Carol Collett

Tell Me Your Name

So after several days of “loading the clicker” (click-treat, wait a beat or two, click-treat, repeat 20 times) with the dogs, it’s time to work on name recognition. Yes, they all three know their names. But the problem is that they choose when to acknowledge their names. 

Time for that to change. 

From page 33 of Jane Killion’s WHEN PIGS FLY! TRAINING SUCCESS WITH IMPOSSIBLE DOGS: While the dog is looking at you, say his name, click and treat.

Will start this today and go for a week. 

Goal? When I say their names they should look at me. 

Blueprint For Change

Perhaps knowing on September 16 I will turn fifty years old triggered something in my psyche. Perhaps realizing over half my life expectancy is gone, and I have not truly pursued the dreams of my twenties brought on this angst. Perhaps I’m in the throes of a midlife crisis. 

Whatever. 

I’m done with what if. I’m done with panicking over the thought of lying on my deathbed crying for the lost daydreams of my youth.

Time to figure out what I want out of the rest of my life and do it. 

First big step-get out of the day job. It’s killing me by millimeters. So it’s gotta go. Or rather I’ve gotta go. I’m giving myself a year to find another way to make a living. A way that feeds me instead of depletes me. 

First day-to-day step-further develop a healthy lifestyle. Lose this last 20-30 pounds. Find an exercise routine I enjoy that doesn’t include running. (My back just won’t let me run.) Come out as an essential oil user. Chronicle how essential oils help me recover my health. 

Take the sentiment below to heart. This is my new motto.

Blueprint For Change

Middle Age and Erik Erikson

Sigh….

Sigh….

Really, really big sigh….

This is so hard to write, but I need to vent. 

Middle Aged. Mid-life. According to Dictionary.com middle aged means “being of the age intermediate between youth and old age, roughly between 45 and 65.” 

According to Erik Erikson I’m smack in the middle of the Generativity VS Stagnation stage of adulthood. There’s only one stage left after this one. Crap.

I’m 49.

I’m middle aged.

Blech.

Double, triple, infinity blech.

Can we rename this stage of life, please? Something pleasant or fun sounding? I vote for Empty Nest Rocker Chick.

Two events this year brought home to me what I kind of already knew, but didn’t want to face-I am well past my physical peak. My body is in slow decline. Or maybe not so slow in some ways. 

Those two events? My annual eye exam in January and an acute visit to my primary care doctor to talk about my continued back pain. 

First event: January-my eye doctor told me I have cataracts forming in both eyes. I guess my chin suddenly hitting the ground and the tears welling in my eyes made her quickly add, “It’s no big deal. It happens to all of us.” Granted, they’re just beginning. Will probably be years before I have to have surgery to remove them. But…but…

BUT I’M ONLY 49 YEARS OLD!!!!

Second event: Thursday-met with Dr. P about my back. I’ve shed over 60 pounds. Eat healthy most days. Have a lipid profile, blood pressure, and resting heart rate that, sold on the black market, would make me a wealthy woman. So what did Dr. P tell me that hurt so much. No. More. Running. 

WHAT??????

NO. MORE. RUNNING…NO. MORE. RUNNING…

He might as well have punched me in the gut. With a brick.

I think I’m dealing better with the cataracts than the no more running thing. Cataracts can be removed. But the no more running thing, man that hits me deep in the core of who I am. 

I. AM. ONLY. 49. YEARS. OLD.

How do I deal with this? Haven’t figured that out yet, but I will own it like an Empty Nest Rocker Chick.

Middle Age and Erik Erikson can bite me.

 

 

 

Project Turn the Garage into a Dog Training Area Phase 1

image

Here’s the before photo. Here’s what I’m up against. Sigh.
Tonight I’m putting both bicycles and the lawnmower on the curb with a sign that they are free for the taking.
It’s a start.

Less Whiny Follow Up

After whining yesterday and most of today I decided to stop. Seriously, whining not only sounds stupid, it solves nothing. Instead I’m going to list a few things to work on so that a year from now I will not be stuck in the same whiny head space I’m in now. Fair? 

1) Get back to consistent Nose Work training at home. (Get back to Nose Work class this spring.)

2) Seriously work on Jade’s reactivity to other dogs so that next year we can foster.

3) Do an intro to agility class with Jack to see if we both really want to do it.

4) Seriously ramp up my chainmaille skills with an eye toward craft shows the second half of the year.

5) Figure out if my back will let me continue running or if I need to find another exercise. This one truly, truly, seriously sucks, but I have to face the reality that my back may never get better. And if this is as good as it’s going to get, the pounding of running is not a good thing. I do not want to deal with this, but I have to, and it really pisses me off. 

6) Start the process of starting a shelter Nose Work program at MACC if management there is agreeable.

So, first step of #1-clean out the garage so I have a reasonable space to train Nose Work. Will begin that tomorrow. 

Accountability? Yeah, need that. So, every Monday I’ll report in. 

And no whining allowed.

