Ep. 109: Retiring a Dog from Nose Work

Mar 22, 2024


Dianna L. Santos and Lori Timberlake

Whether it be due to old age, injuries, illness or simply not wanting to play the game anymore, we may find ourselves faced with the prospect of retiring our dogs from Nose Work.

In this episode, we speak with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training about her personal journey with her senior girl Daisy who, while still full of spice and vinegar, made it clear she much preferred romps in the woods over playing Nose Work.

We are so incredibly thankful to Lori for sharing her story, the emotions she has gone through, the options she weighed and more. Doing so may help others who are in a similar situation better navigate their journey to make the best decision for themselves and their dogs.

Lori is an amazing Nose Work instructor, trial official, trial host and competitor. Scent Work University has been incredibly fortunate to host Lori for a variety of online courses, seminars, webinars and eBooks. Check out a few of her offerings here:




Are you looking for another activity to do with your pup? Definitely check out Canine Parkour! Lori has an excellent program you and your dog will love through Pet Dog U.


Dianna L. Santos (00:00):
Welcome to the All About Scent Work Podcast. In this podcast, we talk about all things Scent Work, that include training tips, a behind the scenes look at what your Instructor or trial official is going through and much more. In this episode, I have the distinct privilege of speaking with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training about a very important topic, potentially having to retire your dog from set work. Before we start diving into the episode itself, let me do a very quick introduction of myself. My name is Dianna Santos, I'm the Owner and Lead Instructor of Scent Work University. This is an online dog training platform where we provide online courses, seminars, webinars, and eBooks that are all centered around set. So regardless of where you are in your sippy journey, you're just getting started. You're looking to develop some more advanced skills. You're interested in trialing or you're already trialing in the upper levels. We likely have a training solution for you. So I should know a little bit more about me. Let's dive into the episode itself.

So once again, I have the very distinct privilege of speaking with Lori Timberlake of Do Over Dog Training for this episode, talking about a really important topic as Lori shares her story about having to retire her dog from Nose Work. Alright, let's dive into that conversation. So I want to thank you so very much for joining us. We are delighted to be having you again for one of our podcast interviews. And you had mentioned that you wanted to talk about something that's near and dear to your heart, and that is coming to the realization that you may need to retire your Nose Work dog. And I think that this is going to be a really helpful episode for many of our listeners who may be in the same boat for a variety of different reasons. So I first of all want to thank you for sharing this because again, it can be a very difficult thing to go through, but I do think that's going to be helpful for everyone to realize that we all can come to this position and that it'll just be helpful to talk about. So again, I really do sincerely want to thank you for sharing because this is, again, it's emotional. So did you want to talk to us a little bit about how you have come to this potential decision, this crossroads that you're at with your own pup and what you're going through, what you're thinking about? You just want to let us know what that whole journey is like.

Lori Timberlake (02:16):
Daisy has been retired for a little bit. I think we did a trial 2022. We did some elements, but things have been hitting me more a little bit more recently, and we can get into that a little bit, but I'll just talk about why we retired her. Her stamina is still amazing. She's still healthy. She's 14. We did a seven mile hike followed by a three mile hike this weekend. So she's got all that going on, but she just, I'm not going to say she doesn't like Scent Work anymore, but she'd rather run in the woods and so why make her go do this thing? And she loved competing when we were competing and she liked playing for fun when we were playing for fun, but now she's just like, meh, I got other things. I could be sniffing trees right now. So it has been difficult knowing that I have a dog that can do it that just doesn't want to do it.

I'm sure there's a lot of people out there with really young dogs that they got a dog just to do Scent, Work, and the dog's like, eh, I'll do it if you want me to, but this really isn't my thing. And then I'm sure there's a lot of people with older dogs or dogs with illnesses or dogs that physically can't do it anymore that are going through the same thing. So that was kind of how I made the decision with Daisy was when I started seeing that she just didn't care anymore. And like I said, we still play for fun sometimes, but even then she's not as interested. So I could tell a quick story because I had two things happen recently that made me think of, I was just thinking of ideas for podcasts and I'm like, I'm really feeling it lately how much I mis trialing and how hard it is for me to not go to trials even though my dog could care less.

