The only training classes I attended last week were the ones I taught on Wednesday night. Other than that I stayed home with Speedy and I am very, very glad now that I did.
But last night it was time to go back. Tessa and Dean really needed to get out and do something fun, and we have work to do.
I wasn't sure if working with them was going to help or be upsetting, but it turned out that it helped, a lot. Speedy had been semi-retired for several years. While we still trained at home and did video work, it has been quite a while since I have packed him up in the car to go off to weekly training classes. Working with Dean and Tessa at class was familiar and comfortable.
I was half discombobulated, not even using cues half the time, but that didn't matter. We went out there and we did it. And they both did a pretty good job. They were both very happy to be out and working.
Going back to class was incredibly difficult after we lost Maddie. I did not enjoy Agility class for a full two months. Running Tessa felt awkward and it seemed that we were the furthest thing possible from being a real team.
But we have come a long way since then and I actually enjoyed being at class. Tessa and I are a team with some measure of experience, and, of course, Dean and I have found such joy together in the last few months. It was good to be there with them. Dean, in particular, had a really good time getting treats by making faces that only he can make at me from the crate. I couldn't say "no". He was really just too funny.
This morning I woke up and felt horrible all over again, but I know that this gets better one step at a time - and often one step forward and several back.
But in the meantime, I will do right by the dogs who are still with me. And somehow, at least so far, I am doing better with that this time.