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.
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.