New Year’s Resolutions

Bailey dreaming about 2015

Bailey dreaming about 2015

Love them or hate them, many people have already set their resolutions or goals for 2015. I have set my personal goals and I thought it would be a good idea to create a separate list for those I have for Bailey. I have identified quite a few goals I have for her this year, and since she can’t create resolutions herself I’ll just have to hope these meet her approval.

Here’s the list:

  • Get serious about posting to this blog
  • Strengthen obedience training
  • Teach at least one trick per month
  • Take Bailey camping
  • Set up an agility course
  • Taper treats
  • Set up a budget for treats, toys, gear, etc.

It never hurts to post things in order to have more accountability. Here is why I chose these goals:


I keep a list of things that I want to write about and then I either make excuses about not having time or I chicken out for one reason or another. I plan on posting at least once per week and customizing the site as time permits.


Bailey has been taught the typical commands- sit, down, up, stay, off, roll, touch, etc. However, we haven’t worked up to longer duration stays and with distractions. We’ve practiced in other environments but all of these things could be improved. Bailey is very impulsive so it would be great to get her to perform at stay for more than a couple of minutes.


Jumping through a hoop and ringing a doorbell to go outside have been introduced. The hoop proved to be easy to teach. The doorbell is another story and I’ll go in to detail about that another time. She can ring it but has not made the connection with going outside. I’d like to challenge her by teaching her some new tricks.


We went kayaking with Bailey last year but just didn’t find the time to go camping. I prefer backcountry camping but her first trip will be a lot more like “glamping.” I fear taking her deep into the woods only to find that she stays up all night barking at things, tries to take on a bear, or otherwise loses her mind. I imagine our first trip will be to one of the local state park camping grounds with our truck nearby in case we deem the trip an utter failure.


This is something I’ve been daydreaming about a lot but always seems to end up on the back burner. Due to Bailey’s social issues an agility class is currently out of the question, but we have plenty of room in the backyard for a DIY course. The real challenge is my budget…


I have gotten in the bad habit of giving Bailey too many treats for compliance and I never properly faded them out. I’m just a sucker for a cute face and those imploring eyes! I plan on tapering treats. This one is going to be tough because Bailey is highly food motivated and I’m a softie.


This goal ties into one of my personal goals. I plan on paying off my debt this year so that I can begin saving and investing. Instead of working my life away I want to make steady progress so that Mike and I can retire early and spend quality time at home with Bailey, Fluffy, and Chewie. The less money we spend the more freedom we will gain. Plus, isn’t that what all of our companion animals want- our time and affection? I think they would easily give up the crate full of treats, pile of dog sweaters, and drawer full of catnip mice if it meant more time with us.

Speaking of, it’s time I shut down the computer for the night. I hope you and your best friends have a tail-wagging good time in 2015!


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