Sunday, October 23, 2011

Leaps of faith

We've often talked about the whole analogy about taking a leap of faith and never have I felt this as much as I do now. There's no doubt that I've had my share of big changes in my life. Some are incredibly common like college, sports, living on my own, moving, etc. Some of the ones that are not as common would be: adoption and taking a leave of absence from college. However, now, I have a big change again. One that I think will be for the better, but one that I don't think I ever imagined either. Basically, it is venturing out on my own, becoming confident in my abilities, having something I can call my "own," and all getting paid for it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

San Diego conference

I meant to post while I was in San Diego, but I was very busy the entire time I was at the conference. When I hit San Diego, I was off and running. You learn quickly that when you have 1000+ people at a conference, there is a lot of set up involved.

The conference staff comprised of 18 people who worked very hard the entire time we were there. I was literally running back and forth from one side of the resort to the other. I seemed to do this everyday too! This was not helpful for my pants who did fit but were weighted down by a walkie talkie I had to wear.

Overall, it was a fabulous conference! I was especially thrilled with how the workshops went since I put a lot of work and effort into setting them up. In the end, the speakers and attendees were happy. They all learned some helpful information to take back with them.

I have to admit I probably only sat through one or two full presentations, but to me, it seemed okay. I know I'll get the cd in several months, so maybe this will be a good incentive for me to listen to it. LOL

There were only a few political issues that went on--way too much to post here. Basically, things should have been handled a little differently, and in the end, I was really disappointed in how some people behaved. Despite the fact that our organization strives for using positive reinforcement techniques, it is too bad that some people cannot implement this to their fellow colleagues. I've since learned that some of the most positive trainers can be so negative towards other people.

Anyway, remember I told you about the guests I brought with me on this trip. Well, here's our Flat Kennel Club with Clover as an honorary member. LOL

The Border Collies won Best in Show with the Rottie, Bo, coming in second. In total, we raised $295.15 for the San Diego Animal Services. It was a good start for the first year. Next year, we are opening it to anyone attending the conference and having people pay for an entry, like in a real dog show.

We also took all the attendees to Mission Beach which was received well. This dog named Jack from Leash Your Fitness did a brief surfing demo. He was such a ham!

He also found the clams quite interesting as you can see here and below.

I also got a chance to meet up with my mom's husband's son's spouse. I had seen pictures of her before, but she was beautiful to see in person. She reminds me of one of those Asian super stars. We went to a nice Korean BBq place and chatted a good bit about her dog who has some issues. I figured since it is family, I can give out free advice, though I have learned from the past, they are often the most difficult to actually believe and do what you say.

On the last day of the conference, my friend and I took photos of us by the Lionhead Fountain. We joked that if you said to someone, "I'm by the fountain" or "I'm by these flowers," you'd have to ask which one? There were an abundance of fountains and flowers--roses, impatiens, and many others all over the resort.

Lastly, I think one of the best things about the conference was that I had very little food or exercise issues. There were times when breakfast was a bit skimpy due to time and no concierge lounge like last year, but I always had a decent dinner. (lunch could be iffy at times) I had some great desserts while there, and even had two desserts one evening! I think a lot of the exercise issues waned simply because I was moving around while I was there so much. One person told me afterwards that she lost a few pounds while there from all the walking we did.

Next year, the conference will be very close to me. I'm stoked on getting things together for it. I'm hopeful that some of my local dog trainer friends and enthusiasts will attend, if not for anything else, but the trade show! 

I'll end this post with a pretty picture of the San Diego sunset at Mission Beach.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A few guests accompanying me on this trip

I'm currently finishing up packing for my trip. Actually, I was so proud of myself for being a day ahead of schedule, and then the dreaded feeling of I need to clean came upon me. Therefore, my packing got delayed by an hour in a half.  It's about done, just last minute items to place.

Though I'm already really tired from this week being busy, I'm hoping pure adrenaline will keep me going this week.  I'm really looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  I'm also looking forward to our new "Flat Pet" contest.  A number of us are bringing our do it yourself flat pets.  I'm bringing 5 flat pets, well, Clover twice.

I may do one of Hank as well.  I ran out of time but brought my flash drive with me, so if I have time, I'll do his as well.  It's kind of cool to bring your own flat pet with you.  It's like being able to take them anywhere.  

The next time I write, I'll be in sunny San Diego!!

Falling off the bandwagon

Before anyone gasps at the title or starts to worry about me, it is not me that fell off the bandwagon. Rather, it is my neighbor. I found this out last night when she asked if I had a minute to speak to her. Earlier in the week, she had called me apologizing about the other night and said if I wanted to talk to give her a call. I didn't call back the next day, so she took it as I was pissed at her and left my book Drinking I had let her borrow in my mail box. I figured she thought we were on bad terms and did not want to "owe" me anything.  Do you notice other people do this as well--it's like having no reminder of you.

Anyway, I was incredibly busy this week and was going to leave a note in her mailbox before I left, saying I was not angry with her, that I had found the dogs an alternative, and she need not worry. Yes, this was partly a little avoidance on my part, but truly, I was in and out all week.

