Thursday, December 31, 2009

Make the Leap

2009 has presented us with a number of challenges and hurdles in our path.

Back in the summer, I was bitter about what I was up against. I was sad and upset that Marge had taken a turn (or two) for the worst, and had some really bad stretches where everything just seemed wrong. I could not find the good in things, and I focused solely on what our failures were, forgetting to acknowledge the successes.

I think I've changed my attitude. In fact, I haven't felt this good about Marge in a long time. I've been trying to focus on our strengths and remain determined to make our weaknesses just a little less weak. I feel, after a full year of working and living with Marge, that I now understand her needs better than ever before.

When presented with a hurdle, I've found that an individual only has two choices. No matter how long you mull it over or put it off, everything comes down to one final decision: you either make the leap, or you don't. There is no other way to slice it.

Even during my darkest days with Marge, I have never given serious thought to giving up on her. I made a commitment when I signed that adoption contract one and a half years ago, and that commitment remains. I made the leap in adopting her. She's made leaps in her training, being more brave than most dogs I know, when she looks up to me for guidance and reassurance in the face of something bothersome. How can we go back now, or ever? No matter how high or how frequent the hurdles get, my one wish for the New Year is that Marge and I will continue to make those leaps. Together.

Look how far it's gotten us so far. We've taken leaps and we've had some amazing moments to give luster to the gritty hard work we've done together. I wonder how far we'll be when the clock strikes 2011. It seems far from now, when we're ringing in 2010, but, in reality, it's just around the corner. And that is yet another reason to always stay positive, make the most of what you've got, and make the leap.


Frankie Furter and Ernie December 31, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

Marge, I am sure that you will do your best to make your two legger proud of you every single day in 2010.

Kathy Mocharnuk December 31, 2009 at 7:16 PM  

Sorry to be really long winded...but....I hope you know how I feel about how you are doing. You and Marge should both be so proud of what you have done...and especially amazing because she is your first dog. What you have taken on is not that easy -it is a huge job, and you both have done marveously. You have been a patient, kind and wise trainer and Marge has been such a brave dog with a heart of gold-so brave to face so many of her fears. I think it is a lot easier for others outside to see the progress we are making sometimes then it is for the person involved to see, and I see so much progress with you and Marge. It always makes me feel so good to read about you and Marge and what you have been doing because it makes me feel so good to know there are people out there like you, and like Marge willing to take the journey and keep putting one foot in front of the other even when you get discouraged. I KNOW 2010 is going to bring GREAT things for you two, and some backslides,...but I also know when those happen you will learn and keep moving on. YOU HAVE SUCH A GRAT ATTITUDE. You both should be so proud of yourself! My favorite video-sure you have seen it, but because Liz has me on her own little journey, LOL, I watch it all the time

Happy New Years!!!!

Kari in Alaska December 31, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

You two have accomplished a lot this year. Life wouldn't be what it is unless you have some challenges

Sue December 31, 2009 at 8:55 PM  

I am so proud of you. Too many people just give up on an animal and say it was too hard. Good things, including relationships are worth some hard work. You and Marge have made huge strides this year, even though you may not always feel that way.

Now, on to 2010 and an even better year.


Muttsandaklutz December 31, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

What everyone else said. I couldn't put it any better.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what 2010 brings you and Marge! I know there are many GREAT things in your future. Heck, there are already great things in your present. :-)

By the way, as I was reading this post, I made a mental note to comment on your wonderful writing style. I laughed out loud when I saw the post below it - how completely appropriate! You have a real talent for writing.

So yeah, let's bring on 2010!!

The Army of Four December 31, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

Does this mean it's a Leap Year? Hee hee hee.
Congrats on all you've accomplished!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! December 31, 2009 at 10:12 PM  

Woo've akhkhomplished so much TOGETHER!


We wish ALL of WOO a PAWESOME 2010!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

T December 31, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

You have done a lot, and you must be proud of yourself. You just going back through your blog, I can see all the accomplishments you have made, together.

