Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

pondering- suck it up October 11, 2019

I have a smart dog.

He’s a miniature poodle, and we’ve been doing trick training since he was a pup. He earned his first trick dog title at 8 months old.  Now we’re working on his Trick Dog Championship and there are a couple of foundation things I realize I had not taught him. Since they’re needed for his championship video, I had to teach them.

Last night, I decided we would learn “hold an object in your mouth.”  There are a couple of options to show this. He could walk with me with an object for 10 seconds or stationary hold something for 6 seconds.  First, I tried just having him walk with his ball.  He is capable of holding a ball indefinitely, but, he wants to give it to me to throw, so keeping it and walking up and down the hall at my side did not work.

I switched to the dowel.  Holding a dowel is a foundation for carrying a dumb-bell which is a basic competitive obedience skill. I had been shown how to teach this and had a dowel, but I had never tried it with Kiltti.  I filled a bowl of Cheerios (our training treat) and called him over.  I attempted to put the dowel in his mouth.  He was having NONE of it.  He ran off and refused to come to me.  Evil lady with nefarious plotting in mind!

I went and got a leash.  He welcomed the leash, and then regretted it when I led him back to the couch.  I looped the leash around my leg, and we tried again.  I opened his mouth and set the dowel behind his canines. I gently held his bottom jaw and told him how talented and amazing he was.

His eyes told me he was not stupid enough to believe any nice things I was saying. I let go the jaw, he spit out the dowel he was given lots of treats.  We spent about 2 minutes on this, with his occasional attempts at escape foiled by the leash, and then he was released to go play ball.

An hour later, I picked him up and we did it again.  This time I didn’t have to hold the bottom of the jaw.  I told him how brilliant he was as I lengthened the time.  2 minutes and many Cheerios later, off he went.

Third time, no problem. I filmed him holding the dowel on his own for 12 seconds, twice the time required.  He still thinks this is a stupid trick, but he does it.

This is such a metaphor for some of my more recalcitrant students!  They spit out the dowel of whatever lesson we’re working on.  They don’t care that it’s a building block that is necessary for something they will need to do later on.

Those students who will give a couple of minutes get the task over with, are free to move onto things they enjoy more.  The next time they try the task, it’s easier.  Still not thrilling, but again, it just takes a small effort of cooperation to get it done.  Those kids get a decent report card.  No missing assignments!  In my class, that invariably means at least a B.  Their reward is success!

But those kids who are still feverishly spitting out the dowel?

The obstacle only gets larger when you fight it.  Growth comes with trying new things and trusting there’s a reason to know something, that knowledge is power.

Learning how to ‘suck it up and get it done’ is a valuable life skill.

Here is a scintillating video of Kiltti holding his dowel. 🙂  Excuse my voice. Still dealing with a cold. 🙂

 

poem-listening October 8, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 10:14 pm
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I hear you in the rain

pouring over me

cold,

drenching.

I’m drowning in you.

Upside down umbrella

beneath a drain spout.

See me tap dancing?

Oh, I’m singing

while you’re pouring

turning roads to light sucking ink.

I think the gutters overflow with you.

You’re sheets

fountains

water falls

rivers

you are an ocean.

I float.

 

 

 

Poem- creativity September 25, 2019

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:27 am
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The burn is sizzling

Smoke from nostrils, ears.

Instead, I’m here;

I need to fuel flames,

Tend an inferno.

Blaze brilliantly,

But now I must douse

The burn in reality.

 

poem- warrior woman September 30, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:49 pm
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Warrior,

stands, raised hand

answer every question

to bring justice to a depraved land.

Warrior stands

warning of the beast eager to devour.

tells how it mauled,

and it whines, growls, evades

responsibility.

The beast does not know it is a beast,

but the warrior knows.

The warrior warns.

As the beast prowls and pretends

to be a kitten, a puppy, an innocent thing.

The warrior knows.

The warriors know.

Are you listening?

Or will you open doors and invite it

to devour you?

 

 

poem: The Game April 16, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:33 pm
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He serves: I’m working late

She returns: Sounds good. I think I’ll go out, myself

He lobs: Who are you going with?

She returns: Why does it matter?

He stretches, just manages: You might be in an accident.  I should know where to look.

She returns to the far corner: So I can stop into the office and see you this evening?

He turns too slowly, can’t reach far enough: Uh.

Zero love.

 

#NaPoWriMo prompt 16 about a game.

(Still writing poems that connect with my current novel writing project)

 

poem-flying February 8, 2018

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:41 pm
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Fleance dreams of flight,

soaring on outstretching wings

into a moonlit night,

No day trips for him, he’s heard things

about flying too near the sun.

Day is for escape, for climbing,

Peaks ascending, journeys begun,

At sunset (it’s all about the timing)

he leaps into red glowing,

falls on moon rise

spreads his wings, catches winds flowing

embraces skies,

Wonders at all he does espy

and murmurs “Fly, Good Fleance! Fly!”

 

poem- honey December 2, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 4:11 pm
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Sculpting honey?

Pointless.

Shapes dissolve in moments,

dissappear in the gleaming

sweetness of now–

much like

memories

of you.

 

 
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