I raise and train puppies for a service dog organization. I'm also a dog trainer. Yesterday, I got the pleasure of being a student in a dog training class and it was delightful! I don't live close enough to the service dog organization to go to class every week (it's a 3-hour one way drive), but my resolution for 2013 is to go to class with Monti once a month. It's important for the service dog organization to eyeball Monti and I to be sure we're on track with the other pups in the program and to ensure Monti's developing temperament is still up to the (very high) service dog standards. It's important for me because (1) it's FUN, (2) I get to be just a student, and (3) it's fun! I think I mentioned that it's fun, didn't I?
I had been frustrated with Monti's lack of self control. I'd started to dread training with her. It wasn't fun anymore. After our session yesterday with the service dog folks, I got to see Monti from their perspective, a more objective perspective.
I'm thankful for that new perspective. Because I really love this little girl. She and I had developed a habit of arguing more than we were agreeing. We've already planned an outing tomorrow to work on her self control -- Costco, banking, lunch out, then back home. That will also exhaust her -- bonus!
I'm already looking forward to our next class in February. I'm hoping they'll see Monti's leaps-and-bounds progress (that we'll make between now and then). In any event, I'm back to enjoying little Monti to the fullest! And that's what it's all about.