Old dogs, new tricks


We are getting the dog trained. After two years and two other trainers, we finally found the one who knows what the hell they are doing. We had tried the ‘Dog Whispering’ course twice before, but eventually it turned into the Dog Yelling graduate program. So now, it’s weekly visits to the vet, whose trainer is getting to the heart of the matter.

The results are so good, it’s astonishing, and I’m enjoying the process. I just wish I had known about it earlier.

Yesterday a girlfriend dropped in and was shocked not to be jumped on and bought every toy in the house. The day before we had eight kids in the house and the pool and there wasn’t chaos caused by dog.

The thing is, I have realised is that I got used to living with bad behaviour. It becomes normal. ‘Oh that’s just the way he is,’ people will say about the creature (human or animal) in their life that is rude and unthinking.

No. It’s not okay. At some point you have to put your foot down and say, ‘Enough! You need to be pleasant, and we will give you the tools in which to achieve this but it’s going to take work and you’re going to really be cross with us for a while, but that’s okay; we’re okay with you hating us.’ (It’s kind of like being a parent to teenagers).

Of course it’s a process to betterment and it does take time, but it’s so rewarding to see the dog start to get his shit together finally. I feel bad I didn’t know how to do it from when he was a puppy but then I let that go very quickly. (I can’t be good at everything, jeesh.)

My mother mentioned that things are really in the flow since we moved into the new house, with the FODMAP food for Dave and the dog training and other more personal things that are happening. Of course she is right but it’s not magical thinking, it’s about having time to look around you and see what isn’t working, what is holding you back and negatively affecting your life.

When you’re stressed and worried then the last thing you can do is sort your life/dog/eating issues/etc out. When you release what was holding you down, then and only then, can you get a handle on your life.

I didn’t have time over the last four years to properly investigate why my dog was nuts. I had to first find out why I was nuts, and then deal with that.

Just like in a plane, fix the oxygen mask to yourself before helping others, (although in the dogs case, it’s head halter).

But it’s getting there, we’re all getting there, it’s a journey, one sit, drop and stay at a time.


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