jumbled

It’s half past midnight, which is about 3 hours past my bedtime, but I’ve had a very full on night and lots of thoughts are racing around my head, and I find the best way to deal with anything is to write it down.

Firstly, there was a fun evening down at the dog club, meaning they set up a jumping course, you could choose whatever heights, it was a full trial environment, someone in the ring as a judge, etc, but you could have toys and do whatever you wanted. I wanted to put Lumen in on some very low bars, do 3 or 4, maybe a tunnel and celebrate. No big deal, despite the surgery. She does much, MUCH, MUCH worse fence-running at home. Got there and was told on no uncertain terms by someone who was helping organise the event (maybe?) that there was no way I would be allowed to do this. She might rip her internal stitches!!!!!!! And basically suggested I was a horrible, horrible person for even thinking of it, and that this person had left their young dog at home because she’d only be able to do a few jumps and a tunnel so what’s the point? (um, trial environment… playing when she does something good? just getting used to the idea of doing it ‘for real’….?). So anyway, I didn’t run Lu.

Then when everything was over we took all 7 dogs (Penny’s, Kim’s and my two) out the back for a run- Lu’s first run with the pack in over a month. Happy girl. We noticed Mal was a little lame but didn’t think much of it. Next thing, we hear a ‘thud’, and the most horrific screaming of a dog. It wasn’t ‘dog-fight’ screaming, but it was horrible. Pitch black, with just a little torch, we all ran over to find my gorgeous boy on his back/side, rolling around, panicking, the dogs all hovering around not sure what to do as he cried and cried. We grabbed dogs, I grabbed him and saw his front leg hanging limp. I thought he’d broken it. Kim (a nurse) checked him over. Not broken, she said, just a muscle, probably in his shoulder.

He’s very sore now, lots of limping, had an anti inflam pill earlier and got carried up the steps into the house….

But what I find most interesting is how shit fucking happens.

Doesn’t it?
Like, I couldn’t run Lumen over 3 measly jumps because maybe, possibly, she’d hurt her stitches, yet my perfectly healthy dog goes out and runs around and gets terribly injured- the most injured he’s ever been, I think. And it could have been any of them.

Stuff happens. That’s just how it is. I’m not going to stop my dogs running around just incase.

 

Ok, next. I spoke with someone today who was my very first agility instructor about getting a puppy. He was actually good to talk to in that he offered a different opinion to most people, who seem to get ‘puppy excited’ but maybe don’t stay as rational because of it? We talked a lot about expectations, about confidence, about relationships, about time. About doubt.

He suggested that if I have doubts about getting a puppy (or buying a house) then I shouldn’t do that thing. But that’s not how I work. I will always have doubts, about everything. I will always want to see if there’s better options. I will plan and plan and plan and find the most perfect (whatever) and keep looking and researching incase there’s better. If it weren’t for Nic, I would never do anything, I would just research all the time. So the idea of not having doubts is so foreign to me at this stage in my life. Maybe it wasn’t always (eg. choosing Mal: Mal sits on my foot when meeting him the first time. “I like him!” Played with Mal for a while when all the other puppies were off doing stuff. Mal seemed to like me. “Mum, can I get him?” done deal.), but it certainly is now. This is sort of similar to what Kim says which is that “your gut knows the right answer”, to which I replied that I don’t think I have a gut response about anything – I need facts, rationale, clear outcomes. Intuition doesn’t mean anything to me, it tells me nothing. But how can you apply facts, rationale and clear outcomes to something as unknown as the pros and cons of getting a particular puppy? Which is why I find it so stressful. And I think there are possible positive outcomes, and possible negative outcomes, or both. Hmm.

In the end, he seemed to suggest that it would be best if I stuck with just Lu to see how she’d go when we started competing, and I agreed to a point, but as I drove home I realised that this was coming from someone who was happy with their less speedy, less drivey dog the way he was (and look, I love Lu, but I don’t currently love how we do agility) and that was ok for him. Will that be enough for me? I’m not sure. Long story short? Still thinking about Tink, still not sure. Is anyone ever sure? Maybe people with more intuition are sure. I’ll never be sure.

