Take it Down A Notch

Take it Down a Notch Sweetie!“It’ll be a piece of cake,” I said to John a month before our first was born. “We’ll be great parents, our kids will be the best and we’ll never have any problems.”
Famous last words!
It’s never as easy as you believe, despite the best selling books, supposed expert advice and unflagging optimism.
Megan was born, life shifted and everything I thought about being a parent got tossed out the doors and the windows.
How many dogs have we partnered with expecting a similar outcome? We chose the right breed to match our lifestyle, environment, energy and time. We read books, take classes fall back on past experience and feel ready when we bring that perfect puppy home.
I thought long and hard before getting a border collie. I wanted a dog that would get me out of the house, involved with new dog sports and active in the canine training and handling world. Ready and able, I was eager to get started and then fell in love with the new world of colliedom.
But prepared I was not.
As in most things, I threw myself in to our new life, taking Willie to every class I could, obsessing over agility, wanting to be as perfect at handling as Willie was at responding.
He excelled at everything I asked of him learning quickly and enthusiastically. His eagerness motivated me to explore even more ways of stimulating his mind and challenging his athleticism.
And then our training hit a wall. Our teamwork stalled. And I learned that I wasn’t prepared for every aspect of training a border collie.
Downtime!
Who would have thought that a border collie needed to turn off periodically or that I needed to relax! Fortunately, a very wise woman noticed what was happening and asked me a simple question.
“Could you be doing too much?”
Yes, we could.
So we took a break and reflected on a very valuable lesson. Even a border collie needs a chance to take intensity down a notch and regroup, reprocess and relax. And it’s a lesson I can also apply to being a parent of my children.

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