You’ve got to run to win

Another Monday, and a short blast of Van Halen for you. Why the devil not?

It was a sunny, cold wind kind of a week, the kind that is great for stacks of washing and tidying up. Not easy with three dogs in full moult to keep everything even basically clean. At least the fire is over and done with this side of the summer.

Kind of a hectic week but a week when I seemed to get a lot done, for once. Unit 16 is now submitted for my dog behaviour course, and there’s just a dissertation to write. The jury is still out as to which topic I’ll be picking though. I am so interested in so many aspects of working with dogs.

Last week we started with a bank holiday, which was sorely needed. Since everywhere is shut Sunday, and since everywhere was shut Monday too, it didn’t half make a difference to my workload! I have clients every evening except Friday evening, but teaching on Sunday and Monday when you’ve had all day to get stuff done does feel like an achievement. Tuesday I had a cancellation, and even though I’ve had morning classes, I don’t mind that either. It’s gearing up to be a busy few months. Sunny, cool afternoons with Miss Lidy, Mr Hagrid and the other lovelies was also nice – Lidy is such an amazing dog – except for the complete lack of impulse control I should add! – I taught her “Leave it!” this Wednesday and Thursday and reinforced it Saturday. I usually leave her a handful of treats in her bed so I can get out without issue, but her “Leave it!” was so good that she didn’t go in to pick them up. Time to build in “Get it!” She is so biddable and so trainable. I hope she goes to a most magnificent home.

Hagrid has a couple of weeks of refuge time left, all being well. I’m glad. He’s tired and slow these days, achy and half-given up. If only he knew what awaits. Keep your fingers so well and truly crossed, universe. Well and truly crossed.

Nice too to have a bit of time with a couple of others. I’ve started some rehab work with a dog called Estas – he’s a little pudding with frustration issues. What I love is that so many dogs have got their champions… people who think they are just marvellous. It made me really sad last week to read the comments on the page of a trainer who is giving up working with what he calls ‘aggression’ cases. What was worse was all the comments underneath that seemed to suggest we should return to brute force learning (kind of ‘bring back the cane’ arguments) or that rescue dogs are in some way responsible for all aggression. Hate to tell you this, people, but most dogs belonged to someone once. They aren’t damaged BECAUSE they are a rescue. In fact, most aren’t ‘damaged’ at all, and despite every crappy thing that has happened to them, they are resilient, blithe spirits. Anyway…. redirected anger and bluster. No wonder I understand dogs so well!

This week brings the second week of French holidays, and a return to school for my UK students who weren’t back already. GCSEs are gearing up. Flights are booked back to the UK for June meetings and I suppose I better start girding my loins for May. It all kicks off at the beginning of May and I know it won’t settle down until late August.

Deep breaths!

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