So we dropped into a Nose Work class a couple of weeks ago. One of my instructors was having class at a brewery, so it's like my dreams come true sniffing and being at a brewery and she had a S spot left. Usually those classes fill super fast and she had a spot open and I said, why not? I'm going to bring Daisy. It'll be fun. I wanted to see the place because I was having a class there the following week, so I thought this would be a good time to go check it out and see what I've got available to me. And I put her harness on. We always used a harness for Scent Work and told her Find it, which she can't hear me anymore. So that didn't really mean anything. And she just kind of moseyed around. It was like, cool, we're in a new place. And she wasn't sniffing even though she had the harness on, even though she can't hear me, she knew what she was there to do. And so once we got her to a hide, then she was like, oh, okay, all right, we're doing that Nose Work thing. And then she did fine. She found all the rest of the hides. She actually did a pretty good job. There's some elevated hides, some close hides, things that we really don't work on that much. And then she was like, all right, can we just chill now?

We were driving by parks on the way home and she got really excited, are we going to a park now? And I'm like, no, you just sniffed for an hour. And that just really hit home to me. I had so much fun doing that. It was so exciting for me. It was kind of scary doing blind hides. I could have asked, I mean, I did ask for the first one because she was having a hard time, but I just wanted to see where did I lose my chops? Did I forget what I'm doing? I can watch thousands of dogs every week sniff, but then when I'm doing it, am I losing my skills because I'm not trialing or even training anymore. So all these emotions were hitting me. Do I need to get another dog? Do I need to bring her out more? Do I need to find a different dog to train with?

So all these things were going through my mind from that class. So that was kind of the first thing that hit me was how much I miss it and how nervous I am about missing out on fun and missing out on skills and training as an Instructor. And not everybody out there as an instructor, but I'm sure everyone has those thoughts. Look, I haven't sniffed in so long that I forgot what I'm doing. I forgot what this side of the leash is supposed to do. I was worried that there was one hide that was inaccessible, and I saw her working it and I'm like, I think there's something there. But then I'm second guessing myself, did I forget how to do this? Did I forget how to read my own dog? And then I asked, I'm like, is there something here? And she said, yeah, it's inaccessible and that it made me feel better, but all these weird different thoughts were going through my head as we were doing those searches of not only the sadness of not trialing, but stuff from the handler side too. So I don't know. I have more stories, but do you have anything to add there or any thoughts to any of that?

Dianna L. Santos (07:05):
First of all, thank you again for sharing that because it's so relatable on so many levels. You have the handler level of I have a dog, you've been doing this for a bit now. We haven't been doing it for a little bit. Oh my God, have I forgotten what I'm doing? To the added level of stress as an Instructor that not only are you an Instructor, but you're the owner of your business, you're at one of your instructors classes, you're in front of all their clients, and you're like, okay, what happened? Did I forget everything that I've done? And all that is so relatable, and it's something I think that all of us struggle with at some point and added on top of the, and correct me if I'm wrong, but oh my God, my dog is going, our whole thing about our program is building enthusiasm and love for the game and all. They love it. And my dog is like, do we have some trees that we can sniff? Can we go to a park instead? It's like, what is happening right now? So I completely relate to all these things. Can you talk about what it is that you saw before this class that made you think that she was like, I would much rather go for hikes right now?

Lori Timberlake (08:16):
That last trial we went to, it was a weird trial. It was hot. We had to drive to all of our searches. It was a lot in one weekend, and she just wasn't having fun. She wasn't excited. And a lot of that was not just that she was sick of playing Scent Work, but the other stuff happening. And I am always really sad that that was our last trial because it was just a big bummer. She came home with one title, but we were entered in three different trials. And that trial, even though there were other things involved, I was just like, she's not having fun.

