Several months ago, I adopted a three-year old dog from the Humane Society. Well, they told me she was three years old … she’d been seized by the police from her previous home and kept in protection for a month prior to her adoption. The past five months have been a real challenge for both of us, adjusting to each other and trying to harmoniously mesh our patterns to share a living space. I needed help.
My research led me to a national breeder and head of the Chinese Crested Club of Canada, who happens to be a judge and has many CKC championships to her name and her dogs. She has helped me immensely to shed my previous methods of house training, obedience and cohab-ing with my new addition. I had viewed myself as a confident, loving and life-long pet owner, but this dog had suddenly robbed me of all my confidence and replaced it with incredible frustration and despair. I’ve agreed to surrender all my earlier beliefs about crating, pee pads, house training and resist my engrained ‘instincts’ to embrace some hard-nosed approaches to making this dog not only more comfortable, but providing her the parameters that I had not realized she was missing. If this new relationship was going to work, it would be me who needed to change my ways.
It’s a real grind, but I’m hopeful that with my new ideologies and methodologies, we will find a way to grow and value our mutual existence for a long time to come. My goal is to evolve my dog into a wonderful pet, rather than this animal she currently seems to be. This analogy made me contemplate how many of us go through our lives as an expert in our professional field, always having done certain things a certain way, because that’s how we were trained, or that’s what’s always worked …this goes for our personal relationships also. Often we force what might be best left alone, or fail to see other means of reaching successes. There may come a time when we may be forced to examine just how good (or expert) we really are, when the factors around us shift wildly and our ways no longer work.