There’s Wait and then there’s Stay.
According to Jack’s trainer, these two commands are very different.
Wait means, “Hang on a minute and then I will ask you to come to me. There’s a sense of anxiety with wait, an anticipation.”
Stay means, “Stay where you are and when I’m ready, I will come for you. A dog can relax in stay, settle. He can do his thing, play, as long as he stays in the area and he knows you will come for him when you are ready.”
I know it’s just a training session, but there’s life in this, I can’t help it.
I spend more time than I should in Wait. Anxiously wondering what’s on the other side of the door. Wait means I’m expecting something and I’m holding for whatever the reward might be. Wait isn’t a checked off list or a new manuscript, it’s not work or effort. Nothing else matters in Wait, but the door, the maybe.
I try not to leave Jack in Wait too long because I know how his antsy dancey little self feels. Wait is torture, it’s all about the “what if,” someday, next door.
I have had some glorious moments in Stay. Times when I’m present in my world, living my story and knowing that whatever new things life has for me will come and get me when they’re ready. I don’t need or want what’s happening two months from now because I’m enjoying where I’m at. Stay is peaceful and content. Stay is freedom to live within a space, notice things, look at people. Stay has flow, experiences.
Wait can be exciting, adrenaline, but something has to follow, you have to be able Go after Wait. If there’s never a release, if it’s a constant state of Wait, it becomes still, single focused, “what’s next?”
Wait can charge you up, but it is rooted in that thing you can’t yet have. Time spent in Wait should be brief, followed by forward, real life motion, sprinkled with some good chew toys, and a lovely grateful Stay.
In Jack’s case, Wait means, “If you sit until I go through the door, you will get a long walk.” Dogs are simple that way.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Wait Up.