When I started the puppy to dog life with Luci, I was really preempting death. I notice a gimpy gait, a struggle to stand and thought that Fly’s days were numbered. I could not deal with her death. Could not. So I brought in more life that needed to be tamed.
Here I am 545 days later with three dogs.
I have a husband which is a lot like saying I have a dog.
You know immediately what I mean. The anticipation of needs, the shopping for food and the training are regular, on-going, perpetual processes that threaten to consume one’s identity and definitely consume one’s day.
I have the three dogs, who can not leave the house without sitting and waiting to be called “Outside.” My husband may not leave the dinner table until he has divulged his thinking AND emotions on said thinking. I would like to brag for a moment: I have been successful in achieving high probability of conformity. In other words, they all sometimes do what I want. The dogs frequently sit at the door before I ask and my husband frequently talks before even trying to leave the table.
I am not contemplating a close to this training, however. There are always new tricks to link to the learned tricks. The dogs are figuring out how to go to “Places” before they sit, so I gain a bit of space to open the door and have a guest come in. The husband is learning how to articulate deep-seated intuitions, which are impacting his ability to sustain joy in his work.
I have to say that mastering the frustration of teaching the new skill and channeling that energy has been easier with the dogs than my husband. The problem is so much easier for me to identify and dissect, whereas the problem for my husband is still deeply embedded in HIM. All I can do is encourage him to learn how to link intuition to thought to emotion to talking to listening to creating to ASKING FOR HELP. After a year and a half of prompting, questioning and listening, I think we have hit on the problem. The problem is too big to be solved by only him, himself, and he.
My next trick for the dogs is to wave hi/bye before leaving the sit.
The next trick for my husband is to accept all that story he has found in himself, and allow other people help him write a new chapter.