The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. – Hubert H. Humphrey
So you’ve been working on your Piloting and you’ve finally started to see results. There’s less jumping, less barking and your walks are even better. Sure, you have to correct your dog, but from where you started there’s a huge difference. It’s easy to get complacent. It’s easy to get into a place where you forget how far you’ve come and you can only focus on the negative.
Fido pulled too much today.
Fido barked at the neighbor’s dog which he hasn’t done in weeks.
I had to slam the door on Fido multiple times on today’s walk.
And all of a sudden you start to feel dissatisfied with you and your dog’s performance. When these days happen, I try and let them go. However, it’s not always that easy. That’s why I’m going to share a trick with you. Something I look for on the walk that makes my heart grow bigger and happiness consume me.
There’s this moment when you’re walking your dog, not all the time, but once or twice a walk, where he’ll look up at you like you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
In technical talk: he’s looking to you for direction. You’ve set yourself up as the individual who is in charge of the walk, so every once in a while he’ll look to see what you’re doing up there, where you’re going, if you’re nervous about anything. Just a quick double check on his part.
In emotional talk: he trusts you. You’ve done something amazing. You’ve gained an animal’s trust. An animal who doesn’t understand your words, only your body language. An animal, that for some of you, may have never had a worthy individual to trust. Who may not have had a roof over their head or food in their bellies. You have gained the trust of an animal who may have seen the worst, but now is seeing the best of humanity.
When I catch Porter looking up at me like this, it amazes me. His warm brown eyes convey everything that he doesn’t need words to say. There’s a thank you in there, there’s a this is fun, a we can do anything together and a life is better now being said.
Please, try and catch this moment with your dog. It will make all of those trying times so worth it. You’ve done something amazing for your dog, and in return they’re saying thank you. Everyone needs a little hero worship every once in a while.
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH