…That's what they would write on my gravestone. Were I going to have a gravestone.  I'm actually leaning toward having someone make sausage out of me and serve it at my wake without telling anyone until after.  By subtly handing out the ingredient list on the back of my sad In Remembrance card/Spicy Aged Patties or Links Recipe. (Links, I think!)

Anyway.

Last night I worked Pat at Dianne's weekly group lesson.

We worked on an AKC course that was set up in one of the smaller fields.  Small is hard for Pat and I because SLOW is hard for Pat and I.  This was a REALLY SMALL course. I think the crossdrive is like….40 feet.  (probably really 100) It felt like running him through a Quicky Mart.  It was a recipe for me to yell FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK NONONONONONO WHATDOYOUTHINKYOUAREDOINGSOBIHATETHISSHIT while twitching, stomping, and slapping my leg.

"Why do you not just say, 'No' when he needs a correction?"

I was busy slapping my leg and frowning fiercely, "Fuck…"

"I mean, because by the time you get all that out…especially on a course of this size….it's too late…"

slap slap…

"And quit slapping your leg. What is that? It's like some sort of …twitch."

It's a habit. Like the full on sentences that I call my commands.  Which is unfortunate especially when you combine THAT impulse with my and Pat's NEED FOR SPEED.  Because that is our shared flaw.  We both begin every run just wanting to get through it fast.  EVEN THOUGH I KNOW, again, intellectually, this is NOT GOOD: I want slow, but I want slow like I want Global Peace and a house made out of candy….

PLUS: I am prone to doing to an exaggerated degree what I've seen other's do: I take on the mannerisms and the handling style of my trainer. TIMES 1000.  If Dianne gently pats her leg and says, "Here, here…" to subtly bring her dog in toward her…I spank my leg incessantly with the fervor of a dominatrix and scream HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREFUCKINGGODWHYAREN'TYOUHEREYETSOBSOBSOB" and then throw in a whistle, just because its hanging around my neck wanting in on the action.

"Just think in increments of 10 feet," Dianne suggested.  "Make Pat lie down, every 10 feet, and use that QUIET TIME to plan ahead. Where do the sheep's heads need to be pointed in order to make that next obstacle.  Flank Pat, or walk him up no more than 10 feet, and LIE HIM DOWN. REPEAT."

And this helped.  It's a struggle, but thinking of an entire field in increments of 10 feet, IF I CAN REALLY DO IT, is easier for me. And Pat. 

This isn't new.  None of it.  It's that I need to do this 1000 times until my body is used to responding instead of my frantic mind; until I'm used to looking at the field as a grid of strategies and not viewing an entire field at once as a trap designed to get me to slap myself and sob… and freaking out. 

Dianne is going to straightjacket me for Kelley Creek. Duct-tape my whistle in my mouth.  It's the only way…

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