Dreams, Midlife Crisis, and Bucket Lists

You know those life coaches who tell us to leave our hum drum daily lives and go live our dreams? I’m sure you do. They’re everywhere. Heck, I even follow one or two on Facebook and Twitter.
But I’ve noticed they never explain how I’m supposed to leave my soul eating job to live my dreams while I  continue to pay my mortgage. Oh, and buy groceries. Or pay the electric bill.
There are people out there, though, who’ve managed to leave their personal drudgery to realize their dreams. How did they do it?
I still have dreams and goals. I still have a bucket list. But I’m tired of waiting. I don’t want life to keep passing me by while I wait for the right time.
Help?!!
How do I get off the merry go round?
My dreams really aren’t all that grandiose. Really they aren’t. I want to train a dog to compete in nose work. I want to learn and train a dog in agility. I want to run a marathon. I want to spend a month touring the British Isles. I want to start a shelter nose work program at MACC.
See. A very simple list compared to some. But my day job is truly slowly killing me. It’s turning me into some hateful bitch stranger-someone I don’t want to be.
It always comes back to finances. How do I get beyond that?

Returns

Hi 2014. Welcome to the world. I’m glad to see you, but I’ve got some super important and high expectations from you. Just so we can get off on the right foot together I’ll share some of them with you.

To be clear, 2014, you’re my year of returns. Here’s what that means to me. During our time together I’ll be returning to my creative roots.

I’ll be returing to the basics of my faith as a follower of Jesus-not church doctrine-but the gritty mess of what it means to walk in Jesus’ footprints.

You still with me, 2014?

I’m also returning to simplicity, to a lack of extravagance, to the absence of drama.

I’m returning to seeking honest and real friendships by being an honest and real friend to those in my life who can return that to me.

Have I scared you off yet, 2014? No? Good.

Now, lets get moving. We’ve got a whole lot of returns to make.

Reading, Writing, Facebook, and Dog Vomit

Catchy title-LOL! But seriously covers my weekend.

Reading: need to catch up on my TBR stack/file. Books to finish. Books to start. Books to write a review for. Goal for the next week-finish Captives and read one other.

Writing: gearing up for NANO. Trying to get out of my own mind about it. I really can do it if I get out of my own way. Sigh.

Facebook: Must wean myself off. Seriously. No more than one hour per day with a goal to whittle that down to no more than 30 minutes per day by the end of the year. I get FB PMs on my phone. While I enjoy staying in touch with everyone, some stuff just bogs me down and depresses me.

Dog vomit: Friday night Jack had some GI stuff-I’ll leave that to your imagination. Since he already had a vet appointment Saturday morning at 8 to check the atopic dermatitis on his feet I didn’t call. Two injections, Four oral prescriptions, and almost $200 that we really did not have later-he’s fine. I’m glad he’s fine. We concluded that he was likely snacking in the cat litter while we were at work. Dogs can be really, really disgusting at times. So today, Angel is safely locked away in our bathroom with her litter box, food, and water.

I need a day off work today to rest.

So how was your weekend? Hopefully without dog vomit-or any other kind of vomit.

When My Dog Became More Than “My Dog”

I’ve been trying for a week to figure out how to articulate something I’m sure many other dog people have experienced.  I’m equally sure many of those people have explained the phenomenon much better than I ever will.

But here goes.

Something shifted in my relationship with Jack last Sunday. I can tell you the exact moment it happened, though I didn’t realize it until a couple of hours later. The shift was subtle, but also paradigm shifting for me.

He became my partner, my true friend, a piece of me.

I know that sounds over the edge for lots of people, even people who love animals. But something shifted as I crossed the start threshold with him at the ORT. We became more than just handler and canine. We became a team. He understood what I asked him to do, and he did it. Willingly. With joy. I watched him work that hide in awe of his abilities, knowing I had to trust him completely to show me where it was, and that he would show me.

We communicated.

More than just me reading his alert.

I asked him to do something.

He agreed to do it.

He gave me information.

I understood what he told me.

A team. A partnership. A friendship truly from the heart.

 

Post ORT Report

So the comedy of the absurd continued the week before the ORT.

Friday the 6th I got off work and realized the middle toe of my right foot hurt really, really bad. As in I could barely walk. As in someone released a horde of fire ants on my toe.

Got home from work, took off my shoes and socks. Yep, infected at the site of my self-surgery. Three days prior I removed the corner of my toenail because frankly, it annoyed me growing into the edge of my toe.

The morning of Saturday, September 6 revealed a toe in dire need of antibiotics. So off to the Minute Clinic we went.

Fast forward five days, one Z-Pack, one more self-surgery to lance the infected area and toe is all better.

Now on to the ORT yesterday.

WE PASSED WE PASSED WE PASSED WE PASSED WE PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It totally rocked-even before we passed. What a community dog people create. Just amazing atmosphere.

We ran third in the first group for birch. I think that was the perfect running place. Not first, but not late in the order.

Now on to training for Nose Work 1 trial.

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