Friday, May 31, 2013

Fridays Are Golden

I don't know how 2013 is passing by so quickly.  Yet here we are on the cusp of June!  We have enjoyed a week of wonderful weather and our only complaint is about the pollen.
Our neighbors had a gathering for Memorial Day.  Just before dinner was served, she announced, "I hope you all like Mexican."  I glanced at my husband who did not change expression.  You see, in general he HATES Mexican food.  But he batted not an eyelash, rolled not an eye and graciously followed everyone to the table with a smile on his face.  Fortunately our neighbor served do-it-yourself carnitas so he found several things to enjoy.
The Golden Girls do not enjoy the heat of the summer days, but they love the cool breezy mornings and the late evenings.  Like small children, they go to bed during daylight hours right now.  Bedtime for dogs is 9:00 and believe me, they don't mind one bit.  When we come in after our last time outside, the girls head straight downstairs to their crates.
Among the various commands we find important, the command "wait" is near the top of the list.  Wait simply means, "Stop what you are doing.  I'm going to give you another command and you need to listen for it."  When we were training them we used this command to make certain they never went outside the door before we did and that they never jumped out of the car until we give permission or started across the street without a command.  We no longer have to say the word for doors and cars and streets, so we practice at other times.
I took them outside and asked them to wait at the top of the stairs.  They especially hate to wait just before heading out for some fun.  And that makes it a perfect time to practice.
We use the word, "release" to signify that they no longer need to follow the command, whether it's sit, stay, go to your mat, or whatever.  We use this word rather than OK or all right because it isn't often said by mistake.
Waiting at the top of the stairs.

 I did nothing more than aim the camera and Ellie immediately sat although I did not tell her to.
It's difficult to get candid shots of her.

 Lucy takes a moment to decide where to go next.

Ellie smells something beneath a plant. 

 Move, Ellie.  You need to really get in there if you want of find something.

When they come inside, they bring pine straw, pieces of mulch, and flower blossoms in their long hair.  You gotta really love your dogs to put up with all that.  And we do.

The quote for the week comes from one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver:

"Empathy is really the opposite of meanness.  It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost.  And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own."

So in times of stress, remember that you are not the only one in pain.  And that the pain of others is just as meaningful as your own pain.  So reach out to others in empathy.



Carolina Linthead said...

LOVE this post. I used to get caught up in projection, rather than empathy, and thus was constantly overwhelmed by others' pain...not good if one aspires to be a hospital chaplain. Now that I am a teacher, which is what I should be, I try to practice empathy in the way you describe, but in concrete, everyday terms and in historical terms. I often ask my students who the big winners and losers are in a particular event or conflict, hoping to push them to see beyond their own lives. Also, your husband is a very good man :-)

Carolina Linthead said...

*both in concrete everyday terms and in historical terms.

Taradharma said...

you've done a beautiful job training your girls. it takes consistency, something which I lack.

The Bug said...

Mmm - I LOVE Mexican food. Maybe that's what we'll have for dinner tonight :)

I could sure use someone to say "wait" to me periodically. Wait, Bug, before you eat that cookie. Wait, Bug, before you say yes to that project... Ha!

Barbara Rogers said...

Your girls are charming, no matter what they're up to. Glad you have them well trained so everyone can enjoy them, and they'll be safe too. Good looking pics!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Mexican food is my fave. :)
Your girls are trained SO well; I really admire that.
My next dogs will be trained properly. I started well with Cocoa, but slacked off.
Happy weekend!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I loved hearing that your girls still wait until released. I've let off working with Hunter and need to start working again.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend friend!

troutbirder said...

Wait is a favorite command of mine as well. It says stop till I catch up as I'm eyeballing a chickadee with my binocs...;)

Arkansas Patti said...

Your girls certainly are well trained. Mighty at 16 is still a work in progress but he is pretty good with "stay".
I got tickled the other day, I was giving a friend a ride, when I got to the gate, I commanded her to "stay" as I opened the door.

Ms. A said...

I should have sent you my kids to "train". Your dogs are much more well-behaved! Hey, I could send you the grandkids!

kks said...

can I send my goldens for some training! :)
glad that summer has finally arrived.....we don't have a drought this year..(i've mowed more this year already than i did all last year!)

looks like we are going to demo the house next week! finally got the required permits.....:) soooo excited!


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I agree, the word 'wait' is really important, we also have 'leave it' and the Goldens know they have to listen when we say that to them--Unfortunately the words are totally foreign to the terriers, another reason to love Goldens!! :-)

Vicki Lane said...

A great quote! And your training of the girls is admirable -- I'm blushing to think of our wild ones.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. We started our training in puppy kindergarten and then went through a series of obedience training with each of them. It makes life so much easier.

KKS - hope the demo goes without flaw.

Kim - terriers march to their own drummers.