Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dog Agility Blog Action Day - Attitude

Well, this is an appropriate theme for me.  I have a bad attitude (right now) about agility.  I want to do it - Tibby does not.  And I'm not going to make her, or lure her, or trick her, or BEG her to play with me.  I'm done with trying all the tricks.  She has told me in every way that she doesn't like agility.  She likes to : sit in the backyard, play with the cat, play with me, chew bully sticks, snuggle, get belly rubs, do tricks and go for walks.  These are the things that make her happy. 
Tibby makes me happy, so if these are the things that make Tibby happy....then I shouldn't have my bad attitude.
But I do.
I love training agility.
I love watching agility.
I love thinking about agility.

So I have been working on my attitude.  Happy with what I have and not dissatisfied with what I don't have.  It's not easy. 

I would like to play (tug, chase, fetch, wrestling) with Tibby all the time.  She would like to sleep. 
I think the hardest thing, is to be rejected by your dog when you want to play with them.  They say, "No thank you." and then go chase the cat.  Big ego blow.

Ego.  Yup, that would cause a bad attitude. 

I have been told by many people (many times) that the most difficult dogs teach us the most.  I believe this, but it doesn't make my attitude any better.  I believe this because in the last couple of weeks I have been able to train Zoe (the terrified terrier) to do agility better than Tibby.  Weeks, people, not years.  Very bad for my attitude. 

Would I want to live with Zoe?  No.  Would I want to trade Tibby for Zoe?  NEVER EVER EVER!!  Am I jealous that  Zoe's Mom has a drivey dog that asks for more and wants to play with her?  maybe.

In the last few months (maybe year) I've experienced something like the stages of grief -
Denial:  "This can't be happening, not to me.  I can fix this.  I can work harder."
Anger: "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who's to blame?  Everyone else has an easy dog!  Not fair!"
Bargaining: "I'll do anything, travel any where, try everything. Any class, any seminar, any treats or toys."
Depression: "I'm so sad, why bother?  Nothing will work, what's the point?"
Acceptance: "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well get use to it."

I'm not saying I've reached the acceptance stage, but I might be getting closer.  That would help my attitude.

Right now I have a little fluffy dog snuggled up in my lap with her head on my chest.  She's asleep and gently breathing onto my neck.  I love her.  I would never trade her for a million drivey dogs and right now I have an excellent attitude.

I will keep working on my attitude and Tibby will keep being the sweet little dog she has ALWAYS been.  I will try to appreciate what an amazing dog I have and not try to make her into something she doesn't want to be.

She's a companion dog.  She's my companion and she does it better than any dog in the world.
Am I done with agility?
I'll work on my attitude and get back to you on that someday.


Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Oh Catalina! I'm at a similar point with the toller and know how frustrating it can be. I don't know what the answer is for my red dog and I don't know what the answer is for Tibby. I do think it's important that we really listen to what our dogs are telling us, but there are also times where the dogs just need more time and for us to keep our expectations in check.

Helen said...

Some dogs are passionate about agility and some dogs are not, just the way people are. Maybe you and Tibby could just do some fun matches rather than just practices, sometimes a change in your energy and you will get a totally different dog.