making it count
Ace isn’t mine. He belongs to my parents.
He wasn’t really supposed to do agility. My mom and I just started him in puppy classes for fun and socialization. But he loved it. So I couldn’t help but work with him. It was lots of fun. But we didn’t get to practice much. Just in class once a week, private lessons every now and then, or when I would visit him.
So – even more than with my own dogs (who are with me every day) – our moments together had to count. Really count. No slacking off. No half way. All out. And being super consistent. I had to go back and reward his stays in class. I couldn’t – worry about that later. Or fix it later. Or reward it more later. I had to make sure I rewarded it then.
And when we had a couple ways we could handle a particular sequence in class, I always picked the way that would be hardest for us. Because that’s what we needed to practice. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. So Ace proved that we could. Even our trials became training opportunities. Lessons in trusting our teamwork. Never giving up on each other. And always remembering that no matter what the result, this was our time together. So it had to be a fast, happy, fun run.
It’s a great way to practice because whether your best friend is with you all the time – or just a short time – making it count is the best attitude to have. Ace taught me that.
Photo credit: Phyllis Ensley Photography
I wrote this blog as a part of Dog Agility Blog Action Day. The topic this time was “attitude.” To read other dog agility blogs on this topic, find them here.