Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Success Is Measured Many Ways

Belle and I went back to class last night after a three week hiatus for Team Training. From the excellent work Belle did, I could tell she missed class as much as I did.

I felt a cornucopia of emotions as I looked around the class; joy at seeing old friends again, bittersweet grief at missing our classmates who graduated last Friday, and finally anticipation of the fun to be had with the new members of Big Dog Class.

Surprisingly, I felt one more emotion - a very strong sense of accomplishment.

That statement might sound odd given that Belle should have been one of the graduates last week. Yet if there was ever any doubt that the decision to have Belle graduate in the fall was in error, Belle put them immediately to rest when she demonstrated her greetings skills upon arrival at graduation.

Despite the overly enthusiastic greetings, Belle has come so far since December. For example, her really, reliable recall. Three times these past few weeks, I accidently left the inside door open. Belle took advantage and immediately let herself outside (she knows how to open the storm door in her sleep). In the past, this would have meant the start of the game, "Nah, nah, na boo-boo, I'm outside and you can't catch me". I hate that game. Except this time she didn't play it - not once! When I told her "Belle, Come"! She immediately came to me - all three times! She's even coming to me at the tennis courts even when she knows that this time "come" means go - leaving her favorite playground in the whole world.

Her really, reliable recall success tells me we can conquer her other foibles; the aforementioned greetings, perfect stays both in drop and sit (so hard when you're a fidgeter), great household behavior (no counter surfing, doorbell spazzing, or racing through doorways ahead of her person).

Fostering and training Belle will always be one of the top five highlights of my life - and one of the things for which I am most proud. As far as graduating in the fall goes, as my husband used to say, "it's just a timing difference".

1 comment:

P said...

Cool! Sounds like Belle is coming along.