I’m trying to get to the bottom of the feeling of why I’d like to win. Maybe if I can get that in words, I can move my focus from ‘winning’ to ‘feeling a certain way’ or ‘doing a certain thing’ (eg. running fast with Lu, but that doesn’t have the same effect, cos I could run fast and not win..).

Also, I was wondering if I could teach Lumen to read.

Not like, books… but has anybody ever taught a dog to read symbols? Surely a hand gesture is just a symbol. If you held up a card with a plus sign on it, for example, and cued ‘drop/down’ to your dog a bunch of times, I wonder if you could get it to the point where you could show a plus sign and it would drop. And then you could get a dollar sign or something completely different and cue a sit, and then you could show one card or the other and they’d do what the card meant. Surely if reading is just a form of giving symbols meaning, then by giving symbols meaning for your dog, they are, in a basic sense, reading. I wonder if anyone’s ever conducted an experiment on a dog like that before. Might have to google that one. I don’t see it why not.

 

And lastly, I’m finding this whole conception of introspection (is that the right word? It must be, as in intro (within) spection as in – spec (I would assume something to do with ‘seeing’, like ‘spectacles’ (glasses) but then I wonder about ‘spectacular’ unless it’s something fabulous to behold/see. And then there’s speculation which would be made up of spec+ulate+ion – so then i wonder what ‘ulate’ would mean, if you speculate something, you’re seeing the possibilities. I like words) so – seeing/looking within oneself – quite interesting. I quite like finding out the reasons my brain works the way it does – it helps me explain the way I feel the way I do and why I stress the way I stress. Mega stress over puppy possibilities? Oh, that’s because there’s no clear pathways, no rationale, no facts, no plan.

I should go to bed now. More puppy visits tomorrow. I got lots and lots of photos and some movies of tug times today so I’ll upload that tomorrow sometime. Maybe.

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16 thoughts on “jumbled

  1. Oh I’m sorry to hear about Mal 😦 Poor guy, some dogs just seem to be unlucky 😦

    I never got what people meant by listening to intuition. I don’t think I ever heard her voice in my entire life. Just a lot of pro&con stuff. Like you, I always have doubts, but I make my decisions anyway and hope I chose right 🙂 I was never sure that getting Java was the right decision. The moment when I stepped on the plane to pick her up scared the crap out of me. What if I’m not a “two dog” person? What if I won’t be able to give the same attention to both of them? What if I will never have the love for Java like I do for Ruby? And on and on…

    Sadly I have no advice. Every puppy is a major gamble.
    But if you find a way to get to the no-doubts place let me know, will you? 🙂

  2. Penny says:

    That was a ridiculous series of events last night. Funny, my brother will research so much he won’t make a decision too. When he was little we would often have to not let him choose his own ice cream flavour because the act of having to choose a flavour without knowing what all the flavours tasted like and then weighing up the last time he had each of the flavours so as not to have too much of one flavour and then choosing an ice cream based on ALL THE AVAILABLE facts would be too much for him. He would always end up saying he didn’t want ice cream at all even though he really liked ice cream. It was funny if it wasn’t so sad. But he is Very INT “J”. Don’t act until you have all the facts. Mike and I have had this discussion so often! I think the “P” makes someone more impulsive and they do things in order to collect more facts. “Yay! I’m going to jump in a lake and learn about swimming!” (proceeds to drown). I spend a lot of time in “P” and have spent the last 2 years trying to be more “J”!! . It’s funny you test as borderline on this. Probably where the struggle comes from(?) because you feel comfortable with “facts then acts” approach but you know you could take that little step into the giddy world of trying shit out to gain more information for the future (most INTP’s never actually apply the info they gather though so it is all a fat waste of time but it feels useful at the time)

  3. I think the true path to not second-guessing yourself all the time is to dis-invest yourself in the outcomes. Oh boy. Not easy. Meaning — what if you got a puppy just because you liked it? and wanted one? And if it NEVER was an athlete or a hiker or a protection dog, or a therapy dogs… you’d be as happy as a clam? 🙂

