The Power of “Dog”


Do you ever feel like you have lost all  your positive energy ?


That’s how I felt this morning …

This is a bad feeling to have on a Wednesday morning – as I now have 2 days off to spend being creative and having fun with Rusty – so I should be on top form.

At the present time I have to carry on with my part-time job at the Bank that I have been working for since I left school 35 years ago – sometimes it’s not great and gets me down.

My creative spirit had taken a nose-dive and I was feeling lethargic; not wanting to do much at all but feel sorry for myself.

ENTER : Rusty the Dog

Rusty doesn’t differentiate between my good and bad days – he wants attention regardless. Cuddles, tug of war with his stuffed doughnut and “walkies”. No sooner had he scoffed his breakfast, he was parading around the kitchen with his collar in his mouth, with a definite plan in mind. Once I had put his collar on, he had found his lead and was ready to go !

I got myself ready to go out, more as an act of duty than anything and vowed to myself that if I could throw the ball for him lots on a circuit around the playing field, then my duty would be discharged.

He was so excited, as always, to be heading out on an adventure and was soon careering across the field after his ball – tail wagging madly. I trudged along behind; throwing the ball as required – still in my own introspective world. I was trying to convince myself that something would eventually make me feel better and that I should soldier on.

Once we had covered 3/4 of our circuit, we came to the kiddies play area and mini obstacle course. It consists of a bridge, a wavy platform of logs, some mounds of grass and a raised, narrow plank of wood for the children to balance on as they run around the obstacles. For some strange reason (as I have passed this play area many many times before) I suddenly had the notion that I could teach Rusty to run along the narrow plank and then complete the rest of the course …


Rusty on the wavy wood ...

Rusty on the wavy wood …


He was initially more interested in his ball, then in snatching mouthfuls of grass, however I finally got him to concentrate on the task in hand. Rusty is not the cleverest pup in the litter when it comes to fitting all 4 feet onto a narrow object ( and has fallen off a good number of low bridges into streams in his short lifetime so far ! ) and therefore spent a good 5 minutes either with one of his back legs in the air as he balanced precariously, or falling off the plank. I put his lead back on to give him more security, even though it was only a very low plank. This helped somewhat and I managed to get him to walk along most of it before he bailed out and jumped off. One of his endearing traits is that he loves to please and so I gave him increasing amounts of fuss and praise as he improved, making sure I took him over the other obstacles in between his attempts, so that he didn’t get stressed. He was great over the wavy wood and the bridge and so I began to get more excited, my mind taking leaps from imagining myself signing him up for an agility training course, to him winning agility medals at Crufts.

I was getting hot by this time, despite the chilly weather, as I was running around the course with him, so I took my coat off and rolled up my sleeves physically and metaphorically speaking. His lead was off by now and he was doing well, responding to my commands and finally running up on to the plank, walking the whole length and running down the end slope – AMAZING !!


Rusty on the plank ...

Rusty on the plank …


Needless to say, much fuss and cuddling ensued, followed by a few more practice attempts to check that it had not been a “one off”. I decided that we had done enough for one day – I didn’t want to risk overdoing things – so we set off again to chase ball …

As we returned home, across the remainder of the playing field, my sprit had been lifted, my ball throwing became fun and I laughed at Rusty as he bounded this way and that – doing one of his most favourite things. I felt so glad that I was lucky enough to know such a wonderful dog and that I had lots of exciting things to do for the rest of the day ahead.

So there we have it -:

The Power of “Dog” …


Rusty relaxing after his agility training.

Rusty relaxing after his agility training.

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