One of my favorite parts of training, whether it be in myself, in a dog, or in helping a friend, is the lightbulb moments. Those magical few seconds when all of the sudden the whole world seems to make sense, and that one thing you’ve been trying to understand for what feels like forever suddenly becomes second nature. It’s such a proud moment, your face fills with joy, sometimes there may even be a few happy jumps, and if you’re like me you want to show everyone you know. They’re magic.
Today was spent skipping school (shhh) and attending a seminar. I got to be a witness to so many people having these special moments, and had a few myself. I absolutely love seminars, even auditing like I did today, my brain was full, my body tired, and my passion stronger.
This past week had a bit of a lull in magical training moments. Things seemed to have plateaued, and even though I could never be disappointed in Wave, she truly is amazing, there just weren’t any lightbulb moments. I was aching to run a full agility course, it seems to have been way too long, and the fire inside me dimmed. It was just a small flicker of darkness, but it was there.
A year ago I would have let that defeat me. Hell, six months ago I would probably be laying in my mom’s bed crying that I made a mistake. I’m learning to have trust in myself, and my dog, and realizing that lulls and flickers may happen, but what matters is that you don’t let them defeat you. You go out, and push harder and stronger than you ever have before. That is how you overcome those flickers.
Wave had the most magical moment I’ve ever witnessed tonight. She stayed. I know, doesn’t sound like much, but for weeks I’ve been training her stay with very little progress. Glue-stick puppies don’t like mommy to leave. But tonight, oh tonight, after having the strongest tug session, when we were both at the highest excitement level we can manage, I asked for a sit and ran backwards, maybe 3-4 strides, and there was Wave sitting perfectly still waiting for a release. I couldn’t believe it. It was obvious in her face that she was having a magic moment. She knew it, i knew it, we knew it. I released, she ran for the toy, and then we played on the floor together. That’s usually how our training sessions end, rolling around on the floor laughing.
We found magic other places lately too. Mainly, the woods. The trees have been our recluse lately, a space for just the two of us, our happy place. A space away from all the noise of life, to disconnect from the world, and to reconnect with myself, with her.
I’m sure there will be many more magic moments for the two of us, but this, tonight, this was my favorite.