September 20, 2010

I knew I should have quit.  It is a problem we dog trainers seem to have; we don’t know when to quit.  Memphis was learning to swim.  He jumped off the step.  I wanted to him to do it again.  On my left shoulder was the good angel saying STOP, on my right was the bad angel saying ONE MORE TIME.  I did it.  I coaxed him into the pool.  He swam; I got so excited I was jumping up and down.  Memphis was so excited he started running around the pool.  Then Boston started running around the pool.  The two dogs collided and Boston broke his toe.  I should have quit.

Boston is a good dog.  He does everything and nothing at all.  We took him hunting, he loved it but we didn’t.  I taught him agility, I loved it but he didn’t.  We have reached an impasse where he doesn’t do much except dig holes and lay on the couch.  I am okay with that.  Really.  I took him to a Sportsman store to socialize him.  We looking at the hunting equipment when a man approached us and said “I bet that’s a house dog”.  Why would he say that?  He was bred for the field.  His father and grandfather are field champions.  He is lean and muscular.  He can run 35 miles an hour (really he can, I paced him).  How did this guy know, Boston was a house dog?  Better yet, why was I so offended by it?

My husband Bob is a business man. He works hard.  In the fourteen years I have known him he risen from engineer to VP of manufacturing.  He is driven.  He hasn’t taken a vacation in at least fourteen years.  He doesn’t quit and he always wins.  He collects guitars.  He has stores from Georgia to Wisconsin calling him when something special arrives that he may like.  Did I mention he likes fast cars…

Many of my friends rescue dogs and many of them are wonderful dogs.  Most of those dogs have fewer issues than my dogs do.  My dogs are not rescue dogs.  I bought them and paid quite a bit of money for them.  I like them fast, lean and athletic.  So I am often asked, “what do you do with your dogs”; I respond “not much”, “you?”  I train my dogs, I play with my dogs, but mostly I just like sitting on the porch and watching them run.  I don’t do much else with them except take care of them and love them.  Why do I have to do something with them?

I am starting to get a germ thing.  I wipe the shopping cart with disinfectant before I do my grocery shopping, and I do notice that I get a different cart at the check out.  I usually have to make a scene about not wanting plastic bags, so I don’t say anything about the cart.  If I can push a door open with my hip I don’t put my hands on it or on handrails in public stairwells.  Now you know.  I wash my hands before and after every training session.  I don’t have hand sanitizer in my car, not yet anyway.  Anyway…

So why do I have fast dogs?  It would take a thousand hours of therapy to find out.  In isolation it is a good question.  But it makes sense when you look at the whole me.  I married a high drive man.  I drive a fast car.  I like my food fresh.  These are all reflections of me.  Real or not, this is the person I what people to see.  I have a sign on the wall in my office it says My Goal In Life Is To Be The Person My Dog Thinks I Am.  And it is more than that.  My goal in life is to be the person I am on the inside.  My dogs, my husband, and my car are just my skin.  The man in the Sportsman shop saw through it.  He saw what my dogs see, he saw the person who has to wipe shopping carts in the grocery store.


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