Saturday, February 20, 2010
Happy Zen Place
I think Linc and I have finally found our Happy Zen Place together. Well, maybe he's grown up a little. Maybe both. He turned two back in December and it's been a bit like flipping a switch for him. I'm sure it has helped that we've more or less taken some time off by necessity, but he's... different. I'm different. Even though losing my job has hurt in some respects the horrible dread and tension that's been hanging over my head has lifted. I'm actually able to relax. I'm able to sleep again. Sleep is good. Sleep keeps the orange fire from shooting out of my eye sockets. Well, except for the times when there's PMS... that is always the exception.
Today as I was driving down to Julie's to watch lesson day I ran through working him day before yesterday. It occurred to me, "Hey! We sorted sheep and he didn't bite anything! He didn't rush anything, and when I flanked him around to my feet he came softly and lifted them off of me gently but with authority at the same time. That's pretty special!" What a nice feeling that was.
He was looking at me more than I'd like today so I made an extra effort to just not look at him. I think maybe he's slightly weirded out by my kinder, gentler, quieter way of handling him. I'll admit that I'm vaguely weirded out by myself too, but then who do I not weird out? OK, at the very least crack up, anyway?
Interestingly enough the last two times I've worked him he's thought *very* hard about grabbing something, and when I've said simply, "NO. Don't do that." he's stopped. Amazing. Who would have thought I could just have a conversation with this dog? Isn't that part of what handling the stock is though? Isn't it partly a conversation, so to speak, between me and my dog?
Nick is into middle finger dog working this week. But... I'm not letting that get to me. I don't mind so much Nick boogering me a bit - it doesn't take me standing on my head to get his attention. So here's to Happy Zen Place dog working! May we all have our Happy Zen Places with our dogs this week.