Countdown to ORT: Day 19

The members of the NACSW discussion group are a great bunch of folks. I sent out a plea for advice yesterday to help me deal with my nerves over the upcoming ORT. I’ve been overwhelmed by the thoughtful, supportive responses.

I kept tonight’s practice pretty short-only three searches with one hide each. Also kept them simple. We stopped with Jack almost begging to keep working.

To watch some advanced K9 Nose Work teams and see what it’s all about check out posts on the K9 Nose Work Blog here, here, here, and here.

Just amazing!

Countdown to ORT-Day 20

HOLY FREAKING COW…IT’S ONLY 20 DAYS TO OUR FIRST ORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay…big deep breath…that helped…one more….

Minor freak out today when I realized it’s only 20 days until mine and Jack’s first ORT (Odor Recognition Test). No biggie, right? Just my very first dog sport event as a handler EVER!

One more big deep breath…

Thankfully I’m getting some great advice from other Nose Work handlers as well as handlers in other dog sports. Most folks are only too happy to share their experiences and let me learn from their mistakes and near misses.

The bottom line: relax and have fun, Jack doesn’t care if we pass, fail, win, lose, place first or come in last. All he knows is he’s playing a game with his human. And, at the end of the day I get to go home and play more games with this awesome dog who brings me joy.

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World’s Worst Dog Mom

Go ahead and engrave the trophy. I’m the world’s worst dog mom. At least I feel that way.

We left Jack and Jade out of their crates yesterday while we were at work. First time since we’ve had them they were uncrated while we were gone that long-about 10 hours. Successful experiment! Yay!

Then this morning happened. I failed them. Sigh…

Jade’s not only a finicky eater, she’s a food guarder. I know this.

Queue my failure.

She wouldn’t eat her breakfast so I gave her a large Milk Bone. Didn’t want her to go all day with an empty stomach.

She ate the Milk Bone.

Then I walked behind her, putting her between Jack and me with really tasty Milk Bone crumbs on the floor between her and Jack.

Jack, the canine vacuum, did what canine vacuums do. He scarfed up the crumbs like be hadn’t eaten in a week.

My immediate-read “stupid”-reaction was to jump toward them while yelling, “Jack! No!”

Jade’s immediate reaction-read “expected behavior from a resource guarding dog”-was to snap, growl, and pin Jack down.

So, yeah, back in the crates today. I’m just praying my careless behavior doesn’t undo the hard work of the past year.

Sigh…

One Small Step

Big deep breath…

I took a huge (for me) step this morning. I ordered business cards. 

Gulp.

They’re very simple-nothing but my name and contact information. But it’s a step in presenting myself as a professional writer, as someone serious about reaching for her dreams with concrete actions.

Gulp.

What was the first significant action you took to make yourself feel more like a “real” writer before you were published?