Dianna L. Santos (08:52):
And I think that's a really good thing for us to maybe talk about a little bit more is do you think that she was already on a trajectory of, I really am kind of done with, let me ask this. Were you also seeing any kind of dip in even her practice sessions or was this more of a delineation of, well, I can do it for fun, but I don't want to do a whole trial day?

Lori Timberlake (09:16):
And this is weird, and this is probably a little different from a lot of dogs because a lot of the first thing when dogs get older, they're like, well, you don't have to trial them or they shouldn't be trialing. Daisy is sort of the exception. And I had a student that had a border collie who was 15 running NW3, and she had another Instructor at the time, and she was coming to me for private lessons. The other Instructor said, maybe you shouldn't be trialing this dog. This dog was active, this dog was doing awesome. They ended up getting two NW3s before he did pass away from something sudden. So she does normally, I would say, enjoy the trial day.

I don't think it was that she, and again, I can't get in my dog's head and I don't want to put things on her, but I think she was a rare dog that liked going to trial. She would get super excited as everybody knew that was parked near me. She was at a trial, but, and we never really practiced a ton. But yeah, the few practice sessions, she was a little slower and not because of any mobility issues or anything like that or age, it was just more of a boredom, more of a, and maybe because I was walking her so much and we were doing so much at the park that she's like, oh, I didn't know we could do this all the time. This is way fun. So yeah, I mean, I was seeing it a little bit before that trial, but then that trial I was like, that's it. And like I said, it's not an age thing. It was, I don't care about this anymore kind of thing.

Dianna L. Santos (10:59):
And so for the people who are listening to that, I'd be like, okay, but I really, really, really wanted my dog and my myself to do this particularly in their golden years because as you mentioned, it is very important for the human too. Should I then be putting in the efforts to rebuild the dog's enthusiasm in what they're doing, or should I be listening to what my dog is saying and make that shift for them? This is an impossible question that I'm asking you.

Lori Timberlake (11:33):
No, I think that I'm not going to give you an answer for that.

Dianna L. Santos (11:36):
Right? I know.

Lori Timberlake (11:38):
I think it is. You have to honor your dog. And maybe if we didn't have, maybe I wasn't mobile and we couldn't do these hikes in the woods, which I don't know tomorrow I may not be, but especially the way she drags through the woods, if we didn't have other things to do, then maybe I would say, you know what? I'm going to get the best treats ever. I'm going to do simpler searches and we're just going to have a lot of fun with this, but I don't have a ton of time. So if we're going to spend time together, I think it's mutually beneficial for our team to spend that time hiking in the woods where maybe for somebody else it would make more sense to make Nose Work more fun and more doable for a dog that is kind of slipping and just is getting bored because a lot of dogs are getting bored for other reasons. People go up in the higher levels. They're not rewarding as much. They're making everything hard. They're stressed all the time. So there are different reasons for this, but if it's something like an age thing or a health issue, then yeah, I think you try it, right? See what happens. What if you make it super exciting with the best treats ever and you have a party every time they find the hide? You might get some more enthusiasm back and maybe even if you're not trialing, you could still play the game for fun. For sure.

Dianna L. Santos (13:00):
So for people who may be more in where you are now, where the dog has clearly said, oh, we are doing this walking thing that is just awesome. The sniffing thing was fun for the majority of my time on this planet, but I really want to go drag you through the woods and the person is going, well, that's all fine and dandy, and I would love to spend this time with you pop. But there's this other thing that we were doing for such a long period of time that I thought was really fun too. How could they then, as the person divorce their strong emotions that they have with that activity with what the dog is saying? So how are you coping with that as far as, okay, I went to this class, all these emotions happened, clearly I'm missing this. And now I am nervous about, okay, well, is there a attrition to what my skillset is? What do I need to do? Do I now need to get another dog? All these are really heavy emotions and thoughts. How are you coping with that?

