by Laura Sylvester
This morning, Orbit’s spunk is still with us. He’s got a brisker wag of his tail, a heightened spring in his step, and a spirited smile on his face when he greets us. Today after our last training session with Tim and Elise, they will take their journey back home, Orbit will stay. And our family will now live life as a pack of 4.
I am happy to report that Orbit passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test with flying colors! Both Rick and I took the test with Orbit and I am proud to say Tim and Elise said we BOTH did great. I have to admit that several times over the past few days I have felt unsure about being in charge and knowing what to do without Tim and Elise’s guidance. But today, I feel ready. Ready to practice our lessons just Orbit and me, ready to identify myself when I mess up and need correction (a more accurate description would be that I hear Tim or Elise’s voices in my head saying “rule of opposites - walk faster - don’t bend down - give the command standing straight - don’t baby him - have confidence – believe that he can do it and he will”) and I feel ready to start our journey - just our pack!
As Rick and I said Good-Bye to Tim and Elise and their travel pack, Elliot chimed in with “Good-Bye Guests.” I can only guess at the possible reasons why Elliot has trouble with new people in the house. In an incessant barrage of conjecture, the voice inside my head is constantly firing the pointless, “I wonder why he does this…I wonder why he does that…I wonder why…I wonder why”…on and on and on. Sometimes it feels like I’m in a giant maze with moving walls. But, I re-directed myself today when I heard Elise’s voice regarding the simplicity involved in the art of dog training “who cares about the why, dogs are in the now, BE IN THE NOW.” And once again, I was struck by the wonderful wisdom in life’s lessons that are abundant and omnipresent if I am open and ready. Sometimes the most important thing for me to remember is to stop questioning, planning, and trying to get ahead of the situation. I could start accepting the moment exactly as it is and loving the now. So, to those voices in my head that build walls between me and being fully present with Elliot, I would like to cordially say, “Good-Bye Guests.”