Thursday, January 30, 2014

What You Wish For

There's an old saying: "be careful what you wish for". It can mean that you might unintentionally get things that you thought you wanted but didn't really want or like, once you got them.

On the flip side, it's good to wish for things in the sense of working towards small goals that lead to progress in something.  I've become a big believer in chunking down a large problem or goal into mini bundles that can be accomplished and marked off with metrics. Love those metrics; can you tell I work in the corporate world?

For a while now, I've been saying that I will "look forward to just walking into the field and working Spot". That is, I would wish to be able to just open the gate, step in and work my dog without a lot of prep. For months we have been sorting off the puppy sheep and setting out hay for them to hold them. We would close all the extra gates in the pasture so that the sheep couldn't outwit the puppy and run away. Sometimes it would take me 20-30 minutes and a lot of walking in order to be able to set this all up for Spot in order to work him. Other times my training buddy would help me by doing some of this prep too, which was much appreciated.

I can now say that I can walk into the field and work Spot with no prep. It's exciting to be able to say that! I can open the gate, down him, and take off his leash and we can work the whole group of sheep. I'm not going to do it every time as I don't want to overly work our fresher sheep that are intended for our more advanced dogs. But maybe once a week on a week night when I am pressed for time, I will just walk into the field and work Spot. Tonight was one of the first times I have tried this (I tried it last week too). It's a small step on our road to progress.

Sometimes my job is very monotonous. I talked to my boss about the monotony of it. His advice to me was to "celebrate your successes" as much as you can, to break up the tedium. I can't say that working Spot is anything approaching tedium (it has been more of a roller coaster ride or a runaway train at times!) but certainly it is good to always celebrate your successes. So here's a celebration of being able to just open the gate and work my dog. Whew!


Kathy said...

This was a great post to read!! I am so happy for your successes with Mr Spot!! Keep it up.

Billy said...

Thank you! This one snuck up on me. I have to come up with some new short term goals.

Amosmum said...

Well done Spot!
You've got a good Mum to help you.
Love Amos

Billy said...

Thank you Amos! You've got a good Mum to help you too :-)