Monday, April 29, 2013

Workshop In Progress

I'm getting back to my scentwork roots with my dog-training lessons.  Mostly, lately, I've been offering obedience training in a format resembling piano lessons: bring 'em in young and practice, practice, practice.  However, it's not paying the feed bills all that well, so I'm offering something that most training facilities don't.  Coming May 18, the "My Dog Can Do That" SAR workshop.

You see, SAR is something lots of people want to try without making a commitment, and it's also something where the groups who have made the commitment don't want to use training time on dilettantes.  I figure there's probably a niche there for me.

My husband says my ad should include the number of hours I've trained.  I'm not sure what that is over the course of the four years I was actively training in SAR, never mind the more casual observations, related training, and book-reading since then, but I am pretty sure that nobody'd believe the number if I came up with one that was even close.  A lot, okay?  I worked Sunny a couple of hours a day minimum nearly every day for four years, and participated in two to six group trainings with other dogs every  month for most of those four years, plus a few in the following year as helper and advice-giver.

He also says I shouldn't mention the thorns and poison ivy, but that's part of a realistic SAR experience.  If you haven't done a faceplant into one or the other, you haven't really trained.  Likewise, if you've never had a Labrador get tangled in your hair, you've never properly hidden from a search dog.  It isn't a comfortable pastime.  It is a worthwhile one, though.

I think what worries me is that total strangers are going to ask why I'm not still in SAR, and I'm not quite sure they'll understand the answer, "My partner died."  In most fields of dog training, you just train another one.  This was different, at least for me.  Which I'm going to have to get comfortable explaining, apparently.

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