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?