My niece has finally found herself a lovely cottage with an equally lovely landlady who allows her to have her dogs. So Poppy and Snippets moved to their new abode a couple of weeks ago and have now become part-time, visiting only at weekends and on Thursdays. We find it very strange having such a sudden reduction in our canine members of staff; watching “House” is no longer the same without Poppy to bark at the end credits (and we still have no idea why!) but the other dogs have adapted seamlessly and appear perfectly content in their reduced numbers… and when their friends arrive at the weekend, it’s as if they were never away.
We all adapt to change in different ways; for many it is a huge source of stress and anxiety. The dogs demonstrate such a beautifully elegant behavioural flexibility; for them, what matters is what is happening right now and they react accordingly. We spend so much of our lives being stressed about the past or anxious about the future, and often forget that the present moment is an antidote to that stress and anxiety. What can happen when we allow ourselves to be totally in the Now; accepting what is, with gratitude, wonder and curiosity…?
I learn a lot about rapport and tolerance from watching our five dogs, and I wanted to share some of my learnings with my Blog readers.
The first in the series comes from Poppy – a diminutive Lhasa Apso of endearing temperament and enormous character. When she first came to us she had very sore feet due to a chronic infection. After the dogs have been out in the garden, if their feet are wet and muddy then we dry them on a towel before allowing them out of the kitchen, but Poppy could not tolerate this at all as she found it too painful. However, she didn’t like having wet feet, so she worked out a way to solve the problem… Now, if we put the towel down on the floor, she will dry her own feet by scratching around in the towel (which she also finds great fun!).
...and the Canine Members of Staff