Monday, May 30, 2011

Exhausting but fun week

I've been recovering for the last two days and trying to catch up on everything from this past week. For whatever reason, I'm having a difficult time with this, feeling lethargic and a little unmotivated frankly. Things are getting done, just not at the speed which I'd like.

With the exception of many thunderstorms, lack of sleep from Hank being worried, and likely getting my physical therapist in trouble (was supposed to have a follow up Rx for PT and never did...whoops!) , this was a splendid week! The highlight was the clicker clinic where I got a chance to work with several dog trainers from Belgium! Although the Belgian dog trainers had a specialty in bite sport work (think attack dog, aka Schutzhund and Ringsport like Mondio Ringsport, French Ring, Belgian Ring, etc.), it was cool to be able to apply some of their techniques to the scent work I am working on with Tovah.

You do not know how nervous I was actually participating in the clinic. This was Tovah's first experience in a workshop setting, and I was so worried that she would not focus at all or she wouldn't do anything I said she does. Plus, I was in front of some top notch trainers and my peers too. My confidence level is just not there yet.

However, with saying all this, Tovah and I did really well. I was quite pleased with how she did. The Belgian trainers liked Tovah and thought she did well too. One thing that the Belgian trainers did which I felt was really nice was allow me to work on something completely different from the others. They knew this ahead of time (I was specifically wanting help with Tovah's alert to cadaver odor), but still they didn't have to actually split the room for me or wait until all the bite sport work dogs were finished. They could have just said the hell with it and left you know. But they didn't. We tried once to work on Tovah's scent discrimination, but she was too distracted by the barking, whistling, tugging that was going on on the other side of the room. Bite sport work is pretty darn exciting!

Guy (Ghee), one of the Belgian trainers, just waited until the bite sport work dogs were finished. I brought Tovah back out and she did just as I had described. We worked with her and now I have a new way to try to help her with her alert. Guy said he knows this will work. He felt very confident that she would get it, and that I was clever enough to figure out how.

At the end of the day which concluded with a Thai restaurant and talking until midnight (it's very interesting t osee how European dog training is different from American), Guy gave me his business card. He said I could e-mail or ask any questions, and he would reply back. My heart just warmed with this. It is very cool that little ole me now has a dog training contact in Belgium! Plus, Guy reminded me of a big old teddy bear, and every time he said "good," it reminded me of some kind of Russian gymnastics coach or the likes of Bela Karolyi. LOL Seriously though, I think these moments get to me, because I still have not been able to let go of that "deserving" concept, or that my dog training skills are "good enough."

Anyway, I got back at 2am the next day and was exhausted! Ever since, I've just been trying to play catch up with house stuff, planting flowers, mowing, running (missed my long run this week), reading, blogging, dog training, and dum dum dum gearing up for my new career move, part-time for now at least. I promise to write about that soon. Most people would never ever think of me in this profession.

Off to bed, tomorrow's a long day.

Hope everyone has a nice Memorial Day and stays safe.

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