Lori Timberlake (14:02):
And then I'll tell my second story that happened in the same week, and it's still, is it the answer? I don't think so. So because I will say right now getting another dog is not on my list of things to do. I am not getting a second dog, so it's going to be a little while or a third dog I should say. I always forget about poor chewy, poor chewy. And we could talk about her a little bit too because, so here's a solution here. I can play more with her, but I'll get back to that in a second. So the second thing that happened, so my business just had, this was so fun. We ran a Nose Work league this summer. So every Saturday we'd have a different location with a different theme. And all these teams came and we added a little competition it with prizes.

So you got a little bit of trial stress, but really they were just regular classes, but a little bit more exciting with a little more edge to them. And I had some of my instructors fill in at different ones so that I wouldn't have to run all of them. And one of the weeks that I wasn't running the league, someone asked me, we allowed alternates. So we had a bunch of people that couldn't do the whole league, but they could do certain weeks. So you could have an alternate play for your team. And someone asked me to be an alternate with this private lesson dog that I run, that he's an interesting situation. His owner is older and she's not mobile, so we've just been playing 100% for enrichment for the last year. She brings him in, I walk him, I set the hides, I run him, I reward him, he runs back to his mom, and then I move the hides and then I run 'em again.

So I literally run for a half hour to 45 minutes straight. And we have literally done a year's worth of all known hides, but we do everything. I've done everything with him that we do in all the other classes. And recently someone else just ran him in an ORT and he did awesome. And so they asked me to run him at league, and I was like, sure, let's see what happens. Hopefully I can read it. I've got all these doubts in my head after Daisy's class, do I even know what I'm doing anymore? And it was so fun. It was speed searches, so it was four speed searches in a row, and we came in third place. He did Congratulations. Amazing. So now I've got all these, that was so fun. Oh my God, I miss this so much. Now do I go out and get a search job?

What do I do? Do I ask to run him again? And me and the owner had talked about it before, but she's not going to travel two, three hours to go to a trial and she wants to see him. It's not like I'm just going to take him and go, that's not an option. So we talked about maybe some local trials or things like that. And still, is that the answer for me, for the training side of it, to make sure that I can read a dog, which it's silly that I'm saying that with all of the training that I do, but it's different when you're the one holding the leash and you're the one that's behind the dog and not watching at a distance, knowing where all the hides are. That brought a whole new set of emotions, of excitement, happiness, and then sadness again of Darn, I miss going to trials.

But that is if you have a friend, or maybe if you still are involved with your Nose Work group, ask someone if you can run their dog every once in a while, even if it's just in class, just to get those feelings of That was super fun. Yes, I still know how to read a dog. Practice your leash handling. That could be an option if anybody was willing to do that. Maybe somebody has two dogs and they can't always handle both dogs in class. Ask if you can handle their second dog. That's an option. Even in trials. And after that happened, people were like, well, you can run my dog in a trial. I'm like, I don't want to get in the business of running other people's dogs in trials, but it could be fun. I know some people, they just want the titles and they don't care if they're the one running the dog or not.

So certainly I'm sure there's people out there that would love for someone else to run their dog. So yeah, that was kind of another way for me to, I guess just more emotions. But another way for me to get involved was to run somebody else's dog. And then that's really been making me think more. And everyone's like, well, you have another dog, why don't you run her? She's not really trial appropriate, but she loves playing the game. So that made me get in the car, take her out, set some hides, even though I don't always have time for her. I'm like, guess what? You get a turn today. And that was really fun watching her search, even though I'm still missing that trial part because I can't take her to a trial. I knew where the hides were. I was the one that set them, but I still got to practice running a dog on difficult hides. So that was another option. And I guess I'll pause there for a second if you had more thoughts or questions.

