It's true, this will not be a long blog post and the subject on which I am writing only takes a minute or two too, though it can alter and influence the thinking of another person for a lot longer. I am talking about the gift of appreciation and what's more, it's free!!
I regularly walk with a lovely group of guardians and their dogs. We meet each week and I coach them in practising their skills in the real world. We have great fun learning about dog body language, consensual play and what it looks like, how to engage our dogs when there are distractions around, what protocols to follow around people and their dogs, how to relax in public places and a lot more besides. I love these walks and for me sometimes it feels like I am having far to much enjoyment and fun to be actually imparting important knowledge and influencing the behaviour of dogs and their guardians.
On the 15th December some of us were able to take time out to meet together for our festive lunch which was organised by one of the lovely guardians Kirsty. What a lovely job she did, from the germ of an idea grew a very well planned event with attention to the little details and everyone's needs catered for. This enabled us to have a precious time of sharing thoughts and aspirations, enjoying good food and company and made all the more special for me by the gifts I received from this lovely bunch of ladies..... firstly my shoes with my gorgeous Rossi plastered all over them, another Kirsty inspired idea and reminding me that it was my quest for knowledge to better understand my collie that led me to where I find myself today.
Secondly my Thankfulness Jar - the wonderful idea from Rachel and to which all the lovely ladies contributed. Over the course of the months we had been walking together the ladies had been given little notes to write their thoughts from the walks on what they had been learning or what had inspired them. I was advised to either open them all at once or save them for when I was having a bad day and then use them to cheer myself up. Such a very thoughtful gift and a brilliant way of inspiring, uplifting and showing appreciation.
I opened a couple then put them back in and have decided to share them throughout 2019 and use them to guide my teaching on the Four Paws Learning business page on FB. I always struggle to know how to keep the page ticking over as I don't want to spend all my time on FB, I very much like 'being in the moment' rather than taking pictures from the outside. So I think sharing some of what others have learnt and expanding on their thoughts would be a splendid way to travel through the year. So there you go ladies, you have paid it forwards and thank you again for making me feel so valued and treasured as your friend and teacher.
You will see I have shared just three so far and will expand on some of those during the first week of 2019!
A positive, peaceful and Happy New Year to everyone who has supported us here at Four Paws Learning and to those of you we have still to meet in person, we wish the same!