Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

So it's Tuesday. I think.


Remember when I said that having a random work schedule made it difficult to figure out what day it was?  That the weekends had no meaning and I was always checking the calendar to figure out where I was supposed to be and when?  Well, let me tell you,  being unemployed is even more confusing.  With nothing at all scheduled I have no place to mark time.  So I’m just going to have to fill up the space, organize some organization into my days, get myself going.  Or not.  It’s taken a couple of weeks, but I’m beginning to like this feeling of not knowing what day it is – and not caring anyway!

Katie and I do have the Monday drop in competition obedience class…but I don’t have to go every week.  And last week I did start her in a Rally class on  Thursday mornings.  So I guess there is some semblance of organization and purpose in my life.  Or in hers anyway.  We went to Obedience last night.  Twenty-four dogs (at least) there.  Way too big, we had to do things in groups and wait while other groups were working.

Katie and got there an hour early so that she could acclimate to the building.  We sniffed all around the edges of all three rings.  Looked at the agility equipment piled in the corner of the building, caught our reflections in the mirrored wall…sniffed all the dog crates.  And suddenly as I was wandering with her I realized she was heeling and looking at me expectantly!  All by herself!  And we were only 10 minutes into our hour!  What a girl!  So we did some practicing of our own in the empty rings.  Heeling, staying, coming, more heeling.  She was spot-on.  Of course after all that I still had 30 more minutes to fill before class began.

We met three other shelties, and I got to have a long talk with the owner of one of them, a small breeder, about sheltie attitude and shyness and what they (the breeders) were doing about trying to be careful not to breed shyness into the dogs.  Mostly though I waited my turn to get a little ring time.  Katie is not a patient dog, and was barking when she had to hang around too long.  Another sign she was acclimated and feeling her oats, the fact she’d bark at instructors and other dogs.

This week she waited when she was supposed to and didn’t follow me out as we were doing recalls.  And she was perfect on her long sit.  We were doing long sits and downs near the end of the class and a large group of people were gathering (maybe for another class) in the waiting area.  They got louder and louder until it was difficult to hear our instructor.  There were lots of dogs waiting as well, and Katie, sitting near the edge of the ring had her back to all this activity.  She was doing a pretty good job of ignoring it all when suddenly two big dogs, waiting with their owners right in back of her, got into it.  They growled and barked at each other in anger, and Katie went straight up into the air then began running toward me on the other side of the ring.  I was already moving fast toward her and we met in the middle.  I led her back to her spot, put her back into a down while the dogs on either side of Katie were struggling with their owners, refusing to go back down.  Katie just sat and watched each of them, her ears flat.  One of the instructors came up behind me and said “Good recovery.  It’s OK to go back to her tell her she’s a good girl and come back out.  They all need a little reassurance sometimes.”  So I did.

That was the end of our class and Katie was glad to leave.  I think she won’t need as long to get into the training mode now, and we won’t have to be there so early.  She really was ready to go home about the time the class began!  And it’s just way too big.  So when our 8 visits are over we probably won’t go back.  The Rally class is much smaller, the building is more quiet, and she gets 30 minutes of obedience which is just about right for her.  So we’ll enjoy that more I think.

On the other hand, when we got home she still wanted to play and brought out some of her favorite toys to entice me.  Silly dog, she should have been worn out.  I know I was!  But she’s still ready to go Go GO!

Katie 1687

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

8 thoughts on “So it's Tuesday. I think.

  1. Progress indeed! Sounds like arriving early is helping. I think that our dogs, although maybe physically & mentally tired from doing things like agility or obedience, still consider it to be the Human’s thing, and they want the release from the stress of doing something for Mom that just plain play gives them.

    Of course, my dogs do the same thing even if we go for, say, a 5-mile hike in the hills, off leash. So, who knows–familiar activity in a familiar setting to make the day right?


  2. Sounds like she is getting so much braver!
    Ludo barks whenever it’s not his turn too. It’s a pain! That class is huge though I’m sure we woudn’t be able to cope in that kind of atmosphere.


  3. Sound like you both did great! Good job. Diana


  4. Don’t you wish we had half the energy these pups do? Sounds like she is doing better though and that is the main thing.


  5. Great job you two, sounds like a lot of progress was made.

    Oreo would have freaked out when the dogs growled at each other. Of course, he would have been feeding off of my fear too. You handled that situation beautifully! You made Katie feel like you were in control, and helped her feel safe.


  6. That obedience class is just way too big! I was in a big class like that once and felt very uncomfortable. Sounds like Katie is doing well now that she is getting used to the building and getting to go to classes more regularly. Your rally class sounds perfect for her!


  7. You’re doing such a good job with Katie! Good to hear she is coping well now. Even in such a big class. Well done!


  8. Perhaps the only real purpose required for life is to make the most of each day?


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