Today I was out walking my old dog. This dog of mine we adopted when she was 6 months old. She had been beaten, left for dead and had a deep fear of men and obvious trust issues. We could tell she had a beautiful soul, her eyes were kind despite all she had gone through. Her spine was showing out of malnutrition and I could tell she was simply happy to belong somewhere. We worked through her issues, and to tell you the truth I am still working with them today, sum 15 years later. Amazing to be walking every day with her still. She trusts people and rarely hackles. She is amazing with kids and she is great on the lead. The problem is with seeing other dogs. She usually hackles, growls and shakes, becomes anxious and aggressive at the same time. I have received training over the years to help but nothing seemed to work.
This morning, on my walk with her, we arrived at the huge yard of a big male dog who always enjoys to protect his yard. He is only doing his job at the fence line. Today I watched Jenta, my dog, tense up. I watched the hackles rise. And I breathed as I usually do, staying calm. This time, I reached out to her lovingly and patted her back. She stopped hackling and looked at me. Wanting more pats. So we walked passed the scary dog loving each other. That other dog could not get at her, could not make her afraid. She had something she considered better to put her attention on.
We again tested it on another famous fence line of Jenta’s and we did the same thing, again she chose to be with me over the fear. She trusted me enough to know there was no immediate threat and to focus on me. As I was walking, I contemplated this for a while. Hmmm… I love it when direct application of universal falls right in my lap. To choose love over fear. After watching my dog go through her process of hackling, anxiety, aggression to calm and love and even able to sit with her back to the perceived ‘threat’. Amazing!
Despite what has happened in our lives in the past. We can at any moment shift our attention to love and trust the unfolding of our path. Watching my dog walk with such confidence now is bloody rewarding.
I wish the same for you. To be able to choose hope and love where you can, and feel the benefits of this in your life when you do.
With so much love,