Perspective

I have started to take a step back from life and gain perspective. Sometimes, this is the only way you can gain clarity. Being involved in the drama, the heartache, relationships…being IN IT is sometimes blinding. So, I have decided to observe a little more and be open to letting things go as well as allowing things to happen naturally. This seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

I have started to listen to other people and focus on their story instead of my own. Not necessarily fix their problems, but see if I can help them with clarity. Or just listen. My goal is not to guide them into choosing one side or the other, but to help them take a step back and look at their situation as a whole. Slowing everything down and helping them understand why they are in the situation they are in, what to do about it now, but also look towards the future without “getting stuck” on any particular part of those areas. This can be applied to absolutely everything in a person’s life.

loveI have also started to let go of stress and things that are out of my control. First – I cannot control other people’s actions or their feelings. As much as I want to help, understand, or shake someone and force them to make the “right” choice (or what I believe is the right choice), I have let this go. I can control me, my emotions, my actions, and my life. I am in control of my life. Second-I cannot control acts of God or nature or series’ of events that cause me to end up in a certain situation. If I can’t control it, I’m not stressing over it. I do the best I can, and I make the best decision in the most as I see fit.

I am in control. Say it. This is so empowering. I have the right to make my own decisions and my own boundaries. I have the right to say no. I have the right to ask for what I want. I have the right to control my stand in a relationship. I have the right to stand up for what I believe in. I have the right to control where my life goes. Feels good, doesn’t it. I put myself into the situations that have hurt me, and I’m not allowing people to do that to me anymore. That doesn’t mean I’m shutting people out, but I will no longer allow another person to have that much control over my emotion. I can enjoy being with people in many different ways, and that doesn’t mean I need to be a hermit. I’m finding the happy medium.

So, I’m going out and I’m doing it. One minute at a time. I have a long term goal, I have short term goals. And they involve me. As awesome as company is when there are fun things to do, I am focusing on me and I can have fun by myself. If I think ‘Oh, that sounds fun.’ I will do it, instead of thinking about doing it. Everything costs money, but what’s money? Just a thing you need to get what you want. I’m making it happen. Priorities.

I want land. I want a horse and chickens, and a bigger place to run my company. Why? To feel fulfilled. To feel important. To be needed. To be happy. That’s my livelihood goal. I want to go see places and learn how to do new amazing things. I want a lifestyle that will support the type of life I want. I thought I had big dreams. My livelihood goal being a big dream, I mean. It is.. But I’m dreaming bigger than that. I want days off, I want vacations, I want ‘getaways’. I want a self sustaining company. I’m paying my dues to make that happen. I see a future, and I’m putting in the time to make it into what I know it can be.

However, I am also seeing the now. I make choices that make me enjoy life today as well. Little things like coffee at the cafe while browsing the internet and listening to music, curled up on the couch in front of the fire reading a book, snowboarding in the gorgeous mountains with people who I enjoy their company, walking my dogs on trail and enjoying just being outside, swimming in a lake throwing a ball for my dog while listening to the birds chirp, hiking and drinking in the beauty of a waterfall, enjoying a meal while watching people in the city, dancing at a club feeling the music, I want it all. I have plans for a few trips this year and I’m doing them for me. I won’t say no if someone wants to join me, but I am going regardless if anyone does.

I am learning to stop worrying about other people. What they are thinking, doing, that’s their business. Worrying about it causes stress and anxiety, and I’m letting it go. It doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t benefit me in the slightest. I live for me. At the end of the day, I want to say I did something with my life. Big things. I lived and experienced. I also want to say I know how to ‘relax’, ‘take it easy’, ‘recharge’. To do this, I’m taking a step back from all the drama and just learning to be.

What’re your goals? How’re you applying this to your daily life?

Hiking Adventures

My husband was informed that a very close friend was coming into town, and would only be here for a few days. We found this out on Thursday, so we planned to do something with them while they were in town.  Well, I’m still getting over strep throat, so no matter what I did, I would have to deal with the coughing from an irritated throat.

Napoleon is soaking wet, tired, and happy after playing in the water

Napoleon is soaking wet, tired, and happy after playing in the water

Anyway, we decided to go on a hike Sunday morning, and take Napoleon with us. He loved it! And it was a great opportunity to practice off leash work around distractions. A new place, new smells, possibly other dogs, and other people… and especially water – he loves water.

Now, just like when you are hiking by yourself, you take things like band-aids, extra water, snacks, etc. Well, I did the same for my dog. I brought treats, extra water, and a doggie first aid kit. This included tweezers, hydrogen peroxide, animal bandages, Neosporin, and frankincense essential oils (never leave home without it!). I also brought a washcloth. This has many uses – cleaning something off, wiping him down after the walk, or getting it wet and using it to cool him off in case of overheating.

I was taking preventative measures for heatstroke as it was, but never hurts to be prepared. I put a drop of peppermint in his water, and on the bottom of his feet, and on the tips of his ears. We took frequent breaks for water and to rest, and I monitored his breathing the whole time. No heatstroke, he did great!

Anyway, back to the hike. We staflowerrted in the parking lot, and I let him off leash. He, as we have worked on, stayed by my side as we started walking. Perfect! So, I gave him the command to go up ahead of us a bit. He was never beyond 20 feet ahead, and kept checking on the rest of us. Awesome! When I noticed lots of twisty turns, or places where I couldn’t see ahead, I called him back and put him behind me (‘Get behind me’ command). He did, and complied perfectly. I also used this command when I saw people or other off-leash dogs. I put him behind me, put him in a sit, and blocked off the new dog so he couldn’t get to Napoleon.

