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Saint Jane Marshall

July 18th, 2007, 11:47 AM
i know this is a Canadian site but i need to gush somewhere and im here.

so here is my gushing-

we have 'read all the books', searched all the sites, talked our hearts out to folks but couldnt seem to get this training thign right with Mister. we have had home repair projects, two kids, Girl Scout camp, relatives visiting and a whole slew of other things conspiring against training classes. we felt we did what we could on our own and now needed help from someone else to give us the tools to work on getting him to a point where we could take him out for group classes... it seemed like such an impossibility to me. i coudlnt walk him on a leash outside of my yard! let alone from the car to some classes. all of the advice in the world has only left me with a total lack of confidence in myself, my ability to train him and the no space in the day to give him "enough attention" along with training him too. ive been told that all of our problems likely stem from him being under stimulated, under exercised and under trained. i felt this huge pressure to dedicate more time, more energy and more effort to making this house work with Mister in it too. how could i put more energy and effort into this when i was already dedicating more to him than i was the kids?! the pressure to stimulate and exercise him more was overwhelming!! were we companions or were we his only means for stimulation? i felt horribly guilty about him spending our grocery shopping time in his kennel that to compensate i would tack on another hour or so of working with something to make up for it. that made over 5 hours(more days than not) a day of working/playing with him!!

well this saintly woman came to our home, gave me a big emotional/mental hug and told me i was doing a really wonderful job all on my own, we just needed some tweaking here and there to get Mister to listen and then all of our current insanity would end and we could proceed with TRAINING him. she handed us a few key things to work on, SHOWED us how to do it and then reassured us we werent the abysmal dog owners we were feeling like. we gave him plenty of love and attention. she helped us tweak our methods of teaching him things. she was pleasantly (for me anyway) surprised at how many thigns we had managed on our own without having ever taken any classes ourselves.

anyways, bottom line?? Mister is proud of himself, Chris and i are rather proud of ourselves and we both are extremely pleased with how smoothly this mornign went.

we have a lot of hard work ahead of ourselves but we arent spinning our tires needlessly anymore. we all ahve so many new games to play with Mister that have a PURPOSE.

i think im just going to go sit in the bathroom and cry for a minute. i think im PMSing. thats gotta be it right??

-ashley <--who is so unbelievably pleased and relieved

July 18th, 2007, 02:27 PM
:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: Anyone who cares THAT much can't be doing ALL bad kiddo ! But, you're right ~ I remember bursting into tears at work when someone innocently asked "So hows it going with the new dog ?" Declan was at-deaths-door-ill, Bridie JUST hated him, (and I do mean HATED him), Declan needed way more training and exercise time than was humanly possible, Ceili was sick... and I WAS AN AWFUL MUM WHO COULD DO NOTHING RIGHT !!!!!!! Then a trainer/behaviourist sat me down and much like your experience told me about all the really creative, intuitive, "extra-mile" things I was doing (whether that was true or not for me doesn't matter ~ I needed to hear someTHING pawsitive) and somethings I could do differently and others I could tweak or replace, That's the mark of a good teacher ~ someone who makes it all seem possible and becomes your "champion".

But good for you ~ we never doubted you kiddo ! :thumbs up

July 18th, 2007, 03:00 PM
mummummum!! that was exactly what it was like! it was such a relief to know we werent complete failures and we were actually doing pretty good for folks with no formal training and a bit of a thick headed, highly active lab. or rather what i thought was a highly active dog. :)