Thursday, June 11, 2015

Putting things down on Paper

 "I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much." - Sandra Cisneros



I used to write a lot. Pour my soul our over parchment or find serenity in the quiet click clack of the key board in late hours of the night. 

People grow and change and I am no exception to that I suppose. I guess I spend so much time sharing the details of my life with my delightful spouse that it feels redundant to spill them out on a page too. 


I feel like I'm in an odd transitional state. I've physically moved half-way across the country. I've got Knight by my side along with the new faces of Scout, Harley Quinn, and Tali'Zorah. I have this wonderful family here and many, many friends. But I'm still getting away from old patterns of thought. 


That being said, life is wonderful. I'm laughing and learning. Learning more about life, and behavior analysis, and most importantly, more about myself. 


I continue to struggle to find balance. I just feel like I'm juggling too many spheres. I might get school and work in balance while my dog world dips into chaos. Always two perfect while the third limps along. But all that learning I mentioned earlier? I'm learning balance isn't really a noun.

 "So I think probably it’s not a thing to be journeyed to, balance, but rather, a constant struggle and a process. It is the best struggle. It is the struggle we are all graced with from the beginning, and it is devastating and it is happy and it is obnoxious and it is freeing." -Tori Self 

So I'm here, sometimes loathing, sometimes loving the process that is balance as a verb, a continuous act.

There are exciting things on the horizon. Knight and I are hopping back into the agility ring next week and I cannot wait. I yearn for that good anxiety that is anticipation to take over my commonplace apprehension.

Scout has been entered in his trial in August and that is exciting. Harley Quinn and Tali are brilliant souls who are so enthusiastic about learning. Things are moving.

I don't always know what I'm doing these days. But I do have the best of company.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What are updates?

Haha, so my plans on doing weekly updates crashed and burned spectacularly. I have a lot of huge updates, so buckle up for a very long post. None of that "I'll add more posts later!!" nonsense this time around. Let's be honest, never once have I actually come back and added the updates I was planning on updating.

So, this semester has had a lot of ups and downs. I didn't come out of my semester with the stellar 4.0 that I was hoping for, but I'm here, alive and well, and moving forward. Last semester really messed up my attitude about school. I'm trying to find a healthy balance between caring about doing well, while not letting my success/lack of success define my worth. It's a weird place to be. I had been doing very well the college year leading up to last fall, so I feel a little sad.  I had to trade in pride in grades for smaller goals like, "get out of bed and go to campus today". Things that felt monumental at the time.

Enough about the school things though, this blog is mostly for the dogs right? Let's get to the cool stuff.

So, as I never mentioned early, I now have three Papillons living with me again.  I briefly mentioned that Mia was no longer under my care and Lilly was staying with my parents when I moved to State College (and would continue to stay there though my move to Texas).

My game plan was to do the solo dog thing for a while until puppy plans came through for me. It'd be weird, Kna would be a little lonely, but we would get settled in an wait for a puppy to come along.

As I was nearing the end of my days in State College, PA I got a phone call from Letty (Knight's breeder). She was wondering how I'd feel about bringing two dogs with me to Texas.

I was pretty burnt out at the time of that phone call. I couldn't find it in me to be excited about much. I agreed to come so Knight and I could meet the potential new guy. If he passed the in house visit (spoiler alert, he did), I'd bring him with me to live in PA for a couple weeks before we made the move. I wanted to make sure we had time to see if there would be any problems before I carted the dog half-way across the country with me.



Well, I am so happy to say that the dog, Scout, has been simply astounding. He is exactly what I needed. He is sweet and cuddly and by god does he love to run.

In fact, I love Scout so much I decided to send Letty a text in February about the litter he sired that had been whelped just before I moved. I really loved the spunky little girl they were out of and I had really been blown away by Scout.

I asked if "Macy" was still available, and if so, how she'd feel about sending her my way. Cassie flew down with her for Spring break and the rest is history.


Macy became "Harley Quinn" and she is a delight. She's usually zipping around the room like a maniac, but she has her super sweet moments where she tries to clean my ears and cuddles with me.

She recently discovered the delights of fetch (a game that still escapes Scout's interest) and we are having a lot of fun getting started in agility. She's growing with elegance and grace in leaps and bounds.

I am so happy to have three dogs again. It is such a good number for me. They get along wonderfully with each other and all my roommates at the Agility Commune. 



