Patience is a virtue

Rumi with dove on A trial photo by Marielle Vlaar

Last Friday Rumi and I finished the official SJP season by giving it a go at the SJP A. It was a long shot to expect that we could succeed in getting two SJP A diplomas in one season with the circumstances that we have had. We are very happy with the one A in the pocket so why share this post on not having completed our “goal”? Because there has been an important lesson in the whole proces for me, which I think might be worthwhile sharing. When you have a sport dog and you have high ambitions it is very easy to get drawn into all aspects to enhance the winning chances. Training with a high-end trainer, knowing the right people to have access to terrains etc., having chances to bring your dog to shoots, improving your own skills, training your dog as much as possible.

It can be a very addictive state of mind to be in and it can also take the joy out of being with you best friend in the field.

Due to Rumi’s permanent shoulder injury it is no longer possible to have a full training schedule for her. Therefore I loose mental training time and if I would have to compensate for that – getting control back would mean pushing harder and maybe in a way that is not close to my heart. So “the sand slips between my fingers” while I am looking at it. Looking from that perspective the glass is half empty.

The other side of things is that my beautiful girl has taught me to value every day without pain or worry. She has taught me another very valuable lesson: to be real and allow imperfections. Accept the place we are at. Accept her nature and work with it the best we can within the limitations. This also means taking a piece of the humble pie once and a while. Looking at it from this perspective the glass is half full.

The wonderful thing about accepting being right where we are at – is that it allows “flow”to appear. So I am very thankful for having Flow with my Flow-girl.

Maybe this personal note may serve as a little reminder for some of us in the dog-handling business. To step down once and a while from chasing goals and just checking if we can still drink from the joy of being in flow with our dog and the partnership. Thank you Rumi for this wise lesson!

Photo by Marielle Vlaar

While we are still continuing training – also with Rumi as much as possible – patience seems to be the key word with the two youngsters (or should I say monsters?). We are dreaming of flow in the future – for now it is mostly that they are having flatastic fun and I am trying to keep up and being at least half a step ahead. Again a major life lesson in staying in the moment and not getting caught up in result thinking.

Mischief & co. (Lotte and Kaspar)

But enough philosophical contemplation – another thing that took some patience was adding our youngsters to the Flatastic website with their own page. If you are curious – follow the link: or look at the page dogs here and check out what we made of it. Would love to hear what you think.

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