Saving Graces

Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another – Immanuel Kant 

 - Brittany Graham Photography

– Brittany Graham Photography

So, your dog needs a Pilot. He needs a Pilot to make him feel safe. But, more importantly by providing your dog with a Pilot, you’re allowing your dog to be himself:  a dog. With that comes bringing out the best in him. Pushing him to learn new commands, listen better, work on recall, teach him new games, your Piloting him into being an even better dog.

Well, that’s great and all, but have you ever thought about who Pilots you?

Sometimes, in situations where I can get a little (okay, a lot) upset, I’m extremely quick with a snarky comment. These aren’t always at appropriate times, just keep that in mind.

While Kerry and I were raising awareness for the Pittie Parade we had back in March, a woman approached me and Louie (our pit mix ambassador). She took her time petting him and telling him what a great dog he is (which he is, I’m slightly obsessed with him). After a few minutes of oohing and ahhing over him, she asked us what we were representing. We explained that we were bringing awareness to the ban on bully breeds in Lakewood.

Her response: “Oh I agree with that law. Those are terrible dogs. Just terrible. They should keep that law in place”

Kerry’s response: “Well, Louie over there, that you were just petting, is a pit mix”

Silly  Lady’s (I’m cleaning it up for the kids here) Response: “No, he’s not. He’s much too sweet. They need to ban the pitbulls”

My response was garbled by the tea that I made sure I was drinking as the snarkiness started to ooze out of me.

Now, why did I choose to take a drink at the same moment I wanted to add my delightful response to the conversation? Because I was Piloted out of the situation.

As this exchange started, Tall Guy was standing next to me. As my temper started rising, he took a small but firm step towards me and darted me a look, which quite honestly, is the equivalent of me snapping at Porter. That’s when I decided to take a sip of my tea before I unfurled a string of unkind words and ill spirited sentences towards this woman.

Tall Guy gave me a negative. With his look he said “not this fight, not this time”. I understood and controlled myself the best I could. Tall Guy Pilots me through a lot of things. I have to admit, most of the time it’s making sure I don’t say something I regret.

 - Brittany Graham Photography

- Brittany Graham Photography

Pilots in your life can change between different people. The way your Piloted can change as well. Tall Guy usually does it with looks. Kerry, however, is very good at Piloting me and will do it straight up with words and most of the time ends with “So just stop it. Now.”

Dogs aren’t the only ones in the world that need Piloting. Take a second to look at who helps Pilot you and realize you might be a Pilot for someone else besides your four legged friends. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s people like you who not only keep smart mouths in check, but push people to be better and better each and every day.  So, thank you.

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

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