Psyche and I have been going on Thursdays with Mom and Tinky to private lessons with Erin. And even though we've only done 2 session so far, each one has come with huge learning possibilities, and chances to think through struggles we're facing.
Erin has been an amazing instructor. And I'll admit, I was kind of timid at first, worried there'd be too much of a "laid back" atmosphere, because we're friends, and I'd worried that we'd be spending the money for a private and getting an hour of training, but not... I don't know it's hard to explain. Either way, it was a waste of worry, because of course Erin handled everything very professionally.
Our first session was good, but I can say there were moments when I really was thinking to myself, "Why DON'T you know this? Really?" Simple things that most others know just starting out I'd forgotten or never really learned, and that was irritating to me. However, Erin did a great job of explaining them to me, and Psyche was very understanding while I tried and failed several times, until I tried and succeeded.
Our first lesson took place while the skies were opening up and just letting it fall. We've never trained in such rain, and I doubt we've ever really trialed in such rain -- maybe once. That said, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Within the first few minutes out there, my coat was soaked through and I was drenched, and I'd fallen once before even bringing Psyche out, but it was a great session. That second session was filled with several moments where I was proud and thought, "wow, Psyche's really working well for me, and I'm really working well for her." Even in the rain my dog was happy and willing to play with me, and that makes me feel good. There were places in handling where I knew what I needed to do, that last week, I probably wouldn't have known. I didn't always execute them correctly, but at least now I can pick them out.
During our second session, we talked a bit of how the dogs read us, and Erin said at one point something along the lines of, "Our dogs read us, it's crazy, but they really do." And Mom, without even stopping trying to master the footwork of the handling she was working, said, "Our dogs read us, sometimes we just don't write the right story." And of course my mom is right (she almost always is, much to my disdain), our dogs do read us, but it's up to us to write the right story. So even if I felt like Psyche didn't really NEED lessons, I'm glad we've taken them, because these sessions are like a much more fun english class I'd take in school.
So thanks to Erin, for sharing her knowledge with us in the form of lessons and frequently asked questions, and thanks to Mom for coming with me, since I just don't think I could handle an hour all on my own, and thanks to Psyche for bearing with me when my feet don't point in the right direction, but my arms do; I'm glad she's learned how to read slower so I can make adjustments before she gets to each part.