Tuesday, March 8, 2016

when he was good he was very very good

One sure way to feeling down is to get a haircut, see all the grey hair on the floor, and then go immediately shopping to try on clothes in those awful change rooms with the horrible lights and the ghastly mirrors. I went from feeling okay, even good, to near tears for the rest of the afternoon. It’s not that gaining weight and getting older that is upsetting, it is the departure from youthful good looks that agonizes. Thankfully it is a rare collision of events that had me moping around the house. The good news: even though I felt rotten I didn’t indulge myself with a trip to the bakery.

So that was Monday. But today is better:  it is 11C; the snow is that granular texture that reminds me of sno cones, all it needs is some raspberry syrup and a paper cup - except there are yellow spots around the yard, and I know from the past that small flying bugs emerge from the snow when it is like this; the sun is trying to burn its way through the gauzy clouds; supper is already cooking in the crockpot; the dogs are bathed and as fresh smelling as a dog can be; and we had toasted bacon and tomato sandwiches for lunch - it could have been an August afternoon.

I’ve started working with Spike to see if we can get him ready for public access, in case he comes to the upcoming book release party. I started yesterday with some bones on the laneway that he wasn’t to sniff. Oh yeah, right. It took a long time before we could walk around them with no pulling. It was a good distraction and one that we worked on again today. It didn’t take as long for us to walk politely around the meaty distractions, but it didn’t happen right away either. More work required.

I need to line up a couple of volunteers to practice greetings. (maybe eventually even Jo Ellen, but that is far too exciting at this point).

Going back to basics with Spike has reminded me of the amount of work required to get him ready to be my service dog all those years ago (2009/2010). Carm calls him a ‘performance dog’ and for good reason. He is a quick study and loves to learn, but is very reactive. He’s not like the other dogs who don’t bother with other dogs or a myriad of other distractions. No, everything is hard work with him, but when he is ‘running well’, he is fantastic. He has a spark that the others are lacking. I’m not always sure if this is a good thing.

“when he was good he was very, very, good, but  when he was bad he was horrid” ~nursery rhyme

I started a training log to keep track of what we are doing and how things are going. Seeing progress will help on the dark days when it seems like it is an impossible task. Once it is all over I’ll post it here so I have a permanent record.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”  ~Sophia Loren