Amazing!! It’s almost 2019 … where did the year go? It must be true that the older one gets, the faster time passes. And, there is current science that suggests that time IS actually going faster!

One exciting aspect of this ‘fast-moving time’ is that we can see the results of our plans and actions quicker than ever before. That, coupled with the ending of one year and the fresh beginning of a new one just around the corner, means there is no better time than now to set you and your dog up for success in the new year!

So, let me ask you:

Do you want more “Happy” in your life?  (who doesn’t)

Do you want to enjoy each day a little more?  (duh, right?)

Do you want 2019 to be the best year ever for you and your dogs? (doesn’t that sound awesome?)

I have two simple, easy things you can do right now to get that rolling for you. Everyone can do this, it takes very little time, AND your dog will remind you constantly!


Tip #1:

When you LOVE what you already have in your life, you’ll get more of the same.

It all starts with natural laws of our world:  we will attract into our experience what we are in vibrational resonance with. Simply put, everything is energy — you, your dog, your emotions, your thoughts — yep, all energy. That’s because everything is made of molecules, which are made of atoms, which are made of subatomic particles…which are pure energy.

Energy, by nature, resonates with and attracts back to it things of the same resonance, or frequency…just like a tuning fork brings a particular piano string into resonance. You’ve likely heard the expression “like attracts like”, that’s resonance. So, if your thoughts or emotions are centered around fear, anxiety, or lack (of anything)…you literally draw those things to you like a magnet.

Don’t want that now, do we?

One great way to turn that energy around, and attract more useful things to you is to feel, acknowledge and express gratitude. Expression of Heartfelt Gratitude is one of, if not “the” most powerful ways to change your life. Teaching myself to practice gratitude every single day is one of the best things I have ever done…for me and for my dogs!

And, when I think about it, I learned this lesson from my dogs. When they’re happy about something, they show it!  And, furthermore, they spend their time anticipating what great stuff is about to happen (cookies, walk, ball, play, dinner, massage) instead of lamenting about what great stuff they wish they had.

So, in it’s simplest form, all you have to do is be happy and grateful for all the great stuff you have in your life, and anticipate all the great stuff that is going to happen soon.

Pretty cool, right?

It’s pretty easy once you get started…the great feelings that flow when you practice gratitude automatically generate more great feelings that attract more things to be grateful for! Start today. Start with your dogs.

Kathy Kawalec and her border collie Luc share a loving momentFor example, TODAY:

I’m grateful that I get to nurture a partnership with my beautiful border collies.

I’m grateful that I can spend time outdoors with my dogs.

I’m grateful that my dogs are healthy and sound.

I’m grateful that if needed, I can take my dog to the vet for care.

I’m grateful that I am healthy and sound enough to work my dogs.

Im grateful that I can make the time to work my dogs.

I’m grateful that I have warm clothes and boots and rain gear that keep me comfortable when I’m outdoors with my dogs.

I’m grateful for the feel of my dogs soft hair and warm skin under my hand as I stroke their heads.

I’m grateful that my dogs and I have F-U-N when we work and play together.

I’m grateful for the honor and privilege of having such a relationship with my dog…whether we win, lose, get eliminated or have to scratch…I am grateful.


 Tip #2:

Get Ready for all the great stuff that you are anticipating!

So, how do you “Get Ready”?

The simplest way to get ready for all that great stuff you’re anticipating is to plan for it. Planning is all about getting your ducks in a row so you are ready when your great stuff shows up.

Planning helps you to get clear on what you want so that you’ll recognize it when it comes. And planning helps you to get ready in baby steps, so you don’t have to rush around like crazy when you realize that you’re not ready. Makes sense, right?

Planning also helps you to get organized with your training sessions and allows you to develop a finely tuned sense of where you are and where you want to go. You will become attuned to your dog each and every time you work/play together and that allows your dog to give you great feedback about your training and handling.

Here’s a simple way to start:

  • Begin to ask yourself useful questions before and after each session…and before and after each phase of planning. Questions like

    “What skills do I (or my dog) need to rehearse in order to become competent at the desired level?”

    “What do I need to change or improve in order to create the results I want?”

  • After each training session, ask yourself:

    “Are we better now than before the session?”

    If your answer is “no”, change what didn’t work and try again.

    If the answer is “I’m not sure”, go back and repeat the same to become sure.

    If the answer is “yes” and if your answer is usually “yes” then you are not challenging you and your dog enough.

    Those words of wisdom are passed down from trainer Bob Bailey. Wise indeed! We can’t get better if we don’t challenge ourselves, right?

To take this one step further, begin to Create Your Plan for 2019.

Start with taking inventory of the skills and the level of partnership you already have with your dog in each area. Then visualize and determine where you want to be…one area at a time. Be quite detailed. See and most importantly FEEL, what it’s like to accomplish your goals. Take in every detail and write them down.

Kathy and Sue Meeker 2012 closeNext, create a plan of action, step-by-step that will get you to your goals. You can do that by the training session, by the week, or the month. Be detailed enough that your road map will guide you well along the way, without bogging you down in too many details. Your details will come into play before and after each session. If you’re not sure, get help from your coach or instructor.

Record your training sessions…in a journal or logbook.

Write notes for each session and for each competition: What went well…what are you happy with? Be specific. Record the relevant environmental details of the session too.

Then, what would you like to change or revise for next time? What would you like to improve? What is your plan for making those changes?

It’s important to focus on a positive outcome and remember it’s so much easier to teach a dog to “DO” rather than “DON’T”.

