Saturday, 5 September 2015

A Note: In Which The Realities of Life Interrupt Our Regular Storytime

Hey, readers.

Been a tad longer than usual since I last posted, but I have to say it might be a bit longer until I get back to regular posting. I'm going through a bit of a rough time right now.

The simplified version is that I lost my job. Now, it wasn't even paid work so it's not a financial issue for me (and in that I am fortunate), but it is another setback in my long struggle to overcome mental illness. I mention this because I admire bloggers who open discussion about real-life issues, such as health problems, tricky relationships or the difficult parts of having pets, and not only talk about when everything goes easy.

So if you are reading this, I'd love it if you took a moment to consider how difficult it can be for people with chronic mental illness to hold down jobs and keep relationships. I'm one of them, but chances are you know someone else who could be in the same boat. It can be easy to forget, when things are going our way.

* * *

the great gatsby project
On the dog front, Gatsby went home kind-of suddenly. Don't worry, she's well and so are her people, as far as I know -- more a change of travel plans. But I'm having some trouble coming to terms with a realisation: it's unlikely much of what I taught Gatsby will stick. And, friends, I taught her a lot. That part of the story will be told later, but while I (and my family) were enjoying having her around, I was also reveling in teaching, training and socialising her to the world outside her home. Now Gatsby's back home where I honestly expect it's straight back to being spoilt rotten, to what I believe is her detriment.

On the other hand, this stay has showed me that she really can survive without her one person -- happily and healthily, in fact. She wasn't overly anxious and made leaps and bounds in confidence in the outside world. I'm very happy for Gatsby, of course, but I certainly have mixed feelings. It raises questions about whether fostering (animals) would be a good option for me, with my love of training and watching others learn; or whether my decision not to pursue a teaching career (humans) is reinforced. I certainly respect teachers who do their job every day, not knowing how much of what they taught will ever be retained outside of the classroom.

Closer to home, knowing now how well Gatsby can do makes me feel like my goal of a comfortable, well-adjusted dog is so close, yet so far. I can't expect K and her family to change according to my beliefs, but I'm sure I'll see Gatsby again. She followed my house rules because I was consistent. Do you think she'll still treat me the same way after going home? Will her people see an improvement in her behaviour despite how they treat her?

I have been feeling much better the past couple of days, so this post might actually get the posting ball rolling again. No promises, but I know you'll understand if I'm not up to it yet.


  1. I understand you took well care of this dog and I am pretty sure she will always remember you. I am wondering : Do you not want your own dog? I think it would be good for you and the dog would be happy to be in your family.

  2. I hope that you keep on feeling better, and I'm sorry you've suffered a setback.

    It seems that you did wonderful things with Gatsby. I have no doubt that you've influenced him, and that he'll be very happy every time he sees you. It seems as if his visit was a wonderful time for you!

  3. After I read your post and your thoughtful insights, I went back to the line about fostering and a possible career in teaching. One way to look at it is about making a difference no matter how small.

    Maybe Gatsby (and family) won't retain everything (or anything) but you made a difference in her life and obviously a big difference in your own life. You should be proud of yourself!

  4. I think you did make a difference for Gatsby, and I hope you took away from it what a good trainer you are and how much impact you can have! I am sorry about your struggles but it seems like you did exactly the right thing with Gatsby, for her and for yourself--focusing on what you are good at and what rejuvenates your essential vitality.


Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!