It has been one of those days. One of the days that you wake up and you know that it might be a good day to find something to do that involves no one else.

The second day of a functioning migraine but it is life so moving on… that is the plan anyway. Out in the morning for a walk with the dogs. In for coffee and a break then back out to take a few photos of the ground squirrel that hangs out in front of the garage. Come back in and Trudy is making breakfast. Good day so far. 

Wanting to be productive it is time to get something done. I’ll work dogs, that will be productive. Before I could even get Chuck to sort the stock I could feel the tension building. The stock gets sorted and ready. By this time I am on the fence. Should I work dogs or wait for later or even another day?

Decision made, it’s going to be a good day training dogs! The dogs all came out excited to work and show just how much they have grown overnight. The handler, well lets just say the handler had not grown overnight and there in lies the problem. It is hard to please a small minded person; when we do not grow and let go, that is what we become, small minded. The dogs gave their all but the handler found fault. Nothing the dogs could do was good enough. There was always a “you should have done ________” with every attempt they made. In the end, each of the dogs left the field happy but not sure why the handler was not.

Phyl and Tim, relaxing at the end of the day


We always hear: “don’t sweat the small stuff”, “Let it go”, “not a big deal”, “there’s enough to worry without looking for more”, The list could go on endlessly. When we get too focused on the little things we begin to miss the big picture.

This is not news to anyone. There is no one that does not get pulled into it at times. The take away is in how we deal with the times we get pulled into focusing too much on the little things. For me the focus on me focusing too much on the little things with the dogs today is a double up. Me focusing on the hypercritical focus is focusing on the small stuff of focusing on the smaller stuff. I could end up in a never ending cycle. To pull out of the cycle we need to do one of the hardest things; forgive ourselves.

Forgiving ourselves is vital for working herding dogs. There is not a day that we will not make mistakes. Mine today (well one of many I am sure) was making a big deal of the small things that did not matter as much as I made the world think they did. Other days it could be poor timing or wrong commands or… you name it. If you don’t forgive yourself you will limit your growth and the progress in training, or actually, in life.

So take a deep breath and forgive yourself, your dog already has and is ready for your next adventure!



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