Dianna L. Santos (19:06):
And I think that it's really good that you're laying out all these important things that you're going through as far as, okay, this is where we are with our journey with Daisy. I have this other dog Chewy. We can't just go into a trial because she wouldn't be appropriate. It wouldn't be a good experience for her or for the other competitors. It would stress me out. All of those things are very important things to consider because I'm sure there are plenty of people who are in the same boat where they do have multiple dogs. They had their dog that was trial appropriate, that they were happy and they were successful in trialing. And now they're at the same kind of point in their journey where maybe that journey is ending. They have dog number two or three or four, and those dogs, for whatever reason, it wouldn't be okay for them to trial. It wouldn't be a good idea for them to trial. And to many outside observers would be like, well just rinse and repeat. Just tag that other dog in and go, if this is so important to you. So I really tip my hat to you to recognize that that may not be the best idea, but playing the game with her and making that time is really important too.

Lori Timberlake (20:15):
Speaking of cyber network, the NACSW skills challenge. So I really keep telling myself, and I think I sent in a couple cyber networks and they were totally unprepared, just threw her out there. But if I really wanted to work on my chops and really am I doing having someone else watch me that would, I really am thinking about that as doing more cyber Scent Work with Chewy so that someone else can say, Hey, did you know you do this? Hey, did you know? So it'd be a good way, even though we're not traveling and going to a trial and being in the trial atmosphere, that's another way to just have someone watch me and say, yes, you're doing this really good. Maybe you should work on that to keep my trialing chops going, I guess. So that is on my list of things to do, and hopefully you get some submissions from me soon.

Dianna L. Santos (21:07):
Yes, with all the infinite time that you have.

But I think that's another part of this puzzle, and it's something that I've been talking or touching upon in some of our latest episodes of blog posts and things, is the element of time, the element of people are spread so incredibly thin. And that's especially true for all of my colleagues. You in particular, my dear, are just doing 1,000,001 things at once, and all of it is to support this network community, which is amazing. But at the same point, sleep. So I completely understand the fact of saying, okay, I need, or I would like to do these things, but with what time and now I need to rearrange everything. And then that's another layer of emotions of frustration of not having that time feeling guilty for somehow magically not having 30 hours in the day and all of this other stuff. So do you want to talk about some of those things for a second is how are you coping with that as just a dog owner, then also as an Instructor and as a business owner and as someone who's in the community where people look to and be like, Hey, what are the fun things you're doing for us with what time?

Lori Timberlake (22:30):
I would say guilt is the biggest thing I feel at all times. I'm really trying, and it's funny, I know a lot of people see my Facebook posts. I try to post daily pictures of my walks with Daisy, and it's really just for me. So a year now, I have my memories of, Hey, remember when we went here and we went there and I'm really just doing that for myself. But it's funny that so many other people are watching them now too. But boy, if two days go by that I don't do that with her, the guilt and then Chewy, I feel guilty on a daily basis. And I just tell her, I'm sorry, but you're number two. If I have time, I will do something with you. But Daisy is number one because she is 14 and I'm the same thing. Yeah, my students, the more I offer, the more they want to do.

So it's like there's never enough. And at any point I could just say, this is all we have and just take a vacation. But yeah, the constant guilt of I could always offer more. There's more I could be doing, there's more. And then I was thinking too, more emotions. So what if I do get another dog? We just talked about this at the ORT. We hosted an ORT on Friday, and one of the competitors who I know from, and she's like, when am I going to see you on this side of the parking lot? And I'm like, when would I possibly be able to run my own dog even if I had one that I could run? So yeah, something needs to change. Something needs to happen. And I'm sure a lot of other people and a lot of my students, they're doing Fast Cat one day agility the next day, Scent Work the night, we all need to just slow down. There is so much happening right now, too many things. And I just listened to your podcast talking on that subject, and we all need to just take a break. The dog sports will still be here tomorrow.

Dianna L. Santos (24:28):
And I think that that's why I really appreciate you wanting to talk about this topic because it all ties in where you had, again, we cannot just brush it off. We all had this global catastrophe happened where literally life was on hold or was very tenuous at best, and then everything kind of went away, even though it didn't really go away, but we really thought that everything was going to go away. And then the opportunity to do things came back and everyone went full energy forward, okay, I'm going to do everything because I missed out for however long that was. You tie that or couple that with the very tangible finite amount of time that we have with our dogs, and it just exacerbates everything. And I think that all the dog sport opportunities are a wonderful thing for us, but it's almost too much.