Yesterday, after I finished mowing, she asked if I had a minute to talk with her. She apologized and confessed that she had fallen off the bandwagon and begun drinking again. Part of the reason why she never acknowledged me the night of our disagreement was that she did not want me to smell alcohol on her breath.  Obviously, it was no excuse for what she said or how she behaved, but it did at least give a partial reason. There are some other things going on in her life as well, and I think she feels very overwhelmed. I suggested she see an individual therapist besides just going to AA groups. She agreed, so I hope she will do that.

Interestingly enough, in one sentence she tells me how hard it is for her to come over 3x/day to take care of my pets, how she does not have an everyday schedule, but in the same breath, she says how she could take care of them this week, and how she doesn't break commitments.  Huh? I told her everything had been arranged and not to worry about it.

We ended the conversation with me telling her that this tiff we had was not ending our friendship which made her feel a lot better.  I really do think she would have been really sad if it had.

When I think about this entire scenario, it reminds of me of my former roommate who was an alcoholic.  With her, (and I do not suggest to other people to do this), but I took her on like a project.  Somehow, I thought I could help/save her.  I should also add  here I had enough of my problems at this time as well, but this was a bit of a distraction I suppose. 

Truly, the only thing I did was give an on outlet for stress and added some kind of structure to her life.  In the end, it did pay off.  My roommate got herself on track and has been doing well since.  I don't know if my neighbor falls into the same category as alike as  these two individuals are.  Her dynamics are different--there are 3 older boys and her husband.  Sometimes, I wonder if I am falling into the same situation as before.  I certainly try not to be my neighbor's therapist or anything (in fact, she thinks I'm bossy at times anyway), but I do try to suggest things or at least give a different point of view or be a source of support.  Surprisingly, she does remember more than I have given her different for--her long term memory is there but her short term is lacking.

Anyway, I think this is a good reminder for me to realize my boundaries.  It is not easy as there is always a yearning to help someone in need, but at the same time, you have to be careful with yourself too.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

3 days until San Diego!

There is good news: I found places for both my dogs and Clover. The dogs will be going to a new boarding facility--one that has similar training, health, feeding, and vaccination policies. Yay! Though it is a reasonable/lowest charge for boarding I've seen in awhile, it is still a good chunk of money.

Typically, I do not go to a place sight-unseen, but I'm going by my good dog training friend's word. She's been there before and taken classes. This place is a little different in that it is in-home boarding on 8 acres. They will have time to play with other dogs, so I think they will enjoy it.

Clover will be visiting her foster mom, Rachel where there are currently 6 foster kittens. I'm interested to see how Clover does, interacting with different species than dogs again. I just hope she is a good girl. ;-)

So overall, things have come together, and I think everyone is in the best place they can be. The other good news is that my car is all fixed and received an oil change. I had a trunk lock issue problem for awhile and had been procrastinating getting it fixed. Well, I could not lock it yesterday and feared that traveling with the dogs, the door would blow open and the dogs might go ker-plunk onto the highway pavement. Yikes ,not pretty image. Luckily, it was not a hard fix--just a good cleaning.

The week in general has been busy, but I don't feel quite as procrastinated as I usually do. My goal is to have everything done on Thursday or at least Friday morning at the latest. I know I am not going to get every single thing I had planned, but some it is just going to have to wait until I get back.

Oh, one fun thing I'm going to try to do before the conference is make my own flat pets! There are a number of us that are going to do this and display them at the conference. We will be holding a contest as well. It should be great fun!

I'll likely post one last time before heading out to sunny San Diego.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My stress-o-meter just went up

So, as in my last post, I said how I was busy and overwhelmed. Check, still am. However, now, that stress-o-meter went up a notch. I thought I had everything set for who was going to take care of my dogs and Clover while I was gone. Both my neighbors agreed to help out. Well, one of my neighbors cancelled on me. This is the same neighbor whom I had been reminding for months about it, suggested that she needed to write it down, so she would remember the dates, etc. She agreed and said she could, and told me to remind her.

When I called today, she said "I need to take care of myself, my family, and my God." She went on to explain that she has learned that she is too trusting, too gullible, needs to start saying no, how she has realized some people do not have her best interest at heart, how some people are manipulative, etc. Now, I know she was not addressing this personally to me, but damn, it sure felt like it for some reason.

I understand having a lot on your plate (trying to recover from alcoholism, having lung surgery at the end of the month), no doubt, but couldn't she have decided this like a month ago? There were some hurtful things said, and though neither or us want enemies (that seems like a strong word here), I've pretty much learned that I cannot depend on this neighbor anymore at all. It's an awful feeling, because I really wanted to have some neighbors that I could depend on or at least have a nice relationship of looking out for one another. I guess in the end, everything winds up about money, or at least that is a component somewhere even if no one admits it.

Sometimes, this is the time when I wish I was married or had a significant other. That way, I wouldn't have to worry about my animals being in someone else's care while I was gone. I know what my options are: pet sitter or boarding--just don't know whether either will work out for different reasons. But I have to make something work in the end.