In the moment
It seems to me that dogs are superstars at being “in the moment”. Watching Tai running across a stream for the first time or playing with a same-age puppy friend last week underscores that point and it’s something I love about my dogs and try to learn from. They don’t seem to dwell much about what just happened or what is about to happen. I don’t mean to say they can’t anticipate good things coming – like mealtime, a walk, an agility run or any other favorite activity. I just mean that when they are engaged in an activity of their choosing or an activity that we have built value for through our training…they show all signs of LOVING it, no regrets. I guess that is what good dog training is all about. Creating moments that our dogs love and look forward to and immerse themselves in for that time. Dogs seem to have a capacity to reach a sense of playfulness and joy that we humans have a harder time reaching. That may be one of the reasons why we love being with our dogs so much. Just watching them be in their moments, helps us be in our moments – if that makes any sense.
Last weekend I competed in the AKC Nationals with my sheltie Breeze. After all the course analysis, walk-through, planning, visualizing and watching others, when it was our turn to run, I was striving to be “in the moment” with Breeze. As I prepared to run, I mentally revisited some of our more playful moments together. I looked at his happy and anticipatory face. To do our best, I had to let go, to believe that we would be together and in sync…using a finely honed handling language that would keep us in tune. It would build on years of living, training and just plain fun…that he and I have had together and I could look to him to keep me centered. We did well at the Nationals, making it to the Finals and placing 3rd overall. To celebrate, I’ve posted a picture of Breeze in a “moment”. I’ll continue looking to him and my other dogs to teach me, hoping more and more of that magic will rub off on me!