I could be napping right now, but instead.

I have a rare break this afternoon, and I should probably take a nap, but I’m not going to. Well unless I write this quickly, then I will. Because naps, they’re great.

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Sometimes young people email me or facebook me and ask about college. Sometimes it’s about how to take their dog to college with them, if they should, if they shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s about what they should study in order to pursue a career in dog training. I don’t yet know what I’m going to “do with my life” — I also don’t really know what that means. I’m doing lots of things with my life and they’re great. hehe. So really, just planning on continuing down that path of a really cool, fun, exciting, adventurous existence.

But I have honed in on what I’m focusing on in school for undergrad. At this point there’s no turning back… I’m planning on graduating in the fall (when did THAT get so close??). So I am a Psychology major, just a Psychology major. I dropped English as I could not get into any of the classes I wanted to take, and I’m a bit tired of taking part in things that don’t lift me up. I did enjoy the English experience while I had it and do not regret taking any classes for the major. But, Psych. Honestly, they should really give you an option of dividing Psychology into clear paths within undergraduate coursework. At least so I could have viewed a map of the different avenues available before my junior year. (Or maybe I was too busy traveling with a certain speckled border collie to notice the signs; a definite possibility… hah.)

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Behavior Analysis, it’s what’s for dinner, er, dog training.

So many ways to experience Behavior Analysis, which is just incredibly neat. So hey, if you’re going into university soon and are looking for a path that’ll bring out your inner dog trainer every day and apply it to a crap ton of other things, check this field out. I am certainly enjoying it.

Also, Comparative Psychology is truly everything I always wanted Biology to be. And it’s amazing. Helps that my professor is really super great, too.

Gasparilla; Monday night archery:

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I came to the decision recently that Rev and I will not be attending Tryouts this year for either the World Championship team or European Open team. It was an interesting process to go through, one that started probably last September. Rev was injured, and I know I wrote about this briefly here before. She is no longer injured, and for that I am so grateful. It was minor, but sent my head spinning. Having never had an injured dog, this incident pretty much floored me.

Much of the thinking I have done over the last five months has revolved around the idea that our dogs are not disposable… nor are they indestructible. Stepping away from the Facebook agility community I believe has played a large role in clearing my mind around the subject. I understand how much pressure we can unintentionally (well, sometimes intentionally) put on each other, so moving away from that for a bit helped me seek out truths for my journey with Rev, and her journey with me. It helped me listen to her and her magic.

That a high level athlete could benefit from a year long break from high pressure, physically strenuous activity (and I mean agility specifically; bring on the hiking) resonates well inside. I don’t think it is something we consider or talk about enough within our community, unfortunately. Winning is seductive… competition is seductive. Yet we play a sport in which we engage another living animal in a physically demanding activity. They must come first. Not our egos, not our pride, not our jobs. Pretty important. Worth thinking about.

Rev made her return to 22″ a couple of weekends ago. Rev is fast. Happy and fast. And it’s really, really fun…

Also here she is asking for some kale, beans and sweet potato, because noms.

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  1. Monica says

    What Leila said ;-) Congrats on figuring out “what you want to do” in school! My undergraduate degree opened a ton of different doors and I think I have been through almost all of them. Do you have plans after graduation? Grad school?

    I have been under the spell of competition since the age of 9. It is definitely seductive! Rev is very lucky that you get this. And I know the devastation of your best friend sustaining an injury doing something you ask them to do :-( It’s heartbreaking. Enjoy your year off and keep hiking!

  2. Jodi Altman says

    It’s so cool that you recognize what’s important to you and allow it to lead your way. We live in a time when most would go for the feel good moment. It was great to see that little Rev happily strut her stuff at 22″ @ Dog On It Trial. Very few of us are willing to recognize that what we ask of our competitive dogs is at a risk of injuring them. Once again, my hat off to you.

  3. Curt Meissner says

    Psychology major – way cool! We will miss you in MN at WTT. I could use a great coach… Wanna fly out? hahaha

  4. says

    So jealous of the Behavior Analysis and Psychology stuff. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to major in that in addition to chemistry. Can’t wait to see what you bring to the world as a result of your experiences in this field. Maybe someday I’ll be taking a seminar from you on the topic of behavior analysis :) One of your runs from Tryouts last year will be in my mind when I head to Tryouts this year – you set the standard on that one. It’ll be weird without you.

  5. says

    I can appreciate the change in direction and levels of appreciation. As life continues to change, we must with it.
    …. so what’s next, the next Katniss?
    have fun with college. Your posts are always uplifting and nice to read – glad this was an instead to napping.
    Thank you.

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