Today I woke up grouchy. Grouchiness is not conducive to good work with a new dog, especially when the first challenge of the day is facing the park area with a dog who has not left a gift yet.
A significant part of my problem was related to pain management. I have difficulty with my ankles due to prior injuries, and I experience pain when walking on hills. The terrain here is somewhat hilly. I wasn't sure whether the solution was to take pain medication or wear my ankle supports for a day or two. Perhaps it was both. However, thought my grumbly mind, that doesn't solve the problem created by the need for my dog to relieve or my desire for more sleep. Why I needed more sleep I don't know--I had a good six hours last night!
I waited to touch Loretta until it was time to go out. I was afraid of transferring my emotions to her. I felt that she had not done anything to merit my bad mood, and I truly wished that I could get rid of it for her sake. When the instructor brought the food, she sat for it like a good girl, and I treated her up like a queen because she deserved it. At parktime, she got right down to business and peed and let me touch her, and I praised her for that because not all dogs permit this. Within a couple of more minutes, she left me a nice little gift. I shouted, "Good girl," to the heavens! She wagged furiously and ran around like she was quite proud of herself. My day was quite improved.
I decided on wearing the ankle supports to park and to breakfast. I'll probably add meds to the routine for the trip. This way I will have management as well as treat the cause. In a day or so, maybe I will be able to walk the hills with less pain. I thought I was in pretty good shape. I am, at least in terms of my endurance; but I really don't need to torture myself just to prove that I have that endurance. Working dogs, and especially training, is not a contest. In fact, the instructors talked with us about this on Sunday and stressed the importance of managing pain and injuries early so that we would be able to continue with training in good shape and go home with dogs. This is not the time to "grin and bear it." It's the time to be honest and figure out how to manage effectively so that I can focus on building a good, strong relationship with my good girl--she's in her prime and in much better shape physically than I am!
Breakfast this morning was fried eggs, poppy seed muffins, and cold cereal (rice krispies). I usually eat scrambled eggs, but I decided to be bold and try a fried egg. It was all right, but fried eggs are really not my thing. I don't need substitutions at lunch or dinner, and I'm very happy about this. Getting the menu on my voicemail and talking with the cooking staff in the mornings is going to lessen my stress a whole lot. I can just do it very quietly, and they are being very kind about it.
I had some time yesterday to get some Hebrew work in. Hopefully I'll get a bit more in today. I'm having to grab snippets of Hebrew time here and there. Fortunately, I am alert and things are going well. I think I need to make some improvements on my home set-up to study a bit more effectively... There is something about certain study positions that promotes better studying for me, and I don't have a good position at home.