Le Mot Juste

Teaching dog agility is an interesting art form in which you are conducting your student on a journey. I always make the attempt to tell a student that one thing that helps them improve the journey, true and straight. I won’t pretend that I’m always successful. But I am getting fairly good at making the right guess.

These observations I make on the conclusion of a long seminar weekend working with a diverse group of personalities, both human and canine. I use the word “diverse” to suggest that in a relatively small group I was presented with jarringly differentiated challenges of skill and expertise. I don’t care really. It’s what I do. I made the decision a long time ago that nobody is left behind. And everyone should deserve my best effort.

At the end of the day I reckon it was a success. Certainly I got enough feedback to make it an ego-boo.

I am dissatisfied only to the extent that I know it was too little. I’m growing more and more convinced that only a four-day format is really sufficient for the working clinic. In two days I can make everyone’s brain explode. It would be very nice to have two more days to glue them back together.

Dinner this evening was Sushi. I think Sue was proud of me for being bold enough to order the Sushi Deluxe. I kept to myself my Southern heritage. Although I was fully aware that I was eating fish bait I was nonetheless fortified by a cast iron stomach culture in which Road Kill Helper is a routine grocery item down to the Piggly Wiggly. Wasabe, raw fish, and clingy white rice really isn’t such a bad mouthful, after all.

Probably I should be more sociable when I’m on the road. I certainly had a hoot of a time with this irreverent band of upstate New Yorkers. Usually I’m the cave bear who’d prefer to be holed up in the cave of a hotel rather than wearing thin at a dinner event. Two nights of dinners with this bunch was quite fun; and it left me wondering why I’m more often the complete cave bear recluse.

The hotel I’m staying at is a 50’s kind of throwback. They have a WiFi system that doesn’t really work. After I write this I have to go up to the lobby to log on to their WiFi. The signal to my room doesn’t work at all. I might grump around about not having a good local Red Roof. In another discussion I could lament the loss of the old world that I grew up in. And this old beast of a hotel is much more like those back in the 50’s and 60’s.

Tomorrow morning I have a few hours of privates… after which I’ll hit the road and try to get my young butt home. More than likely I’m going to have to stop for a hotel rest along the way. If I can say awake I might drive straight through. Otherwise, I’ll find me a hostel along the way.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.


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