Yesterday Ike was sniffing Carmen's ribbons from the Bo-Gee Trial. I asked him, "Have you reconsidered? Would you like to try it again?" He immediately stopped sniffing the ribbons and made a bee line for the door out. Message received loud and clear.
Today I took down Ike's ribbons from his brief, traumatic, frustrating, but INCREDIBLY educational agility career (it only took me an additional year to finally concede not only did I get the picture, I would really respect it). Without Ike I cannot imagine how long and how many dogs it would haven taken me to realize that there is a balance and if your dog isn't having fun you need to look closely at what IS going on. Good dog gods, it took long enough!
Blessings come in many different ways and sometimes it is only with space that you realize what a blessing it was. Ike has made me cry a lot (not just about agility), but he has taught me invaluable lessons. I would not be having the fun I am having with Carmen, Bug, and Ike (in Rally) that I am - if not Ike's exceptional communication skills. Granted he had to yell REALLY loudly at me.
Additionally, Ike told me that John has offered to start awarding couch-sitting and napping ribbons. Ike certainly excels, ENJOYS, and deserves those!