Tuesday Time-out

In an effort to re-connect, I spent most of Sunday taking Shiva for a walk.

We sniffed things, we ate things, we ate things after sniffing them… Luckily, the other dogs we came across were the exception to this rule.

My city is very much a summer city. Even in the sunshine of early spring, most people are too fearful of the cold to venture too far out the door. Just the way we like it – the whole world to ourselves.

Walking has always been slightly curative for my anxious mind. When I am out with Shiva there is nothing else I need to get done. I stop worrying about bills or other heave responsibilities and just appreciate the moment. Even when my mind wanders, it is rarely to stressful things. When I am walking my dog, I can just be me.

After all that exploring, I did feel a little better about where things are between us. Even if we never, ever get to compete in a real trial, Shiva is an excellent companion. We’ve gotten to the point in our training where most of it is polish work. We pass strangers and their dogs all the time now and Shiva barely lifts her head. Sometimes, in certain circumstances, she will even allow someone to touch her without pulling away. She never even pulls on the leash anymore unless there is something disgusting she wants to eat. The work we have left to do is just extra. She is already far ahead of my childhood dog in skill and control.

We’re pretty lucky, over all. In the two years since we’ve had her in our lives, she has turned into a kickass dog who we can take places without too much worry. What more does one need?

22 thoughts on “Tuesday Time-out

  1. That’s more like it, what a lovely post! Beautiful photos, too, Shiva is a pretty girl. I particularly like the one in which she is sitting on the table and the first one in which she’s talking to the lion. Walking George has the same effect on me – it’s time out from all worries and time to enjoy nature and think about things.


  2. Time and dogs–two great things that keep us grounded.

    I loved the photo of Shiva with the winged lion. And yes, you have a wonderful dog. And you’re doing a great job with her.


  3. Great photos of Shiva.

    When I need to find peace sometimes I just take one dog instead of both on the walk. A calmness ensues me and I forget about everything. Its a great feeling and im so glad you were able to part take in that!
    Your connection with Shiva is constantly growing. One day at a time.


  4. Love that picture of her paw lifted to the statue. I envy your peace of mind while walking. When I walk the dog, all I can think about is all the stuff I have to get done that isn’t getting done because I’m walking the dog.


  5. What a lovely sunny Sunday and Shiva looks great and happy there. I always like to have a walk with Eva because she always looks happy when we are walking together, and because she is happy, I’m happy too. 🙂


  6. Great post, seems you have found some answers. you summed it up well at the end with
    “In the two years since we’ve had her in our lives, she has turned into a kickass dog who we can take places without too much worry. What more does one need?”

    Good thing to always keep in mind.. training never ends if you are going to keep challenging your dog, I know I do it, but one must make sure to take time and look back at all the things accomplished and how far you have come. Nobody is perfect, including our dogs.

    I also think I need to get out and find new places to walk as I tend to find our canal walks boring, but in effort to get back to an ideal weight i need to get out there with her (and wyatt). Wish the weather would make up it’s mind.

    Take care


  7. Okay, I just GOT to know what you ate! Was it wonderfully stinky and rotten?

    I luvs that picture of Shiva with the lion. RAWR!

    I’m glad you went for a walk. Going for a walk helps me figure stuff out a lot, too.

    Wiggles & WAgs,


  8. You just cracked me up: “We sniffed things, we ate things, we ate things after sniffing them… Luckily, the other dogs we came across were the exception to this rule.”

    Also, I think your attitude is such a healthy one. You have only had her for such a short while! She is a GREAT dog, and only getting better!


  9. I totally agree! I think Shiva has come a long, long way and you’ve done an amazing job with her – so you should be proud of yourself!

    And really, we “trainer types” tend to be very hard on ourselves and our dogs – as you say, they are MORE than perfect enough as “pet dogs” – it’s all the competition stuff that puts stress on things.

    It’s one reason I decided to stop competing in dancing with Honey – I just felt that it was always making me look at her in a bad llight and comparing her to other dogs and finding her wanting and making ME feel like a failure and generally making our relationship – esp our working relationship – a very negative one. But if you take a step back and look at it, she is an awersome pet dog and behave amazingly in a lot of difficult situations. Just because she doesn’t behave perfectly in an artificial one under the eyes of some random “judges” doesn’t mean anything…why should I let them make me feel bad about me & my dog when the majority of the time – in our REAL life, she is an wonderful companion?

    So I’m not saying one shouldn’t ever compete and do trials (I would have probably persisted if Honey was younger and I stil intend to compete again with my next puppy) but I think it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture sometimes and to really weigh up why you have your dog. And some dogs are more suited to the artifical environment of competing, others are not. Some dogs are fantastic in the ring and AWFUL pets (believe me, I’ve met them!) – and I have to say, given the choice, I’d rather have Honey than a dog I can say is a multiple-blah-blah-Champion but is reactive every time I take her out and runs away in the park and destroys things and barks uncontrollably at anything and has all sorts of other neurotic problems (I’m not making this up – I’ve met dogs like this!)

    I think the most important thing about training and working with your dog – something a lot of competitions lose sight of – is that the journey is more important than the destination. The important thing is you working together as a team and spending time together and enjoying each other – rather than what arbitrary letters and ribbons you can gain in some artificial system of value.



  10. So true, if you’ve got your BFF dog that behaves and can be taken out in public, you’ve got 60% of the population beat. There are sooo many people in my neighborhood who never take their dog(s) out! So sad. Glad you’re feeling more connected. 🙂


  11. Shiva really does seem like a wonderful dog and you two seem like such a great pair. It’s nice that you can feel so content and at peace when you are walking her – that really says a lot about your relationship.


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