Let the Dog make its own Decisions

What??? You mean, like, ”I want to run in the street?” Let’s not go crazy here. You wouldn’t let me run in the street, would you?

Well, maybe you would.

Let’s remember, though, that the being inside the dog is looking at things from a dog’s perspective. While running in the street might sound like a ton of fun, we can also remember that el doggo is probably the equivalent of a 5 or 6 year old child. You would DEFINITELY put the kabosh on running in the street with someone that age.

Not goin’. Nope. Have fun. I’ll watch the house.

However, our animal friends can make a lot of decisions. Like whether they want to go to the dog park, for instance. Our little dog, Fiona, hated with a capital H riding in the car, and the dog park was not a beloved place for her. Her preference was to stay home and guard the house. When we first had her, we made the decision for her, but as we grew in ourselves, we started to ask if she wanted to go. A few times she said yes, and gamely got in the truck with the rest of our unruly crew. However, as time went on, and she realized it was really okay to have an opinion and express what she wanted, she started to opt out now and again. When the fan didn’t get full of excrement because of her decision, she opted out all the time. We always asked her if she wanted to go – she always said no. At first she would run away when we asked, but later on, she would just look at us like ”you’re joking, right?” and casually walk away. We missed her on the walks, but she was happy – and there was plenty of activity with the three other dogs.

Sometimes our animal friends are also trying to teach us something, and they make decisions so that we can make decisions (and round and round it goes!).

Case in point: My mentor, Joy Turner, has had many Golden Retriever dogs, but one of them, Logan, was her special muse. He knew how to push her buttons, and learn and grow. Joy lived on a five-acre parcel in a nice little neighborhood when this adventure happened. She called me up one day, and said ”You have to tell Logan to stay on the property! He must stay home!” It seems that Logan would wander off the property and go visit the neighbors. He wouldn’t come when called. He essentially blew Joy a raspberry every time she tried to make him bend to her will.

It’s not like they lived on a busy highway. The neighborhood was extremely quiet. The neighbors actually thought it was kind of cute when Logan came a-calling. But he was being very disobedient, from Joy’s perspective. He was never gone for a long time, and he always came home – just not in her timeframe (right NOW).

Photo by Maree Zimny on Pexels.com

I love this story because Joy would be the first one to tell any of her clients that their animals were allowed to make their own decisions. Joy trusted me enough to be the conduit between her and her recalcitrant dog, so I listened to Joy, and then I listened to Logan, and here’s what was going on. Logan was teaching Joy to let go, and to trust his judgement. Joy was very protective of the animals in her care, and sometimes she let her humanness get in the way of the wisdom that she possessed. Sound familiar? This is something we ALL do, especially when a being for whom we feel so much love is involved.

I let Joy know what Logan was attempting to do with his “bad boy behavior”. She got it. She started to let go. Her only request was that, if had to leave the property, he would come if she called, and she, for her part, would not panic every time she couldn’t see him, and would trust him to be sensible. They both agreed to this compromise.

Logan seldom left the property after that. As long as she was calm about his whereabouts, he felt no need to go elsewhere. And if he did wander off, it was a short distance, and he ALWAYS came back when she called him, and usually before. Joy gave him the slack he was showing her it was okay to give him; Logan respected her need to make sure he was okay. Perfection.

There is a beautiful coda to this story. When Joy passed away, her daughter took Joy’s two cats and two dogs (including Logan) home with her to Pennsylvania. Joy and Logan were very, very, VERY close. I talked with Joy’s daughter about two months later, and she told me Logan had passed away. He was only 10 and a very young, athletic 10. The doctor said it was heart failure. Joy’s daughter and I knew it was a broken heart. He needed to be with Joy, so he went to her. And is probably still leaving the property, and pushing all of her buttons.

Published by Ashara Morris

Ashara is an Author, Animal Communicator, Gestaltist, and Reiki Master. Her whimsical way of looking an life and her love of all beings, furred, feathered, scaled, and human, allows a broad and compassionate view of the adventures that life brings to us all. Want to know more about L-O-V-E? Request a copy of “It’s All About L-O-V-E(tm)” by going to: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/hUmQOyC Learn more about what she does at www.harmonysheartanimals.com or www.harmonysheartcoaching.com

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