All those encounters went well until we met a dog who didn’t do well with other dogs, and he was being awfully pushy to get to Napoleon. I pushed him back and then gave Napoleon the ‘Get Back’ command to go to the back of our ‘human pack’. We had 5 people total, so he went to the back and waited. Yay! Perfect obedience! We handled the other dog, and the other person apologized and said they didn’t realize there were people/dogs up ahead or she would have leashed him.  Yes, she should have been more aware, but it was all good. No fights, I handled it with my mad skills, and we were fine. Continuing on…

We got to a part where you had to climb up some rocks and there was no room for Napoleon and I to walk side by side, so I sent him up ahead to go first through the rocks. I was a little worried he might slip, so I wanted to be behind him to catch him if I needed to. He did slip a bit, but he was able to catch himself and all was just dandy.

waterfallWe made it to the waterfall, and I released him so he could play. He went after sticks, played in the water, though he was unsure about the waterfall. It was loud and the current was pretty strong right around it.  I threw some sticks for him, and he wanted to get THE BIG STICK, of course! He was getting frustrated with not being able to get the big one, so I called him off and we went to find something that he could get… like a smaller stick!

We stopped for rest, snacks, water, and watched my husband climb up a big, steep dirt hill to sit on a big rock at the top. Napoleon realized he couldn’t see my husband, and spotted him on the top of the rock. He looked at me and I released him to go uphill and meet him. He struggled up the hill, as it was really steep. He made it and sat triumphantly at the top! Then came bounding right down again. I was nervous, as he looked like he was either going to face plant, or run right into a big rock. Nah, he just jumped over it, like super dog! Way to go, buddy!

Napoleon in the waterfallOn our way back, we were all tired. Napoleon wasn’t running up ahead anymore, and needed to stop more for water breaks. It seemed easier on the way back, but since we were tired, it was just as challenging. I had to really watch Napoleon, as he slipped when the path was narrow. So, he stayed next to me on my left as much as possible, and we slowed down a bit.

Finally we made it back and he earned a few more treats (to keep the energy up), and a little more water. He crashed on the way home and slept the whole way.

Today was the day I noticed how old my boy is… he laid down on his bed when we got home and was out cold. When he tried to get up, he was really struggling. I know I was sore, I can imagine he was too. He had trouble getting up, sitting down, and going up/down our stairs. So, today, he gets plenty of kennel time and rest time, and I have decided to put him on Pentosan for his joints. The doctor is coming on Saturday.

It was overall a really fun day, but heartbreaking to see my boy isn’t as young as he used to be. I’m hoping to see positive results from the Pentosan.

Productive Weekend

PupsWell, even though I didn’t get a lot of down time this weekend, I had a blast! I hired my friend’s son to come out and help with some yard work, had some adult drinks, and had plenty of puppy play time on Saturday and Sunday!

Raven

Friday, after I came home from training, I got all caught up on paperwork, brushed the kitties, and then headed to bed early. I had an early start the next day. Even though there was no social class on Saturday, I had a ton of yard work to do. Winter cleanup always hits me hard, and I just can’t seem to catch up. So, I hired a teenager to come do the dirty work. My friend brought her 2 furkids over to play with Napoleon, and we ended up helping and digging out a dead pine tree out of my yard. We were fabulous!

PlaydateWe worked for four and a ½ hours, and ended the day getting about 75% of the yard done, a nice sunburn, and some tired pooches. I was really happy to make a new friend, and get to know her and her son a little better. We’ll have to have a BBQ or go up to the creek to have the dogs play a bit sometime. It was really fun.

On Sunday, they came back to help me finish the yard, and have our furkids play again. I had another friend come over with her Newfie puppy and it was like a small dog park in my yard for about an hour. Well, as I have mentioned previously, I have a problem with my dog mounting. Saturday, we pretty much took care of the problem, but Sunday – he started mounting the puppy in full force.

NapoleonBeau

I try to catch this before it happens, but sometimes, he is pretty quick. I can catch it about 80-90% of the time before he actually does the mount. When he does successfully jump on the other dog, I have tried saying his name sternly/loudly to get his attention, spray bottle/vinegar to the face, pet convincer, pulling him off and then tethering him for ‘calm down’ time, tethering him to me, and completely separating him from the other dog (having him kenneled or put somewhere else – out of eyesight. I have started kneeing him hard in the chest when I catch up right before he mounts. All of these things sometimes work, but are not 100% reliable. If he is really adrenalized, he stares at me and does it anyway. I don’t feel this is a leadership issue, as we don’t have any of the other problems with challenging, pulling on the leash, not listening, jumping, etc. He is a high energy, over-adrenalized dog. I can put all of this problems into that one category, and I have enlisted the help of another trainer on this problem, as what I know isn’t working. We start an obedience course that will also cover this problem on Saturday.

Playdate2I think my last option to handle this behavior is an eCollar. We have tried everything else, and this is one behavior I have yet to be able to curb. So, we’ll be working on this in full force. I will be purchasing a Tri Tronic bark collar  soon.  I will need to speak to my local trainer about which one is right for my needs with Napoleon, but I’m excited to try a new approach with him. I will need to learn more about the eCollar in the meantime. As soon as I take my Certification program from K9 Lifeline, I will be Certified in eTouch (using eCollars and the like). I don’t feel comfortable teaching this to clients until then. I want to make sure I know what I’m talking about before I go and introduce a new tool.

Anyway, we finished up the lawn, had a great weekend with some puppies, and at the end of the day on Sunday, I finished it off by watching some Scrubs. My second favorite show. My first favorite is Grey’s Anatomy.

How did you spend your weekend?Chaco