Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ups and Downs

This week has consisted of radical swings between ups and downs.

I have actually been quite surprised at how well I have been able to handle this loss . . . at times.  And then at other times, it's about as rotten as it can possibly be.

Dean has been a major help.  While he and Speedy have always been very different, just interacting with a Border Collie has been a very good thing.  And while I watch him play sometimes and am sad that I will never see the graceful, flowing, bright eyed, long black furred Speedy swirling around him as he plays, it is very heartening to see Dean's interest, intensity, animation, and enthusiasm for those ball games, even as he plays by himself.

Sometimes he looks around.  I don't know if he is looking for Speedy, but I know he always did enjoy having Speedy involved in his games.  Thankfully, his desire for those games has not been deterred.  It would have been very difficult to take if Dean had become depressed.

Dean lays around by me a lot.  He is often by my feet, or even up on the bed with me at night.  He is just a comfort.

I am going to have to train Dean to find his own ball, though.  Highly intelligent as he is, he can be quite the ditz when it comes to toy-throw games.  He often gets distracted, doesn't pay attention to where it goes, and then he doesn't quite know how to go find it.  I counted on Speedy to show Dean where things had gone.  He was always quite eager to do so, and Speedy never lost track of where anything landed.

I have started trying to train Dean to turn "left", "right", and to move "straight" as he searches for toys.  It is slow going.  I don't know if he will ever quite get it.  I may be retrieving toys he has lost track of in the future . . .  But I do mean to try to teach him to find them on his own.

After out Rally FrEe class on Monday night, I felt pretty good, but then I woke up on Tuesday feeling horrendous.  That lasted through much of yesterday, but today is mostly better.  But I know that going to teach class tonight is going to be difficult.  I am going to remember that when I went off to teach last week, Speedy was sleeping at home, and I was hopeful that he was going to recover from his surgery . . .

I have carried a lesson from Speedy with me all week long.  On my way to school on Monday, I remembered that no matter what he did, he put his whole heart into it.  When he wasn't feeling good, he was stoic.  He put his heart into his work in spite of that pain and he found joy there.  I have been intent on doing that with my teaching, and I will have to remember that when I go to teach training class tonight.

There has been a lot of pain, but more consolation than I would have expected.  I am grateful to God for that.

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