For example, “DO keep a good shape to your flank” is easier to teach than “Don’t cut in on your flank”.

It’s so important is to nurture a positive mental attitude and engage in self-talk that helps you reach your goals.

Always speak to yourself in the present tense as if you already have the quality you want. “I am calm and confident.” Use positive phrases, (avoiding the words ‘not, won’t, can’t, should’)…such as “I am relaxed” vs “I am not tense”…or “I am focused” vs “I will not be distracted.”

Review your plan every month or quarter, compare it to your training journal, ask yourself those useful questions…make adjustments and move forward. Have fun, be happy every day, and remember tip #1.  😉

And…I’ll leave you with these thoughts to ponder …

“If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you always got.”

“How am I going to live today to create the tomorrow I am committed to?”


Join us for the 2019 Creative Alchemy Passion Plan program…you’ll be so happy you did!!



15 responses to “Want more “Happy” for You and Your Dog?”

  1. Sharon Brewer says:

    My big goal for my dog Nico and myself for the New Year is to improve our partnership by changing my focus towards everything that is going right with us, and expand on those! Our goal is – No more negativity in 2014!

    • Kathy Kawalec says:

      Awesome, Sharon! I love your intention for 2014!!

      I suggest you consider rewriting your goal into a positive form that feels right for you. Refer back to Tip #2.

      Thanks for sharing! Stay tuned on Monday for the winner announcement. 🙂

  2. See for me in 2014, or sooner, that I am free of debit. I see the connection with all my animals is deeper and centered in love & gratitude. I see balance in all areas of my life. Faith, family, field, finance, fitness, friends and fun!!!

    Thank you Kathy for sharing your love and gratitude of life, living in joy and your being well connected with your animals 😉

  3. I’m cutting back on numbers, hoping to increase the quality of my relationships with my dogs…3 adult females (Curley, Zipper and Hope) plus, 12 week-old Charity! I am going to try to keep things positive and progressive…

  4. Dee says:

    The big goal for 2014 is connectedness .With my dogs, with myself, with the universe. Staying connected, grounded and breathing.

  5. Donna Zarnstorff says:

    I have 2 pit mixes and a lab mix. They are great dogs, but they cannot be trusted in the house without supervision. Inevitably, something will get chewed, a cat will be chased. My goal for 2014 is to be able to make a cup of tea or even use the bathroom without having to put them outside or crate them. And I don’t have a clue how to accomplish this!

  6. laura says:

    my goal for 2014 with my 11 mth rat terrier/Chihuahua is to train her completely as my service dog, to seek help if I need it. but most of all for a totally trusting bond between us where my words for her, my actions toward Puca and her actions to me are ones of love and trust.

  7. elizabeth says:

    I am very grateful and love my dogs (2 dachshunds) with all my heart. I am very bonded to both of them. My goal would be that my male doxie, Barney, would have the same bond with my husband and my family. He is totally devoted and protective of me. He barks when my husband comes in and out the door, carries bags, gets in the shower, gets out of bed, on and on. He is like this with all the males in my family and in the last 6 years it has always been this way. We did have a behaviorist work with Barney for awhile, but it just didn’t take. She wanted me to ignore Barney completely, and…well, after a few days, I just could not do that, it was breaking both our hearts. My goal would be that Barney become trusting and friends with my family, males in particular.

  8. kathy Kline says:

    I love what I am reading on your blog. When the hectic holiday times slow I plan to read more as I know your words can help me. I am proudly owned by two dachshunds. SAMMY AND DYLAN. Dylan is my service dog, as I have several medical conditions, a pet therapy dog making visits to the local hospital and a R.E.A.D therapy dog making visits to local libraries where children read to him. He is also an AKC For champion, and participates in AKC performance events with me. We have together earned several different titles and r constantly working towards more. Your advise could help me with my social anxiety issues, my fear of driving long distance, and when I allow myself to become envious of others.

  9. Linda Williams says:

    My biggest goal… It’s a biggee! FOCUS! I truly hope to enter Louise in Rally at Woofstock in the late spring. That would be such an awesome way for us to see the distance we have travelled on our journey. Louise is such a joyful pup. I don’t want to deminish her joy, but would truly love to figure out how to focus and find harmony. I know it is lurking away inside of her. She is the only puppy in our puppy agility class to stay connected to her person off leash and do the course. Now I need to figure out how to get more of that and get it consistently. With your help I know it can happen! I have a horse no one could help, I searched and did not quit, found the right path and instructor. Awesome partnership horse! Now I have a puppy that presents similar challenges and we need the right path and instructor. As we begin our journey…Thank you!

  10. Gail says:

    Today’s article really touched on a number of important points that I can see will be of benefit to us. I have a very long list of things I am grateful for. Some of the things I take for granted and I like how you brought them up. Thank you!

  11. Meli Jurado says:

    Hi Kathy, I am a new dog owner and just got a smooth coat collie 2 months ago. Your posts have been so helpful for me and I am grateful I found your site! My big goals for 2017 are to get more in tune with Rebel so I can more easily understand what he is communicating. I also want to consistently learn and grow our partnership through trust, positivity, and love. Having a dog has already changed my life for the better and I can’t wait for more:)

  12. Dory says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I would love to know how to have a positive partnership in areas that are necessary (nail trimming, vet appointments, etc.) that are also absolutely terrifying for my dog. Certain things he is afraid of we can just avoid such as not walking when the scary garbage truck is out, but getting vaccines and check ups from the vet are something that is a necessity and can not be avoided. I would love some practical tips for doing these necessary tasks that put him past his threshold.

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