Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 and looking forward

2012 was a hard year. A year of heartache, struggles, and change. It wasn't all bad- there were lots of laughs, good times, and great dogs. But for myself I found it a struggle.

Wicca was officially retired. October of 2011 was her last Agility anything. She came out one last time for Rally, and although in the moment it was fun I still have some guilt about the discomfort she felt afterwards. It's funny that she is everything I could ever want for in a dog. And her body gave up long before was fair. It was a heartache that took a really, really long time to get over. If possible I love her even more since her retirement from dogsports. It's hard to explain. But I am happy.  She is still happy, sassy and her normal bossy self. A Normal Dog Life.  I let her have free reign on off leash runs, and as long as she is not completely retarded on a walk she is mostly sound. I did say that I wanted to start tracking with her. And I never really got around to it. lol. BUT- I am signed up for a long distance Tracking Coach thing. I am hoping to get up to Calgary to meet with the instructor so I can get started. I do think she would love it.

Pixel was hurt. Pulled from Regionals after one day. Recovered. And then hurt again. She is recovered but will not be returning to agility. Although her Xrays came back great she is not structurally sound enough for the sport. The risk is too great for me. A hard decision but one that is right for me, and for the long term health of my dog. We did try for our CDX more than a few times this year. But we are still one leg away. Some confidence issues, combined with some physical ones made our time in the ring challenging in one way or another. She has matured a lot this year- and seems like she has finally grown up.  I have her entered in January for another go, fingers crossed our training holds up. I've started Utility training- it will be more than a full year of training before we are ready, but that will be what we are working towards this year! We are not training or working on heeling at all- she knows how to do it and I don't want to ask her to have her neck craned like that anymore than I need to. The utility stuff will be fun because there is so much MORE than just heeling. I'm looking forward to teaching new things to her. She's a thinker.

I stopped even pretending to train Brit for agility and switched gears to herding, herding, and more herding. With some obedience/rally thrown in for good measure. Agility is not in her future. (It's mostly me, not her- and a whole blog post on it's own) We will continue on this herding adventure- where I learn something new each and every time I go, and the feeling I get watching her work brings a smile to my face. I can't even help it- even when i should be getting after her I smile or laugh, or just watch her do something naughty. lol. It's hard to explain. But I love it and it is like nothing I have ever done.  Obedience is still something we are working on- heeling makes me nervous but at this point I am working on bringing her focal point lower- to my right hand. Hopefully this will be easier on her neck, and on my heart. I entered her in a Rally Advanced run in January- and am hoping to hit the Novice ring in the spring. 

And the boys. Vito had a pretty exciting year- earning a few Q's even! At this point he is the only dog I have that can do agility, and he physically is not able to do much. I worry about his crooked leg with anything more than once in a while. He's my buddy through and through. The dog ALWAYS at my feet. That's not about to change anytime soon.

Boone is Boone. A year of just being a dog. He goes through cycles of strangeness. And then back to a relatively normal, goofy dog. He's a funny dog who is happily going through life with little expectations and lots of fun. 

And myself. A full year of independence. Crazy really to think about that. I think I have changed the most this past year than in any other time of my life. I started thinking about myself a little, and not so much about everyone, and everything else. I lost passion, and then found it again in something completely different. I lost heart, and while I am still searching for it I can almost feel it. This year I have shed more than a few tears. But I am strong. I have discovered that I have an inner strength I didn't know I had. I lost confidence, in myself, my training, and my teaching. I am working on getting that back. But it has been hard. And will take some time to build. It's like I am rebuilding who I am. Finding myself I suppose- even though I am now 30 and should have known myself by now I think. 

Many things happened this past year to change who I am. But there are only two that I feel comfortable sharing with the universe. 

My mother breaks my heart. And I finally admitted defeat. I gave up, and although there is guilt with that decision I am happier for it. I love the person she is under the disease, but am no longer willing to watch it happen. Instead of trying to fix it, I embrace the rare moments of normalcy, and walk away from everything else. It is intensely private but is a big part of this past year. That decision changed me.

I quit Rescue. Burnt out. To a crisp. I am glad to not have that extra stress, the cramming of stuff into every empty second, the heartache that comes with dealing with what people do to dogs. Relief. A deep breath after being dunked under water.  That's what it feels like. 

This year, 2013 is going to be better. Better for me, Better for my dogs, and Better for my Friends and Family too! Our small agility family lost more than it's fair share of dogs. My family has had plenty of heartache. It's time for the good stuff.  The stuff that makes you smile, makes you want to hug the person next to you, makes you want to scream from the roof top. The kind of stuff that makes you belly laugh. 

Some things are going to be different this year. Not goals, Not resolutions- they just are. I've always been relaxed about stuff- decisions, life, whatever. What happens happens. But this past year I found myself stressing about too much. Worrying about things I have no control over. I cannot change how people think, or feel. It is up to me to change how *I* think about it. So no more bitching, no more whining, and less worry. Instead I will try to DO SOMETHING to change the things that stress me out- Stressed about money? Spend Less, Make more. Stressed about a decision? be rational, but don't debate about it forever, go with your gut. Those are just two of my most common issues. lol. And it is easier to type than to actually do. And that is what this year is going to be about. Doing. 

So I officially declare 2013 my Year of Doing.

The Year of Doing what makes me happy
The year of Doing what is best for the future.
The year of Doing things that need to be done. 
The year of Doing things that are hard
The year of Doing things without thinking too much about it!
The year of Doing what is best for me. 

The list could go on and on. But these are the main ones. The ones I need most to think about and Do. 

2013 is gonna be a great year. It's gotta be better than 2012. So here's to Doing!

After I published this I saw this gem on facebook. It goes so well with what I am trying to say, and how I am going to try to be a better person. 



oddman said...

Awesome post, Amanda! A great list to go by. If you take care of yourself, then caring for others becomes easier, and you stay happy with your decisions. I agree, 2013 is going to be better than 2012!


Taryn said...

A lot of people would agree with you that 2012 was a hard year. I am one of them.

Here's wishing we all get a much better, and happier, 2013!

Thirteen Sheep (Or More) said...

I love your list! Great way to start the year.

^..^Corgidogmama said...

What a fantastic post! Deep thoughts and heart. Wishing that 2013 is one of the best for you and your dog kids.

Patty said...

Great post! Happy 2013 to you and yours!

minstrel said...

Great post....go get 2013 :)

Paws on the Run said...

Great post!!! And even though it took me as long to read as most videos take to watch, I read it. ;)

Good for you. I like your Year of Doing!