11/08/2019

I'll be honest, I've been struggling with this post for a few weeks. First it was going to be about training; where I'm at with the dogs, what I'm working on now that the clinic & trialing year is done, plans for next year, the usual. Then I thought I should really give Rebel Kitten his own post because… well… Truth of the matter is though, I'm finding it difficult to write anything other than a post more fully answering the question some of my friends have been asking. How am I doing since losing Cian? I have that post written. When I finished, I couldn't decide whether I would hit delete or publish. I did neither. The writing of it was, in itself, truly cathartic. There are reasons psychiatrists suggest people keep journals. Just getting your thoughts and feelings out can really aid in healing. Or at least

10/22/2019

The past couple of weeks have been tough. No doubt about it. Cian isn't the first dog we've lost and he won't be the last but, in many regards, he was the hardest. I want to take a moment to publicly thank all of you for the kind words, the private messages, the cards, the hugs, the support and the understanding. I've been riding the roller coaster of grief as best I can, trying not to think too much, bouncing erratically from tears to anger, most times settling somewhere in-between as I remind myself to live in the moment. In any case, healing is coming, though it's taking its own sweet time. I read somewhere that if you can tell your story without crying, you're well on your way. Guess I'm not too close to that point yet, but I've been attempting to help it along by doing those things that

10/08/2019

Fuck epilepsy. And no, I won't apologize for my language. I had been looking forward to writing a post in a few weeks to mark the 1st anniversary of Cian's epilepsy diagnosis. Not because that was something to celebrate, but because his life since then was something to celebrate. I would have talked about the fact he was thriving and living large despite the monster lurking in the shadows. That post would have been full of hope. I would have told you how Cian spent the weekend of the farm trial being the sort dog. How he was really learning the job of working in the chute and finally hit a heel. How more and more, each day, he did something so Jig-like it was scary. I would have laughed about his two special friends, both named Sunni, who he loved to wrestle and romp with. How each morning he waited for me to toss him an ice cube so he

10/04/2019

This appeared in my Facebook memories this week.. It's hard to believe that was only a year ago. It feels like it took forever to reach that milestone. So much frustration and self-doubt. So many times I thought about throwing in the towel. I won't stop singing the praises of those closest to me for their support, encouragement, shoulders, ears, and swift kicks in the arse whenever I said stupid things like, "I'm done." I need to remind myself I was on a very steep learning curve. And by 'was' I mean 'still am'. Jig isn't through teaching me things yet. Unfortunately I'm not as smart as Jig and I sometimes don't retain lessons very well. Fully evidenced by the sound thrashing I received from Deb last weekend. Deb is allowed to pound on me. She's one of the people mentioned in the paragraph above. Anyhow, Deb had been watching me trial

09/23/2019

Spend any time on this blog and you'll discover the overlying theme is all about the journey. Specifically as it pertains to living with, training, and trialing my dogs. Like all journeys, this one has had its shares of ups and downs. Sometimes the rough patches seemed like they would never end and made me question the sanity of it all. I believe a lot of journeys are like that. We fight with them because our focus is on the end and we lose sight of the fact that it's everything happening along the way we need to pay attention to. Even the little things. Especially the little things -- the successes, the failures, the stories, the laughter, the tears -- they're what's important. They're what shape us and our journey. Hard to believe, I know, but I can sometimes be a bit impatient. I have, in the past, fought

08/21/2019

It's been a long time since I left a trial feeling anything other than disheartened, slightly beaten down, and wondering why I keep throwing uncooked spaghetti at the wall. That's not whining or a plea for sympathy, just the facts. My attitude was based solely on my mindset which, admittedly, was far from good. I was so focused on all the wrong things, I could no longer see all the good things that were happening. If you're a regular reader, you might remember my mentioning a good arse kicking I received from several of my friends and mentors a couple months back. Obviously I carry my brain in my arse, because that tough love served to reset my attitude and that caused a chain reaction. This past weekend was Outback ASC's fall trial. Along with two days of arena trials, they held a cattle farm trial. No secret Jig and I love

08/08/2019

I suck at living in the moment. Cian's been trying his damndest to teach me. I have failed. What can I say? I'm human. I obsess about shit. Shit that happened, is happening, may happen, could never possibly happen but WHAT IF IT DID???? My latest obsession comes courtesy of Cian's FitBark. I sync the phone app to it whenever I'm in range, and check it frequently, comparing what he has done to the data being displayed. I find it fascinating and hope the UW's study will find it equally so. A somewhat normal day for Cian might look like this: Active quite a bit and sleeping good at night. I'm not certain how the FitBark differentiates between Play and Active. There are times I think it should register other than it does but I haven't researched that part yet. Compare that to this readout from the 20th when Cian had a seizure during the

07/18/2019

I was doing some website updates, transferring domain names, switching servers, panicking when I thought I lost everything… again, etc. etc. and suddenly realized it's been over a month since my last post here. Yikes, right? But, you know… And then there's been this stretch of heat and humidity which are two of my most unfavorite things. Okay, enough with the gifs, that's not what any of us are here for. Let's see, short recap; my last post was about how I was talked out of benching Jig and only running her in farm trials because I wasn't having the success I thought I wanted. Since then, a second person whose opinion I value, concurred with the first. Actually, several folks concurred. So, I'm sticking with it and with Jig because I have a lot to learn yet. Jig has some stuff to learn as well. Stuff I should have taught her

06/10/2019

No, I'm not personally in a dark place right now. Not in general. A good friend of mine sent this to me after the trial this past weekend because of some conversations we'd been having around a decision I thought I had made. I say thought because that same friend gave me her much valued opinion on said decision. Which, in turn, caused me to give it some more consideration in a different light. The decision concerned my continued forays into the trial arena with Jig this year in the quest for finals points. I was using the trial as my litmus test. If we did well and got some points, we would continue on. If not, I'd still run her in Farm Trials and maybe give Post Advanced another go, but no more arena trials. To be fair, Jig and I didn't do horrendous. We had some really good moments, particularly

05/06/2019

It occurred to me that Dillon hasn't gotten a lot of press this year. It's been all Jig and Cian, Jig and Cian. In fact, it appears my last Dillon update was in October. Poor boy. Trust me though, he hasn't been ignored. Between my schedule and the weather, we really haven't had a lot of opportunities to train this spring. Yeah, I'm calling this 'Spring' even though I'm not entirely certain it's not still Winter, or possibly Fall. Could be Midwest Monsoon Season for all I know. Unfortunately, the weather isn't something I can do anything about. Back to Dill. The first several times I took him out this year one thing became very obvious: one of us had regressed terribly. I'll give you a hint, it wasn't Dillon. Toward the end of last year, after some observations by a friend, I realized I can't use a lot of verbal