    I know, I know, way easier to type than to LIVE. I actually think you and I are feeling much the same about our blue merles these days. I see Rumble as happy and active in many parts of his life, but NOT that enthusiastic about agility -much.
    I believe this is equal parts my fault and his. HE doesn’t care a whit! Which is nice for him. I have been on the fence about “caring”

    But now that Razor’s foot is really bothering him for WAY longer than I expected, I feel this voice inside me wanting Rumble to be READY … and NOW! But he’s not.
    So… to combat that voice inside, I breathe and I play with him and I put it ON MYSELF to help him have a good time.

    Bottom line. I didn’t full-out get Rumble to be an agility dog. But that’s what my dogs “do” … so I would certainly LOVE him to love it. But I can let that go. I know I can. He’s a really good dog in most other things. And that does make me happy. If I invest too much of myself in outcomes, I’m sure to be disappointed.

    Not really advice here.. just what I’m going through right now

    • Em says:

      It’s helpful to read what other people go through to, whether to offer a different perspective on a similar situation, or to confirm what I’m feeling and doing.
      Ok so this comment makes me think: “what if you got a puppy just because you liked it?” In relation to Tink, then, I wouldn’t get her. Not that I don’t like her, I think she’s awesome and cool, but I don’t love her- you know, like… I wonder if I’m just considering getting her because she ticks all the boxes, not because I want her.. you know what I mean? And maybe that could be ok- Penny’s experience with Badger seemed similar and that has all worked out well… but at the same time I feel like I should have a puppy that I pick because I like it, or it likes me (or preferably both!)… But how realistic is that in my current ‘logic overrides all’ frame of mind?
      I definitely think we are feeling similar about our merley kids. And I’m trying to get her to have a good time, to show her how fun it is, to keep everything short and fast and throw in happy tricks and play and if she’s not into it, just don’t do it (sometimes harder said than done “maybe if we try again she’ll find it more fun!”, bad me!).
      But in some ways I did get Lu to be an agility dog. I chose her lines as working lines so she would have drive and love to work (she loves to work, just in her serious and thinking way, rather than in a fast and intense way), so we would do well in agility. So I think my confidence when it comes to puppy choosing has been shaken a bit as well because I chose her for that, and it hasn’t worked how I thought it would. anyway… I get you on the wanting to be ready bit. At least then we could start RUNNING and working together in that ‘real’ environment and I could get a better sense of how it’s all going to work out.
      I think I focus on outcomes. 😉

      • Yep, many of us focus on outcomes and expectations. That’s why leaving that stuff at the door and just ONLY looking at what’s really there is often nearly impossible! I do hear you. I hear what you’re saying and why you’re trying what you’re trying.
        I also wish you were WOW about Tink! That wow would probably override anything else. When I got Rumble my MOST STRONGEST WANT was that he would get alone with our house FULL of dogs. And damn, he’s the KING of that. 🙂 Everyone loves him, and he loves everyone. And I am very grateful because it’s all I really wanted.

        Now that Razor is hurt. Maybe OUT of agility forever (damn. . it. . ) I want to try really hard NOT to put pressure on Rumble to be something he might not be. But honestly??? I am keeping my eye open for a little agility light to go on. Fingers crossed.

      • Em says:

        I think my strongest want is an awesome play/toy drive (which Tink has) and general enthusiasm and confidence (which Tink has) so WHY amy I not WOW about her? I think I’ve over thought it so much that now I’m talking myself out of it for no reason. Or am I?! Or AREN’T I?! I’ve dug myself into this horrible cycle like: “Do I listen to the voice saying don’t do it, or is the voice saying don’t do it because you’ve thought and thought and thought about it TOO much and you’re just too frightened because you can’t see the outcomes and it’s easier just to not go down that road than take the plunge”.
        My brain hurts. It shouldn’t be this angsty though, surely.