There's so many things to make memories with that are true, but then it's also for a situation that what you're finding yourself in where the dog is clearly tapping out and saying, I'd like to make memories go running and pulling you in the woods, please, but you have all that human stuff. But I could be in this situation at this dog sport with these coates of mine, my colleagues and friends and whatever else, and we could be earning titles and I could be keeping my training chops and I could personally be having, frankly, maybe more fun doing this than going out in the woods. And that's all really, really, really hard of you're literally almost at a fork in the road with your dog. Your dog is going one direction. You're like, but I really want to go down this way. Will you come over here please? They're like, no, come this way. That's hard. That's really, really, really challenging. And for me being so disconnected from everything and just living on my computer, I can see what everyone else's journeys are, which is an interesting perspective to be in. And I am seeing more and more people doing more and more things with their senior dogs, and it's almost like a frantic, desperate attempt to not miss out on something.

But in the back of my mind, I'm like, but what does the dog want to, they're the ones that aren't going to be around much longer. They should have a say. But then again, that's why I wanted to talk to you about this. I can have any kind of preconceived notion that I have. I haven't had to go through this. My sport dog died at six. I didn't have to go through all the things that people who have senior dogs have to go through, which is a lot. You have canine Alzheimer's, you have all those health issues. You have like, oh my God, is today the day? It's an awful experience to have to go through those things on top of all the emotion of what's going to happen. I spent all this time building this relationship and all these things to do with you, and now that potentially is coming to an end that's so sad. It's just such an emotionally riddled thing.

Lori Timberlake (27:50):
I really, because I feel bad that I'm saying, I'm not quite sure how I want to say this, but I think you have to look at each dog because boy, being at trials so often, almost every weekend, and I do see dogs that clearly do not want to be there, but I also see some old dogs that are like, this is awesome. This is the best day ever. So it really does have to be a personal decision, but you have to honor the dog. It can't be what you want. You really have to, when I saw she was bored, I'm like, I know she can do this. She doesn't want to do this and that. It's hard. But I think we really need to listen to our dogs when they say that.

Dianna L. Santos (28:34):
And I think that's almost a more difficult position to be in than seeing the dog who maybe has a lot of arthritis and they have a really hard time getting around where you say, you know what? They're just not comfortable maybe getting in and out of the car. They can't physically make it through a whole trial day. That decision may be easier. Okay, clearly for the dog's comfort, I need to do something else with them. I would argue that you're in a much harder position because here you have this dog that can go on seven mile hikes, has all this stamina and all this go for something that she wants to do, and that, yes, you have the training traps and the ability to build up her enthusiasm for the game. Again, do all these other things. But that's also that whole time thing of I could go in and do these training drills with Daisy speaking on your behalf, and we could do these things and probably change her opinion about this, or I could go and do the thing that I know that she likes and that we can enjoy and make things together.

But what I'm hoping people can get from this is that that is a very conscious choice to make where the dog is literally taking precedence over. I really enjoy doing this training in the trialing piece. I give you a whole lot of props to that because probably the hardest part of being a dog honor, and it's constantly seeding those things because us with our big brains, we can kind of see everything and we can appreciate what's happening tomorrow potentially. The dog is living in the now, which is why they're so wonderful and so endearing, and we love them so much. But because we can see ahead, we have to take into account what all the realities are. And sometimes that means that we have to shelf what we would like to do for what's best for the dog. And again, I feel for you on all of these things, but particularly when you wrap up all the emotions as far as, well, what about my skills and is something going away and what am I supposed to do? And the, oh my God, the guilt. It should be for anyone who's going to be an Instructor or a professional in this industry at all. It's like, okay, so here's your guilt card. You're going to be carrying this around for the rest of your life.

So how are you getting through all of this? Do you find that certain things bubble up? And then how are you coping? Are you coping? Are you doing okay?

