Well I just finished a long drive from home to Minnesota. I decided to drive and not fly as I wanted to bring both Encore and Feature so I could put them in a trial here before I start my teaching.  It is a bit risky driving from Canada around the great lakes and up to Minnesota (it sounds weird to be driving up to Mn when you live up at Canada to start doesn’t it:)). When I was in the veterinary pharmaceutical sales industry I used to drive about 30-40,000 mile a year, every year for 15 years. I am a good driver, one of the few people that made it through my years as a rep without ever having a mishap with my company car. However driving, like any skill, weakens without practice. I must admit in the last 10 years I rarely drive. Anywhere John and I go together he does all the driving. I think it started because he is a bit of a nervous passenger but now I have learned to love to be the passenger. My van is over 3 years old and still does not have 50,000 km (20,000 miles) on it yet.  Most of the miles John has put on it. Really the only time I drive it is to go to church and that is it. When I am home I am home and I try not to go anywhere:). So this big adventure to Minnesota and Wisconsin is a whole lotta driving from my point of view. It was about 12oo km (720 miles).  I was lucky in that I only had about 1 hour of snowy weather to drive through the rest was absolutely perfect conditions.  I started out at 2:30 Thursday afternoon and drove until about 8:30 at night. I knew my driving skills where pretty rusty when at 7:45 last night (about 2 hour past sunset) I realized I had been driving without my headlights. Actually, if this is going to be true confession time,  I didn’t make the realization myself. I figured the trucker behind me was either trying to induce me to  have an epileptic  seizure with all of his headlight flashing or he was trying to convey something really important to me. Eventually I got the message and put the lights on, poor man, I swear he must have thrown out a shoulder with all the work he had to do on his light switch. Please no one tell John, my absent mindedness is a bit of a sore point with him:).  When I finally arrived at Carol and Terry Smorch’s tonight I realized how much I enjoyed my drive. God bless XM radio. It can keep you entertained for hours without you knowing it. I also figured out (aaah admittedly while driving) that I could unplug the patch for the satellite radio and plug in my ipod and open up an entire library of podcasts to wear out.  Driving like that my mind comes up with all sorts of great training ideas. At one point today I had to pull over for over an hour, pull out my laptop and get some of them down before they ran out of my head as quickly as they came in. As unusual as it is for me to have this time by myself I can honestly say I really, really enjoyed it.

Today I really feel blessed to have the phenomenal driving conditioned I had for my trip here to Minnesota.

PS. Hey if any of you are in the area, I hear two working spots have opened up for the Advances in Dog Training session in Wisconsin next week (Thursday & Friday). Contact Katie at [email protected] for more info.  Of all of the different workshops that I do, if you could only ever come to one of them and I had to pick the one for you, there is no doubt it would be Advances in Dog Training. Everything else I do has all developed from the Advances in Dog Training workshop.