  4. I don’t want to mess up your head ANY MORE… but I gotta point out. Rumble had KILLER play and toy drive. I could show you video where you can see he’s just ALL ABOUT PLAY! and lots of confidence and enthusiasm that’s off the charts… but even so, he’s only so-so about agility. Either he doesn’t care about it much, OR he’s confused about the game in general, or I suck as a trainer, or he just wishes he was doing something else. Whatever the issue… I have to ride it out, and see what I get.
    So I will.
    Don’t hurt your brain!

    • Em says:

      Rosie I don’t think that hurts my brain! I think it helps! Because I’m only so-so about getting Tink, right? Like I’m not like: “I WANT that puppy” I’m like: I should get her because she has great play drive and is really confident and I love her Mum, and Lu doesn’t have good play drive so I need a good play drive dog, so I guess I should get her because of that”. But what you’ve said has kind of said: “Hey, Em, guess what, that doesn’t mean anything, so actually maybe it will be ok if you don’t get her because look, Rumble was all about play and he doesn’t get the game, too, so that doesn’t mean it will all be ok”.
      Isn’t it such a weird and hard thing about our merle dogs? Why don’t they love it as much as our red dogs?! What did we do wrong!? Is it just how they’re wired? Is Lu just meant to be a herding dog? Did I mess her up somewhere along the way?
      Arg, so weird and annoying.

      • It’s just my experience… and Tink is BLACK! so who knows what that means.. hahaha. I do love the drive and enthusiasm Rumble has… I just don’t know what to channel that into. Is there a sport of JUMPING ALL OVER STRANGERS AND MAKING THEM MUDDY!! He would be an ACE at that sport. 😉
        There’s this gal on the Aussie Board (http://theaustralianshepherd.net) do you ever read that? She was in Florida on a vacation or trip and took her dogs to see the breeder from which they were acquired and there was a litter of pups on the ground. This woman has NO intention of getting another dog, but she visited with the pups because, ya know… they’re PUPPIES!! and ONE in particular shot her with a bolt of lightening. This puppy kept following her around. There was a guy there who was deciding on if this pup was the one for him… so this woman just played with the puppy, and her dogs actually played with the puppy too. She even told the guy “THIS puppy is special, he has ‘it!'” and the guy said “I know.”
        But it turns out the guy decided NOT to get a puppy at all. As you might imagine… This woman is going to go home soon (to whereever she actually lives) with this puppy.
        It’s an experience I’ve never had. That BAM! factor when getting a new dog. Ruben was picked out by my Ex. Razor was chosen for me by the breeder (brilliant!) and Rumble I picked from the eval video. All were the perfect dog for me, but… I’d love to have that experience of having a puppy take my breath away. Maybe… someday. 🙂

      • Em says:

        I don’t think I’m going to get her. 😦 I’ll go visit again this weekend and she’s coming to school on Monday… but like, it’s so hard. On one hand I have people who just know they want a particular dog and it’s awesome. On the other, I have lots of people who didn’t necessarily feel a connection to a particular dog but got it because it was the dog that suited them best, and it turned out awesome (Rosie and Razor, Andreja you and Java sound like a similar situation, Penny and Badger…) so I’m so torn whether to just jump in and get her even though I’m not ‘in love’ with her right now but she’s perfect in every logical and rational way that I can think of, or do I hold out for a ‘connection’ with a dog that might not ever happen anyway? Blah.

      • I don’t think you need to be ‘in love’ with her right now if you think she’s perfect in a rational way… since you said yourself that you just don’t experience those things very often. If you were someone who frequently received guidance from intuition and it would be silent in this case, I would be more concerned. But it seems the lady just doesn’t have your number 🙂 She could be screaming HELL YEAH! and you wouldn’t hear her.

      • Em says:

        I don’t experience those things very often, but then I wonder if that’s just because the right things don’t come along. Then again, we trusted intuition on buying our house and although it’s awesome we didn’t consider the fact that I’d be getting back into agility and want somewhere to train. 😉
        I think your thought is excellent though. Will try and see her again this weekend to see if she thinks I’m cool enough for her. 😉

      • Yes! That I do consider important. I want the pup to think I’m cool 🙂
        It sounds like the intuition for the house was spot on for your lifestyle at the time.

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