I struggled to find a topic for today’s blog. In some ways, it felt like nothing happened. Another day spent social distancing, hiding away from the world. I kept myself busy with work, filming and corresponding virtually. It's just not the same as seeing clients and can leave you melancholy.
At the same time, I managed another small adventure, this one in the heart of our city. I've been selective in the hiking spots I’ve visited near my home in the last few days. Searching for those that have little traffic. I grew up in the same zip code and had no idea the places I visited yesterday and today even existed. Both days I passed two other hikers, keeping more than the recommended six-foot distances, but it felt so good to get out. To get back with nature in a way I haven't in a long time.
When I lived in southern Utah I knew all sorts of secluded, tucked away spots to hike, but have always complained that I lived too far for anything similar in the busy salt lake valley. Today I found a quiet spot, not ten minutes from the building I rent. It was odd to drive by and not stop, Luna even whined as we neared the street. But I have to say, I enjoyed today just as much, if not more than a training session.
It wasn't a lot to look at, not compared to the red rocks and sands where Luna and I would have been this weekend if not for Corona. But the small, worm trail next to a canal running so close to state street had its own charm. You could forget you were in the city as we walked, forget about the virus, and just enjoy being with your dog.
We did little training, but I marveled once again at the difference between THIS Luna and the Luna from before. I'm realizing that I'm always so busy running here or there I often don't see the transformations in my own dogs. The way she confidently explored terrain she was not used to, in a place where she had not been. Sounds in the distance did not phase her and the few strangers we saw she ignored as they passed. Even a dog yapping at their fence caused her little concern. She crossed an old, narrow bridge without hesitation and although interested in birds and ducks she paid them little attention in the grand scheme of things. She sniffed, explored, and checked in. All while I observed, truly observed, the dog she has become.
Training isn't new to us, not by a long shot, but concept training still is. It's been a little more than a year since I was "converted". I could never go back. The results we've had in just a single year are tenfold what we had in the five before that. Every season, no week, brings a positive change to my dogs through the games. I just have to learn to see it.
Owner, Head Trainer