Lori Timberlake (31:10):
Yeah, we're good. And so the one place where I am pretty lucky because I, I know I thought about this before we did the podcast. I know your thoughts on trialing and you're like, oh, scary. And I'm like, let's go to a trial.

So I'm lucky in that I host trials, I judge trials, I co trials. I occasionally volunteer at trials, so I can still get that excitement of being at a trial because I'm at one all the time. So at least I'm not missing. Where I think that's a social part for a lot of people is they're missing out on the social aspect. So I would say to them as a trial host, everyone could use a volunteer or I'm sure your competitor friends could use someone to talk to so that they're not talking with the other competitors in the parking lot. They can come back to the vehicle and say, this is what happened. Roll up your window so nobody else can hear and just talk about the search with a friend. You could be that person, or no one ever wants to work the parking lot, volunteer for a trial, work the parking lot so you can talk to everybody and still be part of that environment. So if you're missing out on the social part, I know there's a million trial hosts out there that would love to have you. So yeah, I'm lucky that I still get to go to trials almost every, and I enjoy it. When I see something that looks really fun, I'm like, oh, I wish I could run that.

So a little bit of jealousy and sadness, but hopefulness of, Hey, in a couple years from now, I might be running that search. I know that these are not my last dogs. I will have more dogs. It's just not the right time. So I'm just being hopeful. I'm still trying to keep up my learning. I'm still trying to catch webinars and different learning opportunities wherever I can, which I would do anyways just as being an Instructor. But from a competitor side, we just had an in-person workshop on mental mastery, and oh my God, it changed my life. So I use all the stuff from that workshop just in my, it really is helping me just be more positive because I have been kind of down like, oh, I really want to go to a trial. I really want to run a dog. It just made me think of the positives, which is really good. So I'm trying, and I just keep so busy that I can't think about it too much.

Dianna L. Santos (33:46):
The tried and true approach of, okay, if I just bury my head in this hand and just bury myself with work, then the pain won't come. Yes, yes, I understand that approach.

Lori Timberlake (33:57):
And honestly, just seeing her so happy doing the things that she enjoys, I just try to relish every minute of that, even though it's not, I mean, I love walking in the woods too. It makes me feel better, but just seeing her happy, it's enough, it's enough.

Dianna L. Santos (34:15):
And that's something that maybe we can wrap up on is again, being in the same working myself to death position of you can be in the middle, or at least I'll speak for myself. I could be in the middle of a mountain of stuff and I'm like, I need to do this. And then tiny little terriers would be like, hello? And it's tearing me away from the computer. It's like, no, but I was doing work and then I'm upset and like, God damnit, I didn't have time for this. Now I'm going to be even more behind. What the hell? And then off we go to do it, and within two seconds, I'm feeling immensely better. And I'm so incredibly thankful that he did that. He pulled me away from the never ending work. And then it reminds me, this is why having the dog is such a wonderful thing is that there's always going to be more work.

There's always going to be more things that have to happen. And I think that it's wonderful that you have this opportunity with Daisy to do these things that get you away from the work, that you can be out in nature, that you can see her so joyful, the pictures that you post of her, and she's just so thrilled with herself. And she's like, look, I'm standing on a log. But she's just thrilled. That is amazing. And what an amazing gift that she's giving to you of this wonderful perspective of like, yeah, there's all this other stuff going on, but isn't this great? And that's why dogs are just awesome. Yeah. Did you want to talk about that for a second? For people who may be also struggling with that of maybe they aren't neck deep in dog stuff, but maybe they're neck deep in life stuff. Maybe they are struggling with all these different forks in the road that we've been talking about and they just don't know where to go. Can you maybe talk about how you've had Daisy help you figure out which way you guys can go?

Lori Timberlake (36:08):
As I have my hands in a lot of different pots, and I was literally not quite as bad as you because I do sleep at night, at least I was, every waking moment I was on my computer and there was always more to do. I could always find another project or whatever, and I just made a pact when our last dog passed away last year, I made a pact with her of, I'm going to dedicate an hour at least a day, and we are going to do something fun. And it's not just walking around the block. I call it adventures. And it really, I feel like I'm almost more productive, even though I'm always behind, but I need that hour or so to just be in nature and get in my feet dirty and just watching her, and she just makes me, she gives me heart attacks daily. She likes to find all the cliffs.

