Hello. Well it has been a while since I wrote a blog post – I’m sorry about that. 2020 has been a difficult year for us all and it continues to throw obstacles in our way. Like most things in life the impact of current events are going to be with us for a long time. I have tried to look at as many positives as I can but even this can fail to work and we all have moments of negativity, and nothing can undo the sadness of loosing loved ones. However, I hope that this has made me grow, more understanding and tolerant of others (we all have our own personal space) and more patient.
My journey to become an Animal Centered Education (ACE) instructor has helped me find a wonderful support group, has opened my eyes and given me confidence to take things slowly. Our dogs have also had to cope with lots of changes to their lifestyle and routine. Some have enjoyed this, becoming more relaxed on walks due to less dogs off lead, learnt to be calm at home and embrace the lack of routine. Other dogs have hated this time, the lack of socialisation, need for more time running free and missed the thrill of competition. My training methods have changed to take this into account, we all need some extra support, some space and most importantly a time to try to forget about the world and focus on you. Working with our dogs allows us to be in the moment, to observe and relax, to find joy in achieving a common goal and build confidence back up. Yes we get frustrated at times, but we are only human and our dogs are only dogs. Take a step back and allow yourself that time to breath. Freework allows us to give this same comfort to our dogs. A moment when they are in control, calm and there are no wrong choices. When we are stressed we are less able to make good decisions, we act on impulse and often look back later and wonder why we did what we did. Our dogs are the same, and it is up to us to help them relax and be in a position to make the right choices. It isn’t rocket science, it can cost very little and it will change your relationship with your dog forever. I am still on the first step of many, I am still making mistakes and my dogs still need more, BUT I’m making the changes, learning from each mistake and walking forwards every day.
ACE work is truely AMAZING and AWESOME, thank you Sarah Fisher and I cannot wait for the next course to begin.