It's a hard thing.
That ability to take what life brings and recognize, embrace it for what it is.
This has been the summer of acceptance for me. This has not come without its bumps and bruises. I had made a number of goals and statements earlier in the year. And life happened. While I had wanted to work the dogs every day. This just didn't happen. You see, in June, I had "all day sickness" not just "morning sickness". It literally was all I could do to get through my work day and work commitments. This meant the dogs were not ready for the summer competitions. And that, quite frankly, depressed me. A couple of weeks ago I hauled the dogs two hours down the rode to take a lesson with another trainer. We talked about aspirations for them. Mine of course.
I have accepted that Ryder wants to be an agility dog. I won't force the stock work on him and will renew my focus on taking agility classes. Diva. I'll do my best to get her trained and maybe try her at some field competitions next year. Realistically, in a year or so I'll be looking at buying a trained stock dog. I just won't have the time to train a pup into a working dog.
I have accepted that my dogs are basically well loved pets.
I won't lie. I tear up and cry whenever I think of Whiskey. This has been the hardest thing for me to accept. I LOVE this horse. I love her eye. I love her attitude. I love her sweetness and kind spirit. But love isn't going to fix her. My dad's diligence has really improved her mobility. So when I went out last week to meet the farrier I was stunned to see her hobbling around. With no physical evidence of an abscess or bruise it meant it was just normal navicular issues. I went home absolutely torn. If she was that lame on a lovely summer day, what would happen in the winter? I've begun to seriously consider if lame equates to pain. Is she truly so stoic that she doesn't demonstrate any traditional signs of distress? She is unequivocally lame. No debate. But she doesn't show signs of pain. I've worked with lots of injured horses and know they generally display some behaviour and physical signs when they hurt. So I flip - flopped. Is lame the same as pain? When is the right time to say goodbye? I would rather euthanize her too soon than reach an emergency situation and be too late. My friends say she'll tell me when she's ready. The problem is I don't know. Has she? Has she told me and I just haven't been listening? A large part of me knows that leaving her is more for me than her. Am I being selfish? Within the next few weeks I'll make a final decision, but I'm leaning towards letting her go. I've found out that a person can get them cremated. This means I'll pack her ashes, just like I pack Tessa's until I can find a place where I feel right about leaving them. For now, I can't bear to say a final good bye.