|Sweet, Sensitive Vito <3|
She talks about love. Loving our dogs. Spending time with our dogs. Not just time training. But time with our hearts. I really believe in that. I think it is important to just forget about training sometimes and focus what is really important- our relationship with our dogs. You can't fake it, or force it. You just have to let it be. All of my dogs love those moments- and will even ask for it. Pixel is the busy-body in the house and even she will come up and just sit close. Asking for attention and pets. She leans in to me while I whisper to her how wonderful she is. She loves it. I love it.
My dogs are first and foremost my pets. I spend more time just hanging out with them- loving them up on the couch, laying on the floor with them, and laughing at them while they play- than I do actually training. I'd like to think that I have a pretty good relationship with my dogs and they certainly know I love them. I've learned that the most important thing is not what the dogs can do, but who they are.
This wasn't always the case- I've really grown as a person, and as a dog trainer in the past few years. I once was consumed by the all important goal of titles and competing and training. I spent LOTS of time training- too much really. Always looking ahead to the next trial, or competition. Always with a goal front and centre. Not that there is anything wrong with that- but for me it created stress and pressure. I focused not on the moment, but on the big picture. And I lost all the little moments. I think about all the great things I've done with my dogs up until this point- and the fact that I can't really remember the journey to get to that point makes me sad.
I am much more present lately- enjoying the little things. The training in my living room, in the park, and in my yard all still happens- and we still have goals. But I'm not in a rush to get to them. I'm enjoying the process. Having as many "moments" with my dogs as I can. I cherish Pixels little kisses, the Boonie hugs, and Vito smiles. The silly ways of Wicca, and Brit's exuberance. I'm focused on the dog, not on the stuff. It is a very different way for me to be. But I'm loving it. It has been the best change in my life. And I'm sure the dogs would agree.