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Goals for the Semester


I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging again. I've fallen into some bad habits with writing (I say "so" a lot. "so excited" "so pleased"....), maybe doing more will cure some of those annoying habits. 

I scraped together some cash to sing up for a "Body Awareness through Targeting" class through the Fenzi academy. The goal is to kick my ass in gear training things that are less sport focused for a little while. I need to up my trick game and sharpen my training skills.

Ideally, I will be posting weekly updates on how training for that class is going with both boys. 

Time to get the ball rolling on some things! Other goals for the semester involve more mundane things like making Dean's list, cleaning up Knight's contacts, and get out there and improve my running pace!

Let's do this. Spring 2015. Bring. It. On. 




Classes have started. I am thrilled to say that they are everything I've been looking for. My Behavior Analysis professors probably think I'm insane.

There I am, sitting in the front row, with this wide, stupid grin across my face. When they casually mention that UNT is one of the only schools to offer an extensive ABA program for undergad studies I can't help but glance around the room wildly. Are you hearing this? This is so true fellow students, this isn't anywhere else. We are so lucky.

I still have to take a few gen eds to do (Thank you Texas requirements for American Gov and History), but the majority of my classes are in Behavior Analysis which is so so wonderful.

Now that 2 weeks have passed, I've started to feel more settled in here. I'm working and learning and playing with my wonderful dogs.

I am in a much better place mentally than I was last semester. I'm here, learning something I care so much about. I get to live on a gorgeous property with 5 acres for my butterflies to run on. I'm surrounded by people who share my passion for dogs



Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Chapter



2015 is going to be a year of growing.

I'm chasing my dreams, but left my heart in the dust. And I miss her terribly.

So I'm trying to keep my head up, no matter how heavy my heart is.

I'm taking time to walk more, listen more, take chances, and let things go.

This will be the semester of early mornings and weekends off. The semester of new faces in a new state. The semester of counting days until I can see my gorgeous girl again.

I'm not very okay, but I will be. I got this.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Accomplished

It's been an embarrassingly long time since I posted any content on here. There are lots of stories to share since my post before Nationals. They certainly deserve their own posts, I just haven't had the heart or drive or post them. So they will continue to be stories for another day.

Today I want to focus on one story in particular that isn't too far overdue. Knight, my wonderful little-man, finished his PACH!!!




















He did this the weekend before he turned 5 years old. Just over a year and a half after I switched him down to 4".

October 2011, Knight just gave up at a trial. Maybe the grass upset him, maybe he wasn't feeling well, I'll never know the reason why exactly. But there I was, with this brilliant young dog who no longer had joy in his eyes when we went to trials.

I remember the day before he earned his OAJ. We NQ'd in jumpers because I was doing everything I could to get him faster than a walk. We ran around 80% of the jumps on that course, but I did it. I got him running. That snapped him out of his funk and we quickly attained our OAJ, AX, and AXJ.

He still wasn't thrilled, but he was getting there. So in January, 2013 I switched him to Masters preferred. That was the best decision I've ever made for him.

Over the past year and a half I've watched him blossom into this fantastic dog that trials as well as he trains. I see the dog I see in my back yard when we step out onto that line. It's thrilling. Sure, we're not the fastest team out there... but we love what we're doing. I can feel it and everyone can see it.

This is the first Agility Champion title I've earned. It's been a weird journey. I felt a little guilty for a long time. I felt like "first agility ch" was something Lilly deserved. But here I was, with my blazeless little boy, sitting at QQ #19 with a jumpers Q in the bag. I was all nerves and excitement. Keeping the pending PACH under wraps so we wouldn't jinx our run.

Knight was brilliant. I am so incredibly proud of him and how far we've come. Cassie joined us and cheered for us as we ran. Smiles and laughter abounded. Knight got extra hot dogs and tuna and had no idea why his Q ribbon was so incredibly large.

I also got a message from some good friends of mine who ordered a custom PACH ribbon for the occasion. I was at a loss for words.

I am so incredibly grateful for my little dog, my supportive girlfriend, and my wonderful friends.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered us on through his roller coaster of an accomplishment.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Addressing the Elephant in the Room....



Mia is no longer considered one of "my" dogs. I don't think the details need to be plastered all over the internet. If you have questions you can contact me privately.

It was a decision made over four very long months.

I firmly believe it was the right call. Doesn't make it any easier though.