Well, here we are, a new year has started. In January the overwhelming theme seems to be new year resolutions and most of them are about getting better and healthier and fitter. Us, who are lucky enough to have a dog should find this a bit easier as our four legged friends are forever trying to encourage us to take them out. You really do not need to pay and visit the gym and get all sorts of fitness outfits. In fact there is a quote that says “There is no problem that a good walk can’t solve” well, within reason of course, but it’s very true. So to tackle your problems and your stress and your bad winter moods, get that dog off his dog bed and get your walking shoes on. When the weather is gorgeous with sunshine and a cold, refreshing wind it feels fantastic to fill the nostrils with oxygen and get the legs striding along. But don’t forget that it is almost better when the weather is awful because by getting out there and BEAT it, you feel not only hugely refreshed when you get home, but you feel that you have laughed in the faces of the weather gods. Personally I also find it a little victory to be out on a walk with my tail wagging dog, who is MORE than happy to sacrifice his dog bed for an outing, and look at all the houses, where everyone else is sitting inside beaten by the weather. Not us. Not Fido and me.
When you have working dogs and they OUGHT to be trained, the pressure of getting all this done is of another sort. Dog training (for the gun) is a bit of a drag. The dogs are just as keen to leave their dog beds to come out training, but it’s more a chore for the trainer. Training is not like a fresh walk where you just let your mind wander, it’s being on your guards and getting everything right and amazingly quite frustrating all the time. My friend, Anne, and I have this classic saying of “Why do we enjoy all this dog training so much when we are constantly annoyed by it???” Well, it must be because when it all goes right, it is SO rewarding and also because when you do go out on a shoot or join a field trial, you always wish you had done a little more training. My bit GWP is shit hot on blind retrieves and it’s a lovely feeling to handle him to a specific spot to find a bird. But it has taken a lot of training to get there.
So get going with the walking or the training. And when you get back and allow your dog to sink into his Tuffies dog bed, all is blis.