I haven’t had much to blog about ..I’ve been doing focus& impulse control work. We had success at a big venue& no success in a smaller venue (the one that I would have liked to have success at..). In general, I’m just sort of plugging away at trying to have a dog to trial with someday. It feels so far away and it is tough. In fact, since going to the trial last weekend, I have done nothing with my dog. I haven’t even signed into the focus coursework. It just feels like I’m sort of chasing a dream that is so out of my reach. Penn is focused, with me, amped up& then boom. NOPE SORRY. CAN’T DO IT. ZOOM.
That said, we are making a point to get back to dedicated focus work because we have another seminar coming up at the end of the month. And I would really, really, really like to find success. We got bumped out of the beginner class into the slightly more advanced group. And I don’t want to feel like we REALLY don’t belong there. I would like to have a decent showing. So, there is lots of pressure on us. And I feel like it’s just there. Chilling right beside everything Penn& I do. I see all these videos, statuses& blog posts of everyone with their dog. And the dogs are always younger, perform better& never seem to have an owner who is confused about the right answer. And I know in the back of my mind that is it crazy to compare myself& my dog to social media.. but here I am. Comparing. And I also know 90% of everyone presents a false reality of amplified success& toned down frustrations on social media. I know that. That fact was my main motivation with this blog. To track everything.. I don’t focus on only the positives or only the negatives. I focus on my feelings at the moment, regardless of how that makes me look to people reading this blog! People need to know that they aren’t the only ones to be upset or not know the answers or just want to quit. I don’t know if we’ve all been there but I know I have. I know how much I appreciated it when people stepped up to the plate to let me know they struggled, too. I wasn’t alone or crazy or the only person who ever struggled. I think I have been really genuine in my posts in that regard. I would love to find continual success in the focus department& start to have smaller struggles, but I’m taking it in stride. Or, at least, I’m trying.
It is tough, though, when you’re naturally competitive& have a lot of dog sport people interactions. And let me be clear ..none of these people are actively saying or doing anything to make me feel pressure. In fact, mostly everyone has been beyond kind& always with a positive word when needed. The pressure is entirely put on me by me. I just watch all these dog& handler teams find success while I sit here struggling with the same issues for over a year. I just feel completely lost in terms of what to do next. Do I sign up for Silvia Trkmans Foundations Fun course? Do I take the focus games course through Fenzi? Do I just stop trying? Put my agility wants on the shelf until I get my next puppy?
It just feels like I’m here barely keeping my head above the water while everyone else is flying by ..and it is frustrating. And it is hard to want to keep moving aiming for agility when it doesn’t even feel like we have had any continual success. Small amounts of success. Followed by lots of going backwards. There are so many dogs in master levels by age 2. Dogs at Nationals who are Penn’s age. Dogs who seem to just be finding so much joy in interacting with their handler. She doesn’t need titles by age 2. She’s going to live for many, many years so there really is no rush to find focus and success. We are just finding our footing as a team ..and I thought we had really made huge strides at the exhibition. It was another one step forward, two steps backward moment. We’ll get there. Even if she’s 10 before her first Q. We’ll get there ..and as of now, I’m taking the pressure off myself& my dog to try to keep up to the other dogs. Bring on some autumn adventures, seminars& perhaps one last trial before winter (because, really, I’m hooked. I’m not giving up agility anytime soon)!