My to-do list is getting longer by the minute. Work is hopping, we’re looking for a new place to live, and I still haven’t done my taxes yet. Just when I have checked something off, I think of five more things I need to accomplish, all within the next few days. To prevent myself from getting down and giving up, I think I am in need of a self-esteem boost.
Shiva’s adoption anniversary is this weekend. As the date approaches, I can’t help but think back on all the crazy memories we’ve built together while struggling to figure out our relationship. There are a lot of them. Mistakes are going to be made when one is learning as she goes. Shiva is the most tolerant dog in the world to put up with me. But there have also been a lot of successes. Shiva not only has an impressive roster of tricks, but she has become a brand new dog. A real canine good neighbour.
Even if we never pass that dang test.
Of all the things we have learned together, of all the behaviours Shiva has mastered, there is one of which I am most proud. It’s not in my nature to brag but when it comes to this one thing, I have a hard time resisting the temptation to show off. Oddly, it has nothing to do with her reactivity.
Shiva has a wicked “stay”.
Maybe I am so proud of it because it is so counter-intuitive to her nature. Self-control is something we had to spend a lot of time working on. Shiva is a dog that wants, needs, to be constantly in motion. Staying in one place makes her anxious. We will never be able to take her to a parade because she can’t handle being around so many distractions and not moving. However, if I put her in a stay and move away, she is instantly focussed. There isn’t a whole lot these days that will cause her to break position. She now has so much value for staying when asked, I can ask her to do so in almost any position for an indefinite period of time. Even when she can’t see me.
Shiva’s stay is so good I have been able to leave her in a sit at the side of the road while I cross the street to catch a stray dog. It’s so impressive she will sit and watch while I train with The Cat, not moving until I give her release cue. It’s so awesome I could throw tripe at her head while performing cartwheels in a circle around her and she wouldn’t budge.
I think that is something worth bragging about.
Now it’s your turn. What learned behaviour of your pet’s – or pets’ – makes you the most proud? Don’t hold back! This is no time to be modest. I want to read some serious self-promotion!