Lessons from Maggie
January 13, 2013
I am a huge lover of animals and nature and I’ve always believed that all animals, not just dogs, have much to teach us. The problem with us humans is that we’re just too busy and impatient to stop and notice what it is they have to share.
Over the years, I’ve endeavoured to pay attention as best as I can, and I tell you, when you take time to observe and listen to your animal companions, you’ll be greatly rewarded.
Certainly, there has to be a balance with everything, and so too with a canine-human relationship. I still have to guide Maggie and remind her of boundaries – otherwise she’d literally walk all over me! At the same time, I observe her and do my best to accommodate her needs, without taking away her need to be a dog.
Too many times I’ve seen people attempt to humanise their canine companions. That, to me, is a relationship out of balance – the human is most certainly looking to fulfill a human need, yet they’re projecting that need onto their canine and expecting the dog to fulfill that need. That isn’t reality, and is never going to happen. Instead, what that kind of projection creates is insecurity and anxiety in the dog – and then people wonder why their dogs become neurotic or aggressive.
Just like kids, dogs need to learn boundaries and respect for others. Certainly, we humans are to love them, take care of their basic needs (food, water, shelter), and we also need to provide them with adequate exercise, socialization, and gentle (yet firm) discipline.
Maggie and I love watching Cesar Milan, “The Dog Whisperer”. His shows give us humans much insight into the nature of dogs, and excellent tips on how to help our canine companions be the best canines they can possibly be.
What have I learned from Maggie (and other animals so far)? Other than to love unconditionally and trust, I’ve also learned:
- To be in the now – that way you get the best out of life
- If something doesn’t go your way, let it go and do something else
- Take time to play and have fun as often as you can
- Laugh lots
- That naps are good
So be open to having your animal companion teach you a thing or two – you never know what you might discover about yourself and life in general.