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Project Road Trip
Happy 2015. Konane turned 4 years old today. I can't believe she's 4 already, time passes so quickly. Gus has been long retired, Lucy is about to retire, Konane is in her prime and Merlin is just starting out. All the competition stages of an agility dog are represented in my home. I was thinking of a name for Merlin's project as project "Run as one" has come to a close. I'm glad I did this and I like to name any of my long term projects, makes them feel tangible in the midst of the project when it's easy to lose sight of the goal. I see the biggest improvement in months 13-18, I think it was just a matter of me being forced to become a better handler because of the speed of my dog.

Merlin remains very much the anti-Kona. Even his debut was not at all like hers. She had a lot of people watching, mainly because she made her debut at the Flat Coat Trial with a lot of friends and the Hidden Valley family watching. Merlin not so much, 6 pm on a Sunday evening makes for a very sparse crowd. The most common comment I receive for anyone who has seen him is "you need to push him." I don't feel at all compelled to push him for speed or accuracy, he isn't the kind of dog to be pushed, he will find his own way in his own time. So we will embark on "Project Road Trip," after one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost:

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Here we go buddy.

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Good luck and have fun, which I know you will. You have trained enough dogs to know that they all move at their own speeds. I have found that pushing a dog usually results in either push back, or apathy from the dog. I agree , just work with them, it usually never turns out anything but perfect when that happens.

I also love that poem. I can remember hearing it for the first time in 6th grade and I knew it would always have an impact on me.

Keep us updated, please;)

I was trying to remember when I first heard this poem, could not pull it out of the memory banks.

I learned the "don't push the dog" lesson with Gus. For him it was just a matter of hoping he would stop hiding under the kitchen table.

I admire your methodical method and that you do what is best for your dog. Have a great 2015!!

There is a method to the madness, although only my LJ friends actually know this.

Happy New Year!

I can't wait to hear about Merlin this year, and all your dogs.


We always have fun, that's all that really matters.

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Re: Project Road Trip

Thanks for my amazing dogs :)

Phooey to those who think Merlin should be pushed, he will definitely find his way. I think Merlin is just the sweetest boy! You two are going to have a great journey.

Thanks. He is a dear sweet boy, he was the perfect addition.

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