I love my dog Tucker more than I’ve loved any other pet I’ve ever had. I was into tropical fish during my teens (not very affectionate, those), a cat person into my 30s (very independent which I liked, but they’ll never, ever, be your best friend), and even had a quick infatuation with spiders and snakes for a while.
And yes, I have had dogs before too, mostly mutts, some pure breds. But none of these, not a one, has ever connected with me the way Tucker has. He has become my best friend, traveling companion, guard and guide dog. He is my doggy soul mate.
He’s sitting at my feet right now as I write this. He’s usually within 5 feet of me where ever I am. He’s a white dog, but he is definitely my shadow (both physically and spiritually). He has undoggy-like behavior, cleans himself like he’s a cat, eats only when he’s hungry, doesn’t chew on anything unless I give it to him and say ‘OK,’ sleeps with me every night and doesn’t hog the bed.
Of course, he’s not perfect, but neither am I. He is part lab, so often gets in the hunting/smelling zone and becomes very focused on whatever the prey may be – a frog once, several butteries and birds, cats, squirrels, worms. But he’s especially aware of other dogs. They are times when we’re out and about that he’ll stop every 10 feet to smell where some other canine marked its territory.
We’re still in the learning curve on that one.
Every morning we go for a walk in one of our area parks. This is great for me, gets the juices flowing in both my body and brain. And it’s great for Tucker too, giving him a chance to explore and get rid of some of that energy. Normally a very calm dog, he’s also a bit bipolar – the beauty and the beast. Every once in a while the beast appears and I’m reminded that he is a predator. When he gets into this tunnel vision mode there’s little I can say or do to distract him. Except get between him and whatever he’s fixated on. Or offer him a treat.
In the last week this tunnel vision has happen three times, all involving other dogs. No one got hurt except me, with a few minor but painful injuries. Tucker is just doing his old doggishness and can move onto the next adventure in minutes, no attachment to the conflict at all. But me, the one with the ‘thinking’ brain, has to figure out why this is happening. And what I’m doing to create it.
You see, I believe that everything that appears in my life is my creation. And because I create it it’s also my responsibility. So when something happens that’s a little out of the norm and uncomfortable I look at it, tear it apart really, and try to find the root of the issue.
These three instances were tough for me to look at. I felt like I did nothing wrong! In all three the other dog owners were what I would call negligent, not paying attention to their dog, not having control of it. In every one I felt I was doing exactly what I should have been doing, being aware, but not being defensive.
Then I noticed something. After that first instance every time we got close to another dog I froze a little, then became anxious. I would tighten my hold on Tucker’s lease, pulling him closer to me, putting myself between him and the other dog, become hyper aware. The other dogs reacted to this defensiveness and became even more interested in me and Tucker. When I found I was avoiding my favorite trails because I didn’t want another ‘event’ to happen I realized there was something else going on.
I looked up my symptoms on Mayoclinic.com. Self diagnosis -- post traumatic stress disorder, on a very mild scale. I couldn’t believe it at first. No, I wasn’t in any type of military conflict, nor was involved in a major accident. But my reactions told me something had been triggered that I needed to look at.
Here’s some of what I experienced:
I was amazed that something this small created such a strong reaction in me. I can only think that these three situations triggered something deeper, something that I wasn’t even aware was going on. Noticing this gave me greater compassion for people who are exposed to stressful situations on a constant or long term basis. Physical/emotional abuse. War. Poverty. Hunger. Homelessness.
It also gave me the opportunity to change my behavior. As a Quantum Healer I believe that all time is happening right now – the past, present, and future are all available to look at and change. And that any ‘problem’ in my life is not another person’s fault. It’s my responsibility to look at my actions, reactions, or lack of action, and then self correct myself. My only response should be unconditional love and acceptance. Easy peasy, right?
Yes, I was angry and scared and frustrated by what I assumed were these three person’s lack of judgement. I bent several of my friend’s ears talking about how I didn’t do anything ‘wrong’ but ended up being injured anyway. After a couple days of this whining I had enough. I chose to turn the tables, accept responsibility for my actions and reactions, and realize that the other person was also doing what they thought was correct, even if I didn’t agree with it. There could be no fault or blame, only insight about what I can do to make the situation better, more peaceful and loving.
All this reaction created from 3 very short, simple experiences.
All this opportunity to act responsibly and change the way I treat other people by looking at what I did to make the situation ‘worse.’
Lesson learned. Next one, please.
Nancy Elizabeth Green
thinks that anything is possible. She loves to explore life with an open heart and a quantum mind. Come and enjoy the magic!