I am opening a new blog. It's something I've been meaning to do since I got Puppy, but have somehow managed to avoid.
It was the pressure, I think; the pressure of having readers, however few, who would read my goals and hold me accountable; dogging was just another area I had to be Productive in.
And fear. I realised last night how large the fear part was - because last night, I loved my dog.
Oh, of course, I'd loved her since we brought her home in July last year; but last night, I Loved her.
Somehow - I don't recall - the subject of breeding came up. I ended up on the net, googling for pictures of a whelping box to show the Boy (aka Husband), who had never seen one.
I stumbled upon a fabulous, insightful blog called Lab Tails - and my life, in a small but ever so important way, is changed.
Labradors, perhaps no more than other dogs but certainly with a unique enthusiasm, love their people. Unreservedly, unashamedly, unconditionally - and without fear.
And I realised that, although I dreamed of that magical connection between human and animal, and although it was here, within my reach, I was holding back from it.
I was scared.
I was scared, because Laura will die.
My Sunshine, I named her, in the hopes that that was what she would be - a ray of light in the greyness of our lives, hope in times of trial, warmth in the cold and the fear. And she was. She was sunshine, and she was mine...
But she was never My Sunshine.
Until last night.
Lab Tails reminded me of something very important. Dogs, no matter what they do, no matter how many mistakes they make, and no matter how many others they may hurt, never have regrets. It is not in their nature to regret actions past - and neither is it in them to worry for the future.
I will die - but Laura loves me nonetheless, with an exuberance and joy that lights up her entire body and fills it with uncontainable wriggles.
And now, her love is returned.
Hence this blog. I do now what I have always intended to do - trace my journey, track my progress, and chart my way across the known world of training, and the complete unknown of showing.
Welcome. I hope that somewhere, somehow, you too will experience that unconditionality of a dog's love - and learn to return it.