Frankie's Holiday Advice

Posted on December 18, 2020

Meet Frankie, our busy little Kelpie. Each morning he sits and looks intensely at my partner, Michelle, eagerly waiting for her direction. At 15 weeks of age, he already has a terrifyingly strong work ethic and requires meaningful work from us constantly. Without it, he becomes depressed, destructive, and quite lost. He’s given me a lot to reflect on when it comes to work and rest, and with the Christmas holidays just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to share with you some lessons I’ve learned from Frankie.

1. Sit - A powerful tool for calming the mind and focussing the attention. When things are overwhelming for Frankie, Michelle sometimes simply asks him to “sit” a few times. This simple action is very calming and helps him regain composure.

2. Drop – A helpful addition to “sit”. Sometimes regaining composure is a multi-step process and “drop” is a great next step towards calm composure.

3. Stay – As I watch Frankie’s internal struggle to sit still and “stay”, I reflect on the value of staying the course on important projects in my own life this year.

4. Heel – Stop – Slow – Stop – Fast – Stop is a game that Frankie has been learning to play. When he’s out walking, we invite him to walk at various paces and to stop, for fun and treats of-course. This helps him to develop good impulse control which is valuable for keeping him safe. It’s nice to know he’ll “stop” when asked to avoid harm. For me, it’s a reminder that going slow is valuable at times, even necessary. So is “stop”.

5. Free – After doing a few minutes of training Michelle instructs Frankie to be “free” and waves her arms about to indicate he can go where he wants and do whatever. I laugh to myself as I watch Frankie’s confused facial expression and I reflect on how difficult it can be to know where to go or what to do following intense periods of work.

This year has had a bit of everything. For most of us we’ve had to “sit” and “stay” at home, “drop” some things that were important at the time; as best as possible embrace “slow” or “fast” and at times simply “stop” whether we liked it or not. With this year nearly at a close, hopefully, there will be an opportunity for you to have some “free” time however you like to experience it.

I wish you all the best for the Christmas season and am looking forward to reconnecting with you in 2021.


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