And just watching her do that, it's just like, why do you do that to me? Oh, you're doing that on purpose. I think you are. She just makes me smile and it really does help me get through all of the rest of the things. So yeah, maybe running in the woods isn't what brings your dog joy or brings you joy, but find what that is. Maybe it's a massage every day or brushing your dog every day, or maybe it is a walk around the block. It's going to a store and visiting with all the people at the store. Maybe therapy dog work is what's up your dog's alley. And they enjoy that. And then it gives you that social aspect. So I'm sure there's a million other things that people can do to just have that one-on-one time. Even if it's one hour a day, at least it gets you away from all the stress.

I have so many students right now taking care of their parents or kids and just their life's. They've got a lot of stuff going on, and then they come to class and they're like, this is the best hour of my day. So maybe it's not. I know we were going to do, we have some other podcasts scheduled. Maybe it's a different activity, so I won't give it all away. But there's other activities that we do that she enjoys, that are safe, that are more fun in Scent Work right now. So we can talk about those in the future too.

Dianna L. Santos (38:44):
Perfect. Yes. We'll keep you all at the edge of your seat. What are those things? Oh, don't worry.

So I really do want to thank you very much because we're not getting into all of the details of this because again, I think that these are all fantastic topics for us to delve into in future conversations. But I want everyone to realize that these kinds of experiences are common. And I really want to thank you sincerely, Lori for talking about it, because it can help everyone recognize that you're not alone. If you're going through this in your journeys, you didn't do anything wrong. You didn't break your dog. You're not a bad person. Your dog's not a bad dog. This is all fine. And change can be very hard for a whole slew of different reasons. And I think it's helpful to just recognize that it is hard, but it's not impossible. And making these adjustments and things are okay. It doesn't make you any lesser of a dog owner or a handler or Instructor or a Nose Work person.

You're not going to lose your Nose Work license or your card because you made a shift, because that's what your dog needs. If anything, we would be celebrating you from the sidelines. They're like, that was a fantastic choice that you just made for your dog and also for yourself. Because there's nothing sadder than seeing people trying to put that round peg into that square hole, and it's just not working anymore. And there's just frustration and there's all kinds of grossness, and those are the last memories that you have with your dog doing this game. That's not fun. So I really do want to thank you sincerely for talking about these things because very, very important. Was there anything else that you wanted to add just to wrap up?

Lori Timberlake (40:21):
I think I chopped your ear off. I think I'm good.

Dianna L. Santos (40:25):
Perfect. Well, I want to, again, thank you very much. I want to thank Daisy and also Chewy for doing everything they do to help you keep yourself together. And again, sincerely on behalf of the entirety of the community that you provide so much for. We thank you, but we also want you to be around for a long time. So balance, my dear Balanced.

Lori Timberlake (40:47):
We'll get there.

Dianna L. Santos (40:48):
Yes, exactly. I want to give a very sincere thank you to Lori for sharing her story and for talking about this really sensitive topic about what she's been going through with Daisy. And I also want to give her flowers for listening to her dog and also sharing the process that she's gone through, the emotions that she's had to process. That's what this podcast is really all about. It's trying to talk about these things more in the open so that we can all benefit. We can have more of these conversations with each other. We don't have to try to languish on our own. And I really do appreciate Lori sharing this with us. And I give her, again, the biggest amount of appreciation, admiration for recognizing the sense of really loss and grief that she had with having to make this decision. But at the very same point, listening to her dog, that is difficult and challenging. But wow, what a gift to Daisy. And it's not easy. But again, I tip my hat to Lori for both having this conversation with us and sharing with us how she was able to read and support her dog. That's amazing. So thank you also very much for listening. Please be certain to give your pups an extra cookie for me. Happy training. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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