A Piloting Transfer

 The thrill of coming home has never changed – Guy Pearce


- Porter taking advantage of nature's agility course

– Porter taking advantage of nature’s agility course


Last week, I was able to go home to CT for a while. I spent time visiting family and friends which left Porter and Tall Guy to themselves. Each day I’d get a picture of their hikes, adventures or Porter not wanting to wake up. The two of them had a lot of time together. Tall Guy had an entire week to work on his Piloting skills. Which means, he also got to put a lot more money in his Piloting Bank.

Upon my return there was a very excited dog. All of those moments that we look forward to after  being away from our four legged friends for a while. There was happy whimpering, lots of kisses and a dog that could not get close enough to me. Nothing can compare to that feeling of getting a dose of unconditional love.

But then…. A walk happened. We decided to go on a hike right after I got home. When the 3 of us go on hikes together, I’m the one that usually handles Porter. So, I stepped right back into that roll. But, here’s what I forgot: I hadn’t put any Piloting into Porter for over a week and Tall Guy had.

All of a sudden he was looking to Tall Guy for direction and not me. At first, I was stunned. But then, I thought about it from Porter’s point of view. Tall Guy had made sure that Porter hadn’t died all week by himself. Even though the main Pilot (me) was gone, Tall Guy had made sure the both of them had made it through the week. They went on multiple walks and hikes where murder was inevitable in Porter’s mind, and they had made it through. Guess who put more money in their Piloting Bank than me?

Here we are having a heart to heart... I don't think he's listening

Here we are having a heart to heart… I don’t think he’s listening

Instead of becoming frustrated, throwing my hands up and handing Porter over to Tall Guy, I made sure I walked Porter on all walks and hikes. I made sure I followed through on everything and put some more money in my bank. There were times where I became annoyed. I’m not perfect! When you have a bad walking day with your dog it’s not fun. However, each bad day means there’s another good day out there. I pushed through daily walks and hikes with Porter until I felt more comfortable with the amount of Piloting I had done. It took a few days, but Porter and I were back to our normal relationship.

I’ll be going away again this weekend as well. Which means, another boys weekend for Tall Guy and Porter. When I come back, I’ll have to do some more Piloting right away. I know that. I’m well aware. However, the best part is it gives Tall Guy even more time to work on his Piloting. Between the two of us Porter has a pretty great pack. It takes hard work from both of us, but it’s completely worth it.

Are you done making fun of me yet Mom?

Are you done making fun of me yet Mom?


Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH


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