Halifax, West Yorkshire

It's like walking poodles

It’s like walking poodles

It’s been one of those weeks.  There’s so much to fit in these days isn’t there? We all put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything perfectly.

Life has so many strands to it – work, family, relationships, house, pets, school, kids, exercise, diet,  free time (what’s that?!) that all have to be woven together as we go through the week. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a maypole, being wrapped up by all the strands!

Anyway, I got to thinking something the other day – I’ll explain.

Let me introduce you to the newest member of the family. This is Charlie Brown – a 5-month-old standard poodle, bundle of energy. He’s my parents’ new pup and he’s also a second cousin to my two dogs, Stanley and Walter.

Now for those of you that have dogs you’ll know exactly what I mean by this. Dog training is all about clear consistent boundaries, repetition and positive reinforcement. Decide what you want, practice it lots, be consistent with the boundaries and reward when you get the behaviour you want.

Life can sometimes feel so overwhelming trying to weave all our strands that we can lose all sense of what we want and what makes us happy. It can feel like herding cats!

So, I was looking after Charlie the other day and I decided to take all three dogs for a walk on my own for the first time. Now, my two weigh in at 71kg combined and CB is 15kg so that’s 86kg of poodle to control. Am I physically stronger than them all combined? No. So, time to be mentally stronger 💪🏻.

Off I went with Walter tied round my waist and Stanley and Charlie in my left hand. My boundaries were clear; pull me forwards and we go backward; walk nicely and the walk carries on and you get some praise. I had to check my own state of mind and remain calm, relaxed and consistent – be in the moment.

Guess what, they were superstars – I’ve even put a little video of the walk on our Instagram if you want to see. Here’s the link https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyEudBNKfhK/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

So, there’s a lesson in there isn’t there. When life is at risk of going full on crazy and pulling you in the wrong direction, decide what you want, set your boundaries, learn to say ‘no’ and pat yourself on the back when you do a good job.

Life should be less herding cats and more walking poodles.

Until the next time,


P.S. Things haven’t always gone completely to plan. I once got launched into the air and dragged along the ground at Greetland playing fields by my old labradoodle Alfie – he was a character! That’s a story for another day though 😉