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PS. it is all about control

I may sound like a stuck record.  If the sound is annoying you, I implore you, look at the annoyance.  Look to see if you are really affording control and choice in relationship with animals.

Thankfully I have a stuck record of my own in Sage. She is crazy about succeeding.  It keeps her level headed and adds to her enthusiastic nature.  She loves to please.   Sometimes she gets so excited that she cannot even think straight.  Like when I arrive home from work, her greeting is to jump up and - oops - this is when it becomes difficult.  She knows she may not jump up.  She may even have someone yell at her when she puts those muddy paws on the designer label t-shirt.  Then she is no longer succeeding.  She is failing.  She becomes anxious because she is not pleasing us, and her behavior becomes more and more erratic and anxious.

I travelled away from home on two occasions.  Left reams and reams of notes on how to take care of the menagerie.  When I returned after the first trip, Sage was a mess.  She was behaving like a bully to the other dogs, was not listening, and had clearly practiced all the unwanted behaviour, including chasing horses, jumping over gates etc etc.  Before I left on the second occasion, I did not leave as many notes (clearly they had not been read(-: so I needed to set my people at home up to succeed - keep it simple!). One of the main instructions was to help Sage to succeed.  If anyone found themselves loosing patience and shouting at Sage, they were under direction to compliment her at least four times to balance out the shout.  My people did a great job.  When I returned home, not only was Sage more popular with them, she was also calm, appropriately sociable with the other dogs, and she seemed confident and able to moderate her own emotions better.  My son actually said "it was great to get to know Sage.  She is actually a real sweet dog." Whoop whoop!!

As beings on this planet, control is where we feel safe and able to look after our very survival.  When we are not able to choose in relation with the world, we are anxious.

little little gestures afford a partnership with the animals in our lives, and mean we do not have to demand what we want in relationship with them.  For example, is it possible to - when an animal fails at something - not become overly irate or reactive.  Is it possible - rather than expect the animal to 'do what I told you to do' because 'you know what I want' -  to show the animal what we want.  Give them a hint. A little step back wards.  Focus on what we want rather than what we don't want.  Focus on them succeeding.  Success builds their confidence, and the bonus is that our relationship of trust grows the more they succeed in relationship with us.

And when they fail, take note of their feeling state.  Are they open to your corrective action right now, or are you imposing that corrective action without taking them into account - to make you feel good as opposed to letting them succeed.

True love is not reactive. it has a sense of humor and a willingness to allow those around us to succeed.

on a final note - I have seen a parallel between the relationships animal people have with their animals,  to how they relate to their world/partner/jobs/etc etc.  If they are trying to dominate the animals, they usually force situations in life - and don't always succeed as a result.  If they go with the flow and respond appropriately, it seems that the same can be said for their lives...
Practice being the flow!!!  For the good of these sentient beings.

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