Saturday, March 13, 2010

Playing Hooky

Anyone reading my progress reports (on my bzdog blog) these past few weeks will note a definite lack thereof. Lack of progress, that is. Part of that is due to Real Life (school, Lacrosse, work) but we all know we can find time for that which we truly love...

... and lately, that hasn't been the boy's classwork.

With each passing week, as I copied the same items from the old sheet to the new and wrote up whatever reason there was as to why they were still undone, there was a growing sense of obligation coupled with diminishing desire to actually complete the tasks. I knew I had to move forward on those items in order to reach my Goal of completing Training Level Five by years end, and yet...

Not happening.

So last week I decided to shake things up by only having "fun things" on the list. I figured a week of fun might make the eventual return to classwork seem less onerous.

(Isn't that a great attitude.)

The first day, Sunday... (yes, I know what dates are on my sheets, but as I wasn't making any progress on that week's sheet I figured it couldn't hurt to start the new one a day early) so Sunday I spent class time exploring sticks with the boys and crawling around on the ground in the glorious sunshine looking for "Unusual Angle" shots (to see what ended up in their scrapbook, click HERE.)

Monday was Tricks day, where I trotted out the (dusty) flip camera and shot footage of a bunch of the boys tricks.

Tuesday was dress-up day, where the boy's modeled headgear and a scarf (see HERE.)

On Wednesday, along with a cold that the entire community seems to have, came the realization that just setting goals wasn't good enough. Yes, I have read Training Levels 1000 times, and I have created lists and charts and plans in order to "stay the course".

But I wasn't.


I think it is because I lack a reason to do so.

Perhaps the question isn't just "What are my goals?" but also "Why do I want to achieve them?"

My boys are not service dogs, working dogs, or assistant dogs. My dislike of "performing" means getting a CD or RN isn't a huge incentive either.

No incentive = lack of motivation = icky tasks undone.

These past few weeks I have been putting off activities that require going outside. This includes Contacts (as I can't figure out where to put a 10' plank in the house), leash manners (I need 40' and my hallway isn't that long), the long sits and downs (see leash manners), and all the On The Road stuff (which, by definition, can't occur in the house.)

It's not that I don't want to go outside, it's just that, well... actually... it is because I don't want to go outside. It's dark outside by the time I can hold class. It's Dark and Cold. It's Dark and Cold and (usually) Raining.


I learned a lot about myself this week, and while I still don't have a good reason for wanting my goals, at least I know I should be looking for one.

Thursday night I pulled the flip camera out again and shot of video of Zachary learning to push a door closed. While I was at it, I shot video of both dogs doing Heel and Finish for Level Four. Somehow it didn't seem so bad after all.

As I'm sitting here, I'm realizing that Daylight Savings Time is coming tonight and soon the weather will be bright and sunny. Until then, I think I'm going to refocus on doing what can be done right now - those things that inspire my boys and me.

Those other things? They can wait a little bit longer.

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