I've been taking advantage of the last week to do some thinking. To take the time to listen to what my heart wants and figure out what direction my life is heading. I've been feeling rather rudderless, so to speak.
With the acceptance into my work program also comes the onus to get myself into a graduate program and complete it. This will mean deciding between money for fun and money for learning. I have expensive hobbies - I certainly won't be able to do everything. There is no impact for me this summer but next summer I'll be taking some summer session courses and it'll absorb three weeks of my time. Which impacts the fun stuff. Keeping all of this in mind I've made some decisions.
The first decision I've made is completely unrelated and relevant the same time. Tessa is having another down turn with eliminating in the house and having her "crazy" days. I've been lucky that while I work my mom takes care of her. Even with frequent breaks outside, (I'm talking 2-3 hours here.), she still did her doody in the house. She's just not herself. I'm trying a last ditch med ($73 for a little bottle!!) to see if it helps. Yesterday she bit me in the face when I was administering medication - gave me a fat lip (the new med is a nasal spray). This is not how I want to remember her. I've decided that come fall, I won't put her through another miserable winter- and last winter was awful. She means too much to me. I believe in my heart of hearts that her time is coming. I can't bear to see her unhappy, unhealthy and confused.
The second decision I made was to sell Bacardi. I like her, but am not in love with her. I've decided I'll save up my pennies for a nice quality cutter, and wait for Guinness to grow up - he'll be my "go to" horse. Jason figures I should have her in ready to sell in a couple of months. She's definitely not there yet.
The third decision involves Reba. I've been struggling with her. It's not her fault, but mine. I can see the mistakes I've made creating the problems I'm having now. And it's been a long road to try and fix them. One that I'll be needing some help with - so that being said, I'll be traveling around getting some help. I've known that three dogs in training is too many for me to do it the way I want to. With that in mind I'll try to find Reba an appropriate and good home. The reason for keeping the babies is that they get along so well with each other, and Reba just prefers to be alone with her human. It really has nothing to do with talent because as it stands now Reba's more talented than Diva who I suspect will be too "sticky" to make an exceptional trial dog. She already wants to lie down when we're at balance.
The other thing I realized as trial after trial has passed me by and I've been here at home is that I don't really miss it. My ego wants me to go and do well, but my heart is perfectly content staying home and messing around with the dogs and horses. I really am a homebody at heart. I've also discovered over the last few months that I love teaching. I love having people come to my house and helping them with their dog on stock to the best of my ability. I want to be very clear that I'm up front about not being a trainer, that I'm basically a novice, and that I'll do what I can but may not know all the answers. The best part of it is I'm not doing it for money. (Sounds crazy doesn't it?) But I do it because I enjoy it - I enjoy it over anything else I can do with the dogs. In fact, I often don't take money (shhhh) but ask instead that they help me with my young ones doing some obedience and agility stuff. It works out great for all involved and I enjoy the socialization.
And who knows as the summer progresses I may change my mind, but I don't thinks so. Right now, these decision feel right, for me and for my animals. I feel very much at peace right now.