I have been around a lot of dogs and a lot of dog owners.
I’ve also learned a lot about both dogs and owners over the years. In all honesty, it didn’t take terribly long to recognize that calm people have incredibly calm and well behaved dogs and that those folks that spend their days stressing, yelling and screaming; Well they are rewarded with like behaviors..
In fact some of the most amazing dogs of all, live with homeless people.
You’ve seen them. The lost members of society, walking down the city streets with a well-fed, well-loved, furry, four-legged life partner. Sometimes the dog is heeling perfectly off leash, other times, it’s on leash, but the one constant? These dog companions are always well behaved.
I’ve asked myself why? Why do homeless folks have the best behaved dogs? Is it because their owners don’t have as much to worry about? (Beyond what to eat and where to lay down tonight?) Is it because the dog walks with them everywhere 24X7? Is it because that person loves that dog more than his or her own life? Or is it simply that the dog must behave to survive in their environment?
I honestly don’t know the politically correct answer, but I have a theory. I’ve never taken the time to interview a homeless dog owner, but one of these days I will take the time to ask. Perhaps it’s partially because the very act of day-to-day survival depends upon the kindness of strangers. Or because the human sacrifices their own meal, to make certain that Fido gets fed.
I think it’s because the homeless aren’t worried about tomorrow. They are only focused on today. Living in the moment.
Dogs live only in the moment. Dog owners that spend their whole life wrapped up in the “What if’s?” Can NOT focus on the joy of a sunny day, a good belly rub or a tasty morsel scavenged from a trash can. There are a lot of quality life lessons there that we all would be behooved to learn.
I truly believe that you attract what you focus the most energy on (and not necessarily in a good way. Google the law of attraction for an education on this point..) So if you’re stuck on the thought, “I’m worried about my health?” You’re apt to get sick. “I’m worried I can’t pay the mortgage?” You’re going to be broke all month. “I have faith that all will work out.
Miraculously, it does.
I have since begun to think of “My dog as my mirror.” If I am stressed, my dog misbehaves. If I am irritated, my dog won’t quit barking, When I am angry, there’s total disharmony in my household
Next time your dog is doing something you don’t desire or think is right, do a self status check. Where were you at mentally 10 minutes ago? Yelling at the kids? Arguing with your spouse? Or taking a mental vacation in Tahiti with a cute cabana boy?
Yep it’s true, sometimes Dog Training is that simple. in this case, My Dog is My Mirror.
Kerri — The Alpha Dogs’ Wife