problems to be solved, but that really destroys all of the good stuff in your life. You can’t have a great relationship with a collection of problems. You can only have a great relationship with an individual.

So, finally, my real goals: to have some fun with my dog, and to focus on the joy in our relationship. That may look like dog training–Silas loves dog training–but it may not, and either is great.

Find Your Joy

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