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O'ahu born and Rockville bred, both Maryland and Hawai'i are home. Middle-aged knitter (believe me, my 40 is NOT the new 20) seeking the courage to live consciously, each and every moment. Now if I could just remember where I put my keys...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011. 2011. 2011. 2011. 2011. Yep. Resolutions. #1 - Good Walk! Good Boy!

Sit Ubu, sit!  Good dog!
I try not to fall into the trap of "changing" my life by resolutions anymore - it reminds me of each new semester as a child, promising myself and my parents that I would, like magic, become the exceptional student who aced all courses and lived up to her potential.

Ick.  I hate potential.

But here I am, with a bunch of things that are causing me discomfort in my life now and that really are inspiring me to CHANGE.  'Cuz I want to enjoy life more.  And I think I can with a few changes.  So, humor me with a few ideas about what can make 2011 a lovely, happy year.

First up:  Enjoying walking with the dogs.  Recently, Chester's constant pulling while on lead is wearing on my joints (or maybe I'm just noticing it more because I know I have unhappily aging connective tissue and am expecting pain and discomfort).  (I know, enough with the whining.  OK, won't mention it again.)  Things are at the point where walking with Chester, especially, is feeling out of control.  He's darting from one enticing smell to the next, all 70+ lean pounds of him, utilizing torque (and other physical laws I have no understanding of) to maximize Sniff Opportunities and to block out civilization (me).

Solution to the pulling:  Out the gate, putting him on Sit.  This means a Sit when the lead is getting attached, a Sit while the unit door is opening, a Sit before each landing, a Sit at the front door, and me going out the doors first.  Then, once outside, when excessive pulling is happening, "Sit".  I've done this a couple times this week and it's been a great success!

What is hard is that I (me, myself and I) need to be CONSISTENT - this needs to happen every walk.  I need to be present to be sure that both me and Chester have a good walk.  So often when walking the dogs, I'm still in my head about whatever has been going on that day - I'm still at work, thinking of a problem or problems; I'm puzzling over what I should have said when and to whom; I'm thinking, thinking, thinking, and the walk that is happening is just a blur and a chore and not a time where I'm connecting with Chester.  And he really loves to connect.

He really wants to be a good boy, but I need to interrupt his pulling behavior while on lead with something he can do and do to praise.  And this dog can sit (if you've followed this blog, you've seen the pictures - Chester's a champion sitter!).

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