Wednesday, June 3, 2009


The LCCOC obedience trial was a few weekends ago. Rev Mike came to watch the competition and helped Nedra steward a few of the obedience classes. He commented that several handlers and/or dog team participants did not seem to enjoying their experience in the ring. Since my early days training with the very German lady and her strict methods in DC, I have really tried to make this fun for each dog. The fun/game requirement I place on the training allows me to not take the whole effort near as seriously as most. Bern, with his happy go lucky nature, has been the ultimate cure for taking dog training seriously. Bern just refuses to take life seriously... so we don't.

Why mulling these thoughts over following the trial, a source of inspiration came my direction via a fortune cookie. The fortune in the cookie... "You cannot love life until you live the life you love." Well that set me wondering if I was living the life I love. Lots of my "free" time is taken up with various dog activities. Are the dog sports a positive influence? Is my dog training staying balanced?

I then found a way to sort of measure my dog sports life. Wordle makes "word clouds". The word clouds give prominence to the words that appear more frequently in the text evaluated. I fed my blog feed into Wordle to see what type of word cloud appeared. The resulting Wordle is show at right.

Overall I was pleased with my Wordle - some positive words in big letters (good and happy). Mostly it is obedience terms but we had just finished a three day obedience and rally show while prior to that we had been practicing obedience and rally bunches. What I was disappointed in was that Grace is in really big letters and Bern was in much smaller letters. I have vowed to give Bern more training attention. (Based on his recent attempt at weaving he could use a bit more practice). It also appears I need to do less managing.

I stumbled across the Wordle software on a pastor's website that had used Wordle to make sure his sermon was staying on track. I forwarded the link to Rev Mike. Rev Mike is now blogging as part of his new job. Instead of searching for sermon ideas he has morphed to searching for blogging ideas.

I plan on waiting a few months and trying Wordle on the blog again.... just to make sure I'm staying positive and balanced. Meanwhile, I need to catch the blog up!