I know, I know! I haven’t written in a few months. Sorry about that, hope I didn’t lose you all. I was on bed rest, thinking I would have more time to blog, catch up on paperwork, work on my website, advertise and work on marketing ideas. Maybe even take some much desired ‘down time’ to play video games, read, watch videos, and catch up on all my favorite shows. Umm, wait.. ‘down time’? Yeah, I don’t do that. What did I do instead? I trained Caleb, I did sell a lot of dog food, I hobbled around, I trained clients, I did a lot of advertising, social media, and worked on SEO. It all paid off, we’ve been slammed all year! I don’t stay down for long. I hobbled around, trying to feed and clean, and sometimes even handle dogs… Even if it was just to watch Caleb work. In the beginning, I watched nearly every session because he was still learning and I was coaching. I attempted to teach obedience on the floor, and we played recall games with the puppies. I would go outside to watch the dogs with him. I didn’t distance myself from my business at all. I took a step back with training and handling, but I think I learned more about myself during that time than I thought I would. I learned how to train someone to my expectations. At first, I tried to teach him like a client. Then, I realized my expectations of him were much higher since I would be teaching him to teach OUR clients. I was present for every session and still did all the private sessions, he was my legs.
I also had a proud moment at what I had created. I have successfully built a sustainable company. I hired my first employee, and I have learned to teach someone what I do. I share this passion now. There are ups and downs, of course. But the joy I feel of sharing what I have built is so powerful. At first it was hard and complicated. And during my recovery, I had a hard time going slow. I kept wanting to jump in and do everything. I constantly overdid it. But I changed. I started to slow down and let him help. I am a very independent person, and it took a lot for me to step down and accept that I physically couldn’t do everything. We started to become a team. I asked for help. I accepted help after a while. This is the way it is supposed to be.
Now that I’m done reflecting, I’m sure you’re all wondering how I mentally handled all of this. Yeah, I was rapid cycling like crazy. As long as I kept myself busy with as much work as I could physically handle, I seemed to stay within a ‘normal’ level. I was angry I broke my foot and couldn’t work, it was stressful training a new employee where I couldn’t demonstrate, I felt overwhelmed with too much responsibility and not enough ME. I constantly felt like I couldn’t do enough. So, naturally, I fell into the depression side of things. When I was manic, it was just as bad since I couldn’t actually do anything. I was going stir crazy!! After what seemed like an ETERNITY, I was finally able to crutch around and put weight on my foot. Still no handling dogs, but this took 2 months to get this far. I was out of a cast now, but not walking. At this point, Caleb is a pretty good handler, knows the basic principles, and sent home very well trained pups! Still going stir crazy, but we attended a 3D workshop hosted by Heather Beck at K9 Lifeline (Caleb’s first one!!) and that helped a lot to regain some motivation, and some of the happiness of this industry.
The recovery at this point actually seemed like it happened pretty quick. After I got the ok from doc to put weight on it (HOLY MOTHER OF OWW!), I was walking with a heavy limp within a week, completely off of crutches. Fast forward a month… I have no limp and very little pain. I have full range of motion back, can put all my weight on my foot, and I can’t jump or run on it yet, but I can ‘limp run’! Feeling much better about everything now. The last few months, I’ve really struggled to stay in the ‘middle’ of my levels instead of get sucked into the negative, depressive side. I’m at full capacity, and full function when training dogs. I’m running my pack walks again, though I missed my group classes this year. I had a lot of really big plans for this year… Next year. I have lots of new classes in the works, and I’m working on expanding as well. So excited for what is to come. I’m getting back on track, the business is looking awesome, and I have accepted I can’t control everything, and it’s ok to ask for help sometimes. It’s ok to not do everything. And it’s nice to have company.