Category Archives: best dogs

Pretty sad around here

Fran on Friday

gg_premoveYup, it’s pretty sad-looking here. The mats are up. Most of the non-inventory items are gone. Many of the shelving units are gone, too. The filing cabinets are gone. While we’re excited about the move, we can’t help but be sad that we won’t be here any longer. We’ve had some good times, some frustrating times, some happy times and some sad times. Such is life.

We’ve had fun playing with our dogs, training with our dogs, meeting new people and their dogs here, laughing at the dogs in meetup groups’ antics. We’ve hosted some great parties here, too. For our obedience training club, for rescue groups and shelters. There have been some wonderful classes here, and we’ve gotten a lot of work done.

The new space is almost ready, which is good because we move in just a few days. The walls and ceiling have been patched, and there’s new paint. There are new light fixtures. There will be a new floor in a couple of days. It’s exciting, but intimidating at the same time.

I know we’ll have great times in the new space. We’ll meet lots of nice people and their dogs. We’ll have some great conversations about dogs and their training, I also know that any dog who comes into the shop will leave much better-outfitted and with some yummy treat samples. But it won’t be the same.

No dogs …

Fran on Friday

060313_bkrplayI’m sad today. It’s Friday – the day that I used to bring both my dogs to work with me. I had the whole day with them here at the shop. I would work for an hour, then take a break and train or play with Booker and Tango. Work for another hour (OK, maybe 45 minutes) and play some more. All day. It was great! We’d get some really good training done. There was that nice matted surface in the ring that was perfect for running, or even just walking. I’d be able to tire Booker out with just a couple of short tug games, or he’d fetch his ball. He never thought I gave his fetch game enough time! And Tango loved the 1-on-1 time for training Rally. He still doesn’t understand “play”! Silly dog!

Now it’s gone… The landlord wanted us to get rid of the mats before we moved. So a couple of our training buddies were able to take them. Now there’s just a bare concrete floor.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still excited about our new adventure! We’ll have fun in our new space. But I’ll miss being able to train my dogs on Friday.

Do what makes you happy

Fran on Friday

dax_rallyWhy do we train our dogs? Why do we do anything? Unless it’s mandatory, like our jobs that keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, why do we do anything? Because it makes us happy! I listen to music that makes me happy. I read books that I enjoy. I learn things that enhance my enjoyment of life. I exercise because I like to eat. Also because I enjoy running Booker in Agility, and training Tango in Rally Obedience, and exercise.

So, why do I train my dogs? Why does training them make me happy? Having dogs that are well-behaved in public is easier than dogs that are ill-behaved, that’s for sure! And having dogs that will do what I want them to, even at home, makes life so much easier. If I tell my dogs to “go kennel,” I know that they’ll run into their crates, and I can leave the house with an easy conscience. My dogs are safe and happy, and I’ll be on time for work, or an appointment. Sure, people remark on what good dogs I have if we’re walking down the street together, my dog close to my left side. That’s nice (and so are ribbons that we earn at competitions), but the main reason I train my dogs is to make my life easier. I love having dogs, and having well-trained dogs makes me happy.

So tired …

Fran on Friday

031513_bkr_slpA few months ago I told you that Booker and I graduated to the Advanced Agility Competition class. We’ve been having fun in the class for sure – learning all sorts of new tricks and techniques. And while I’m not as adept as some of my classmates, I’m holding my own – most of the time!

What I didn’t mention was that the class is on Thursday at 8:30 in the evening. Most days I’d be nodding off on the couch at this time. But on Thursdays I spend almost an hour in traffic to lose sleep at agility class. Class is usually over at about 9:30, unless our amazing trainer really wants to drill home a skill, and then we’re let loose at about 10. Fortunately traffic isn’t usually as bad on the way home, so we’re home by 10 or a little later. (Chicago traffic is abominable!)

But I can’t go to bed right away – Booker is too wound up. He needs to expend lots of energy! He usually ropes Torque into wrestling with him. We let them go at it for 15 – 20 minutes and then physically separate them. Enforced quiet time follows. But then I’m too wound up to go to bed! So we’re usually really tired on Fridays!

The class is worth it, though – the skills we’re learning are invaluable!