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Lessons Learned

So Far

So Far

Mabel and I started a Rally Class a few weeks ago, not to compete. I’m dreadfully disgraceful with precision work. However, Mabel thrived in manners class, so I wanted to continue building her confidence and practice being calm around other dogs in a controlled setting.   Before class started, Mary Kate (the instructor) emailed us asking what… View more

Choose Love

Choose Love

Mabel was stretched out beside me, snoring, while I slowly stroked her side and enjoyed my coffee. I was feeling overwhelmingly grateful for Mabel’s morning sleepiness. I can knock out at least a couple hours of work before my funny, frisky girl is ready to romp, race, and roll through the day. Then, I felt the lump…. View more

A Lot

A Lot

Mabel’s a lot of dog with a lot of energy. But I’m a lot, too, and can quickly fill a room or take over a conversation if I’m not practicing self-awareness. So, even though Mabel sounds like a herd of buffalo when she runs, my sweet girl also has a sensitive side. As I suspected,… View more

Five-Letter Words

Five-Letter Words

I started Mabel’s home-alone training again a few weeks ago. I felt she was ready. We spent December making her room at home special while also allowing my sweet dog to adjust to Sasha’s lovely home for daycare instead of the large, rough, and rowdy play-all-day facility and keeping up with life in a busy… View more

Good Deeds

Good Deeds

I woke up Saturday morning to glittery snow on the ground and flakes fluttering from the sky. I never thought I’d be excited about 27°F, but when you have a reactive dog, you know it’s trickier to exercise them on the weekends and lovely weather days. So, Mabel and I headed to the quiet dog park,… View more

Hidden Blessings

Hidden Blessings

A few weeks ago, Mabel went to jump in the car, and I didn’t realize her leash was wrapped around my legs. My sweet girl tumbled backward onto the ground; she looked panicked but shook it off quickly and then jumped right into the backseat. For about five seconds, Mabel lifted her right leg. While Mabel seemed… View more

The Unlovely Truth

The Unlovely Truth

The day after Mabel came to stay with me for her trial week, I put her in the crate I borrowed from her foster mom with a treat-stuffed toy and went downstairs for a minute. The blood-curdling screams and violent thrashing that came out of my now-adopted sweet dog tore my soul to shreds.  As I sat… View more

Looking for Love

Looking for Love

I heard (again) on a podcast recently that what we look for, we find. If we look for love, it’s everywhere, from the bright eyes of the dog we adore looking lovingly at us to birds fluttering from tree to tree to the tiny sprouts of green grass here and there, even in February. And, if… View more

Just Life

Just Life

We think our souls are soothed. We feel good most of the time. Even stressful events and hiccups in our day don’t affect us like they once did, but sometimes, in our busy day-to-day, we see a reflection that reminds us there’s no such thing as healed, only mending. Mabel’s still settling in at home…. View more

Amused

Amused

When I lived in Chicago and trained dogs, I sat in traffic four hours a day and tried finding peace by listening to podcasts. I can’t recall the speaker’s name, but they said, “Instead of being annoyed, be amused.“ I never mastered glee in gridlock. If I did, I might still live in Chicago, but… View more

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