What makes your soul – what’s in the dream?

People’s dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It’s what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.  – Barbara Kingsolver

In identifying the things that are important, just count the minutes or hours spent and list those from most to least. There will be a measure of what’s important.

I’m thinking of adding a younger male to my crew of dogs. I’ve started looking at advertisements for dogs at shelters, looking to add one athletic, agility prospect (I’ve got two seniors now so a younger contingent is needed). If you’ve looked at my photos, you’ll have noted that my seniors (Max and Denver) look great, but they aren’t up to practicing obstacle courses anymore (esp repeated rounds of jumps)…of course I’m not that fast either.

But of the potentially good agility dogs, many have comments about not being able to be left out in a fenced yard without escaping. I’m thinking, if you were left out alone in a fenced yard wouldn’t you want to escape? Just like us, dogs want to spend time doing stuff together – hunt together, play together, explore together. If you watch them they will do the sniff and potty round then wait by the door or gate or where ever they can find/hope to find someone or something to do things with. A fenced yard without company, preferably of the people kind, is just an invitation. How would you spend your time out there if someone told you you couldn’t do gardening?

And if the time spent is without company, where does that leave the idea of ‘best friend?’ Time spent doing things you both like together is the cement that makes a relationship strong. It’s the fallacy of the fence, or the leash…those things are just management tools, they don’t keep a dog with you…the bond, the value, the joy you have in each other keeps you together.

What new games are you playing this week? …we’re still working scent discrimination – now with three to five objects and directed retrieves with three items. The guys love scent work!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. runningwithellen says:

    It is a wonder, as you wrote, that all too often shelters and rescue groups will not allow a person to adopt a dog if they do not have a fenced yard. I have been turned down because of this, yet I have raised four dogs and never lost one, simply because I believe that dogs and humans share a bond, so if I would not want to be alone, restricted in an area, why would my dog? I wonder that they truly believe a fenced yard will make up for the laziness it can instill in people, who simply “let the dog out.”


    1. I know what you mean. There are simply different worlds that we inhabit even though we look at each other and think ‘they have dogs’…but it’s not the same. Some are doing things in proximity separately and some are together, it just looks similar. For some the leash is just a formality required by law, for others it’s the only thing that keeps them side-by-side. In my recent search I watched a video from a rescue where the handler was using a prong collar and frequently twisting his wrist (not obviously jerking) to apply the prongs…the wording said how good the dog was at heeling, but that he wasn’t good at recalls…surprise, surprise that a dog basically wrapped around the guy’s leg to avoid getting pinched, wasn’t so enthused about coming. The weirder part may be that the handler was so used to doing leash twists that he didn’t even know what his wrist was automatically doing.
      A fully fenced yard makes it seem like the dog can just go out there and do doggy things by itself, but then what’s the point of having a dog? I agree that it makes it seem easier then to just let the dog out, which promotes the lack of connection. I want a dog that does things with me…that means I do things with him. But puzzling it is when the shelter system, because of its many arbitrary rules/judgements forces fibbing in a place where honesty would be best and then complains of obfuscation. Big sigh…and on I go..:)


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