I have to quote this part of your post .."When presented with a hurdle, I've found that an individual only has two choices. No matter how long you mull it over or put it off, everything comes down to one final decision: you either make the leap, or you don't. There is no other way to slice it."

No truer words ever spoken! Excellent way of looking at it!

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Lorenza January 1, 2010 at 12:43 AM  

I wish you two the best!
Happy New Year!
Kisses and hugs

Carolyn January 1, 2010 at 1:05 AM  

What a great post & sage advice. Plus, "the leap" is always more fun! :)

Happy New Year!

-Carolyn, Cooper, and Gwen

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS January 1, 2010 at 1:30 AM  



Martha January 1, 2010 at 5:53 AM  

Happy New Year! We are so proud of you both - you have grown together over the year and we know 2010 will bring great things for you both.
We are so happy you have found each other.
Martha & Bailey xxx

Sara January 1, 2010 at 6:22 AM  

Writing a blog is such a great way to keep track of your progress! Next January, you can look back and see where you were, and see how far you've come. I know you will have made huge LEAPS!

Keep up the good work :)

Cyndi and Stumpy January 1, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

I know you and Marge will go far in the New Year. You're an amazing team!

I hope the new year fills your home with love, laughter and good health!

Gus, Louie and Callie January 1, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

What a great way to look at things.. We feel the same way with the deaf ones. Baby steps, focus on the good.
You have a very Happy New Year...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Scout and Freyja January 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

What YOU have to remember is that Marge NEVER, EVER gave up on you. Doing agility - or any dog-sport - for that matter is supposed to be FUN for you and the dog. That's the WHOLE purpose and intent. You may have become discouraged at times but Marge never once wanted to quit on you - never.

Both of you are a team, and a GOOD team. Competition or no competition, the two of you have a bright future as friends and companions on this agility course we call life.

Here's to another year of friendship and smiles and holding up each other through the trials.

KB January 1, 2010 at 9:51 AM  

Your attitude about obstacles is amazing! I agree, either you take the leap or you don't. And, just like committing to anything, adopting a dog is a huge leap. You and Marge are a perfect pair - made for each other, I think. Keep on loving her and she'll keep taking the leap along side you!!

SissySees January 1, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Well-said. I hope you and your remarkable girl-dog have a wonderful 2010.

Bijou January 1, 2010 at 10:51 AM  

Hi Marge and Sam,

We wish you two a New Year of love, health,happiness and big leaps!


BRUTUS January 1, 2010 at 11:08 AM  

I'm sure you'll make many more leaps this year. Someone suggested to me making a training journal to help keep track of progress & keep things in perspective. It's my doggie new-years resolution, think it'll be really telling to look back on!

Brutus and I have a CPE trial tomorrow & Sunday, so there will certainly be videos to come (don't want you to go into withdrawl!). Much bigger event than the other agility trial we competed in after Thanksgiving (almost 400 runs each day), and now we are Level 2 in most classes (having leveled out of CL-1 in all but Snooker & Jackpot, which we will be playing for the first time - ugh). Wish us luck!!

Michelle & Brutus

Natalie January 1, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

Wow, what an incredible post Sam! I agree wholeheartedly and I'm amazed at how far you've come. After all, you're taking a very difficult dog to work with, from a hard rescue situation, and completely turned her around to the point where she can be a good, functioning house dog. You've even been successful enough to be able to train her for agility. And she's only your first dog! I don't think many of us can claim that kind of success with many of our dogs, especially the first one we've owned. You have an incredible determination and attitude that's kept you going with Marge, and is probably the reason why she trusts you so much. I look forward to reading more about your adventures with her, and I'm glad you've been kind enough to share your experiences with us here on the blogosphere. Here's to another fabulous year with our dogs - who knows what good things 2010 will bring for all of us!

Cinnamon and Mint January 1, 2010 at 3:50 PM  

Hi Sam and Marge,

Your dedication is always inspiring and gives courage to overcome any difficulties. When we were lost in a maze of training, your comments often gave us hints for getting out of it. Thank you so much!

We hope to keep making leaps along with you two!

Cinnamon and her mum

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