Everything is coming together over here, but it’s moving quickly, instead of the slow, steady process I originally had in mind. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’ve got way too many irons in way too many fires, and that’s good & distracting for the moment. Me and my planner are doing some good things.
We’re going to pretend today is Friday, okay? Or not. Today has been about catching up, re- entry, being kind to myself, writing loads of emails, and listening to A Tribe Called Red. The dogs are all around me, sacked out, it looks like it’s going to rain outside any minute now, and I’m thinking dinner is going to be something incredibly simple; pasta, a salad, sorbet for dessert. Things still feel a little rough around the edges, but there’s so much to be done. It’s good to have something to put my hands and back to.
Speaking of good things: since we moved, Hugo has been a little neurotic, and picked up a few new- by which I mean, bad- habits. That’s not the good thing. Stick with me, I’ll get there! He’d started barking at cars as they drove past the house, trying to chase them on his leash, actually; he’d even try to do this while we were walking him in the neighborhood, which made non- hiking walks downright scary. We worried that he might throw himself at a car and get hurt, due to the suddenness with which he’d hurl himself at a passing car. It was a really random, unexpected change, and while we switched up his harness on the vet’s recommendation, we didn’t have any clue how to address the behavior itself. We tried some behavior mods suggested at the vet’s office, tried some trainer tips, watched a bunch of videos from my favorite YouTube trainer, Zak George, tried a dog whistle, a can of coins, a citronella bark collar. NOTHING DOING. This little guy was super into the idea of hurtling into the side of a random car, and we really couldn’t seem to get him off of it. There was no distracting him long enough to reinforce any positive anything.
Our friends Teresa and Derek have a terrier, Dexter, and he barks some- as terriers are wont to do- and one of their friends turned them on to a tool to discourage him. It’s canned air with a top that makes the release much louder, it’s called the Pet Corrector, and wow, Hugo really really never wants me to use that, folks. He isn’t terrified of it— it doesn’t give him a terrible case of fear- tail or anything, which I was afraid of— he just really doesn’t like it, and once he realized that it was the consequence for running after cars? It took one DAY. I keep it on hand for touch- ups and reminders when he slips; I vastly prefer to train using treats and rewards, obviously, but this was a safety issue and nothing else was working at all. Don’t spray it at your dog, of course, but if you’re in a situation where you really can’t get your dog to listen, this is a great solution.
I’m off to send emails to my tech editor, because the next KE is due out imminently— I’m so sorry for the delay, I know you all understand but I hate that it happened, we have some truly lovely things in this one— and to eat, snuggle dogs, and stitch. Always stitch, right? Also, I finally picked up a tube of Daniel Smith’s PrimaTek earth- based watercolors this weekend and I can’t wait to play with it; they have an entire line of these and I’m just in love with them, Tiger’s Eye, Hematite, Mayan Blue (be still my nerdy heart), Turquoise, Bloodstone, Serpentine, Kyanite, Garnet— there’s a ton of colors, all made of ground gemstones. I nabbed the Amethyst and will probably make a small hoop with it this week but ALSO at least 20 million other things, because it is such a neat thing.
Thanks, all, for the love, not- so- by- the- way. Whether in email, comment, FB, DM, IG, SC, or Twitter, showing up and being there, while I know it might seem small or insignificant, it matters. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of overlapping conversations both online and off, about presence, compassion, and how people show their love, and this stuff is important. So hey: thanks, y’all. I really appreciate you.