About Me

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My name is Lesli Hyland. In my fifty one years on this earth, my home and my heart have been graced with the company of twenty four dogs. Many came to me as seniors. All of them taught me something and helped determine the course of my life. I became a dog trainer because of them. I met my friends because of them. My husband and I are are forever bonded by our mutual connection to them. Currently, as a Dog Walker I have access to other people's dogs and I am allowed to experience their unique personalities. The dogs make me a better person by forcing me to closely examine my motivation, my actions and my choices. Everything I do affects their behavior, safety and happiness. It is an awesome responsibility. The dogs keep me honest.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A writing exercise

My friend Kelly belongs to a writing group.  Occasionally they challenge each other to come up with a piece of writing that contains particular words.  The piece can be as short as a paragraph or as long as desired.  Sometimes I join their group vicariously by doing the same exercise. 
Here are the words: Contentment, Claustrophobia, Dagger, Blanket
And here is my story:

My heart races just a little bit every time she does it.  It is impossible for me to imagine subjecting myself to such close confinement, never mind enjoy it as she does.  My own claustrophobia causes me to sleep with one foot over the edge of the bed to keep from feeling trapped.  But Belle is not me, and every night it is the same.

I'm drifting off to sleep and suddenly I feel her watching me.  Her stare pierces through my semi conscious mind like a dagger, and with a sigh I lift up the edge of the blanket.
"Wanna go under, Belle?" I ask her.
Most nights she'll slip immediately beneath the covers, settling in the space behind my bent knees.

Sometimes though, she'll won't be quite ready and will continue to stare intently at me without moving.  Resigned, slightly aggravated, I'll drop the covers and close my eyes, only to be stared awake again a short time later.
"Now, Belle?" I'll ask, once again lifting the blankets.  She'll duck under my arm, find her spot behind my knees and curl up with a sigh of contentment

When morning comes I lift the blankets one more time to reveal her still ensconced in her cozy nest.
"Good Morning, Belle"
Tail thumping wildly against the mattress, she wiggles her way up toward my pillow and our day begins.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Tawnie spends her time resting quietly at my feet waiting...always waiting...for whatever exciting thing I might do next.  "Oh boy!  We're going to the kitchen for coffee!  Yippee!  Oh boy!  We're going out to scoop poop!  Hooray!"  She is genuinely thrilled with any and all activities we might do together.  Mostly she is patient, leaving it to me to make the first move, but every once in a while she gives me a little nudge...
This is Tawnie's "Can we PLEASE go do something NOW?"  look.