I was sick earlier this week, and while I am feeling much better now in terms of cold symptoms, I find myself very low energy tonight.  I worked this morning, requiring a 7:30 start from the house, and didn’t get home until 7:30pm.  At the risk of sounding like  a broken record, I HATE being away from home this much.  It definitely affects my dogs, and it sure affects me.  I have noted that the days I am away for long hours, Ross, Hannah and Mira all want to sleep with me.  After chewing through my duvet several months ago, Kess has been relegated to sleeping in a crate until she’s much older.  I don’t like the dogs to sleep on the bed with me, but when I’m gone all day, I miss them too and let them stay.

It’s probably because I’m overtired and not feeling 100%, but I’m still quite shaken after last week’s lesson.  I don’t know if I’m going to go back there to train again.  This trainer has a lot of valuable skills to teach me, but if it takes me days or weeks to recover from a lesson, I have to wonder if it’s worth it.  I have been having so much fun working the dogs, and feeling very positive about our accomplishments – even though I know we have a long, long way to go yet.  But to be told  in no uncertain terms that my handling is horrible, my timing worse, and that I’ve ruined my dog is hard to recover from.  More than ruined – apparently she’s running worse than she was a year ago.

I know this is not true.  We had a bad day, and my handling certainly was off, but when I am relaxed and not worrying about being picture perfect for fear of just the type of verbal lashing I received, I can get sheep around a field without totally embarrassing myself or my dog, at least much of the time.  I also know that there is much to learn, and and many holes in our training.  It would be nice to get help, but it looks like we are going to have to struggle along on our own for the time being.  I had scheduled a lesson with a really well-known trainer coming over from the UK, but my new job interferes with my ability to travel on that day, so I had to cancel.  Very unfortunate, but I have to work and I don’t have to train dogs, so work’s the priority.

I am going out to train again on Monday.  And I will be farm sitting (two different farms) the next two weekends in a row, so I’ll get plenty of time to train over the next couple of weeks.  I had thought about taking a break, but I think I need to stay in the saddle and work through this.

Tonight I have rented Wall-E and am going to curl up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and as many dogs and cats as can fit beside me.  Tomorrow morning it’s back to work again.  What kind of world do we live in where one has to go to work at 7:30am on a Sunday?