A post of Mach.
Mach 3 Speed is utterly amazing, ya know. That sounds like it should be an ice cream with rocket things inside that crakle.
I am going to be brutally honest about him. I've had a dream of being on the world team, winning at a big event and all that golden gloriousness. Toffee is amazing, however her awkward size sorta kinda maybe holds her back from those opportunities (except she kicked butt at nationals last year!!!!). When he was a young pup, I had little hope. He was so timid. So timid. Sure, he loved to play and tug and eat (alot). Yeah, he did the puppy jump bumps, circle work, sit stays and hand targets with awesome accuracy and precision. But I just wasn't feelin' it.
It was extremely difficult for me to remember how to train a puppy. Toffee was my last dog, whom I trained when I was 11 and had all the time in the world to do what I needed with her. There were no essays to write, no hours and hours of homework each night, there were no exams to write. It was just me and my dog, in grade 6, lovin' life.
Working through his timidness has been very challenging. Even as challenging as working through Toffee's reactiveness. It's been frustrating, maddening even. I didn't know, really, what that best route to fixing this problem was.
As he got older, he did get better. But as he got older, the more challenging things we trained. Like weaves and contacts and and and.... When he failed, he failed a lot. And he did it over and over and over again. That, of course, drove me crazy. Since he's a very super extremely sensitive dog, he picked that up like burdocks on dog hair. I swear he's an elephant, because he wouldn't forget that overly expressive sigh that I exhasperated the week prior. Or maybe I didn't forget it, and I was still in that moody mood....
Toffee taught me a lot on the whole growing up part of life. But Mach brought on a whole different set of lessons; patience, more than anything. He's also taught me that sometimes things take time. Not everything in life is handed to you. In fact, very little is. I've always known this, but it took some getting used to...celebrating the little success', realizing that our time with them is unfairly too short, and dude, if he's not a national champ, who cares? He's your baby boy :)
I think I have come a long way in that sense. That success isn't measured on how far you go your agility career, but in your relationship. Love makes you richer than gold does.
As I have relaxed when training him, whadaya know? He's become amazing.
He's a late bloomer. This past month, I have seen more improvement, from even session to session, than I have in his entire life. (Okay, he's only almost 20 months..but still) I feel as though he has actually started to enjoy playing agility. I think up until now, it was fun, sure. But it was work.
His eyes go crazy when he's playing, something I have never seen from him. He even asks to go play.
And if he's happy, I'm happy and that right there is success. :)
More on Mach, to be continued...