Lyra - 7 months
Have you ever had a training day where absolutely everything went right? Where you wished every person who'd ever said an unkind thing about you could be there to watch? Where you ended the work completely bubbling over inside with the excitement that comes with an amazing training session?
Today wasn't that day.
Everything went wrong, all because a perfectly well behaved Labrador was playing ball on the very far end of the park - a speck in the distance. Lyra stood on her hind legs and screamed. I tried waiting her out. I tried engaging her with a toy. I tried crating her and returning a few minutes later. And when I realized I was getting angry, I stopped, and we went home.
On the drive back to the house, I acknowledged to myself that I hadn't worked Lyra in a public space for a couple of weeks. I know that Lyra is highly environmental - training at home isn't enough. Most important, I know that she needs to get out a few times a week, and that at seven months of age, my expectations for "work" need to be scaled way back when we are in public.
Still, I was dissapointed. More in myself than in her, though in the minutes that she stood there and screamed I had some trouble remembering who needed to take responsibility.
We're back home and she's taking a nap under the desk. Now I'm going to pick my son up from school. Tomorrow we'll try again, with more fair expectations. I won't bring any working equipment at all; just a few toys and Lyra. Hopefully we'll have one of those days where everything goes right; where you wish every person who'd ever said an unkind thing about you could be there to watch, and where you end the work bursting inside with the excitement and happiness that comes with an amazing training session.