I walked Sasha my dobermann cross on the weekend. She is a delight to walk. I walk with her often, and both of us relish the fresh air. I enjoy her enthusiasm and responsiveness. If I call her she is next to me in a flash. We live on country dust roads, and she dashes around smelling all the information. I was so proud of her for heeling past a rotweiller that was barking at a fence. I felt all puffed up for a moment, imagining what a good trainer I was. I don't think that particular thought has crossed my mind on our walks in the past. She was obviously having none of it because no sooner had the thought been enjoyed, she dashed off into the bushes, out of sight and hearing range, and left me in a cold sweat on the verge. There were no monkeys or other distractions. I called and called and she did not respond. Panic began to rise in me. I felt fury for a moment too, and began working off, the was overtaken by guilt and doubled back to mourn on the side of the road again. I felt devastated, and many thoughts of loss began to take over my brain. Then I looked up and saw her trotting towards me from the road ahead. It took all my conscious training mind and spirit not to yell obscenities at her.
We walked home quietly, me deliberating. My ego was disappointed. I remembered a woman I know, who is 85. She related a story to me earlier in this week, something that happened to her, which could have left her ego disappointed. She noted how the cause of the potential disappointment was something that had occurred to her in her childhood, and rather than being miserable, she took the opportunity to celebrate the consciousness she achieved as a result of the exercise. I was amazed at her humility, in her sharing of her story, and her excitement at the outcome of her feelings. I wondered how I could apply her insight to my moment with Sasha.
I am still not sure why I so badly need to feel like a good trainer, but I do recognise that I cannot let my identify be ruled by the need to be a trainer. Because this gets in the way of my relating to Sasha. And I would much rather be in a true relationship with her than be a good trainer. Recognising that I still need to have some insight into the training in order to ensure that I stay in a fulfilling relationship with her - For example, I dont want to shout at her for coming back to me, else she will not want to come back to me, and that recall is an imperative part of our relationship. We are all so much more than the labels we give ourselves. Trainer, doctor, mother, accountant, policeman, teacher, husband, son. When we let the labels go, we will unwrap so much more potential. Not necessarily to accomplish, but most certainly, to experience.