I believe I’ve mentioned (a time or ten) my propensity to rush my training by glossing over fundamentals, or by seeing results once and then surging forward, certain that tiny success was a sign we were ready to move on instead of staying at that level until I saw regular, predictable results. I thought I’d gotten better after Steve’s clinic. I had a new outlook. I backed up in my training with Jig, forced myself to be patient, to not succumb to frustration. I’ve been videoing my training sessions with both Jig and Dillon so I can watch them afterwards and get a clearer idea of where we are and what I need to do more of, less of, or just differently.
Just like me to have a relapse when things start going well.
I’m calling it The Most Monumentally Epic Set Up For Failure In The History Of The World. I told myself I did this thing to gauge our progress and highlight some holes. In truth, I did this thing because I’m an idiot and I have these great expectations where Jig is concerned and I was certain we could do it.
I had the wrong sheep, the wrong set-up, the wrong mindset. I got frustrated and fell into old habits (read: flailing about and yelling incoherently). Jig, in true Jig fashion, tried to figure out what the hell I was going on about and do what she thought was right, only to have me get after her more times than was even remotely called for because her attempts weren’t exactly what I was after. I even recognized what I was doing only a few minutes into it but couldn’t manage to stop myself because, “Dammit!” says the Ginormous Idiot in me, “We should be able to do this!”
Only, we weren’t. And part of me knew that going in.
By the time I finally did call it quits, Jig was staring at me as though I’d sprouted horns out of my head. I’d botched things so badly, when I called her over she came to me in that slinky, ears flat manner that’s a sure sign I’ve been unreasonable and unfair. I’m surprised she came at all. I wouldn’t have. I wanted to smack myself. Repeatedly. With a two-by-four. Preferably one with a rusty nail in it. Then offer the opportunity to anyone who wanted it.
I loved Jig up and apologized for being so unbelievably unfair. She’s not as forgiving as some of my other dogs have been. She doesn’t forget such indiscretions easily. She’ll keep trying for me, but I did some damage to the trust and confidence I’ve been attempting to carefully build back up and strengthen.
I’m going to continue to beat myself up about it so as to not forget how stupid I was. The last thing I want is to repeat that performance. I’m also, however, going to put it behind me and move on–or rather back, once again, to the exercises we were doing that were starting to show results and ask my dog to not hold my irrational human behavior against me.