Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My dogs

I have been watching a reactive dog seminar on DVD (Control Unleashed - both the book and the DVDs are excellent, by the way) and the presenter (Leslie McDevitt) mentioned that when you're at a class and feeling frustrated with your dog, get them to relax on their mat, do some bodywork (TTouch, light massage, etc) and think about some things about your dog that make you laugh. Then, think about a time that your dog made you proud. Think about the thing(s) that make your dog special to you. Think about the first time you met your dog.

Call me sappy and sentimental (guilty of both charges!), but just thinking of these things made me misty-eyed. I still remember the first time I saw each of my dogs - and in each case it was pictures prior to meeting the dogs. I can think of something each dog does that makes me laugh, and just going through my memories is enough to bring a smile to my face. But I think the biggest (read: most emotional) thing is thinking of what each dog has done to make me proud. I can't even really limit it to one incident per dog - some of the episodes are big deals, and some are minor things . . . but they've all made me proud somehow.

If you have pets, and you're feeling particularly frustrated (like when your cat shreds your curtains or your dog refuses to listen), follow Leslie's advice. It will bring your blood pressure down and help you feel even more connected with your furry friend. Enjoy!


Brenda said...

this is advice I need right now, lately Remi has been pushing my buttons getting into garbage and snatching things off the counter (I know it has a lot to do with the weather and bordum). I have to remind myself to not use emotion when I make him go into a down while I clean up the mess. And also during agility when he get's on the table, he automatically goes into a down before I give the command (and my insturctor chooses 'sit' while on the table knowing I need to work on this with Remi). I'm going to look into this dvd!

Visichy said...

That's awesome. Yup, it made me think of each of my guys (3 dogs, 1 cat) in a loving light and made me tear up at work. Now I just want to go home and hug them :)

Jean said...

Hi, Kelly!
I am Jean from Mpls, from the Zim Forum. You have a nice blog, and this is really good advice. As you know, I'm nuts about my Isabel, but I do get frustrated that some of her rescue-dog foibles are just not going away. We're almost at a year together - I had hoped she would be able to get a CGC and do work with children (Issa is so darned cute!), but I don't think we'll get there because of her fearfulness. Oh, well!