What makes me most sad about my little Aussie and our fear based reactivity journey, is it all seems to come down to trust.
I know he gets overstimulated in an instant. Not much time for me to catch him before he’s gone, but I just feel like although I am doing everything I can, the best I can…he still doesn’t believe me.
I feel some of this has to do with me floundering after he was attacked at 10 months old. It is a blessing and a curse having so many dog training friends. I got so much advice, so much contradicting advice.
As I desperately tried to handle him through situations I was ill prepared for, I became more and more anxiety ridden. I was constantly questioning myself, putting too much emotion towards what could happen, instead of just dealing with the situation.
Somewhere along the line, he started doubting me. I made some poor choices for Jedi, of course hindsight is 20/20. We spiraled downward for a bit out in the big world.
Now, I finally feel like I am at a crux. I can remain calm through whatever is happening. I instruct people if need be and feel good about my interactions afterwards. Being able to remain calm and in control during very stressful situations. Not taking on what others have to say about us or being upset because someone allowed their dog do something inappropriate, which caused Jedi more upset.
No, I realize the world is uncontrollable and we have to adjust to our surroundings. I HAVE TO STOP REACTING, look at our options and make the best choices for us, before he has any hope.
There is no right or wrong without intent, just learning opportunities. If Jedi has a bad day, then he simply had a bad day, he won’t be ruined forever. We all have them.
If I didn’t like the outcome of my actions, I know I will do something different next time. I am not going to beat myself up and relive one leaning opportunity over and over. No, I continue to search for new ways to accomplish our goals.
I move on, we are moving on. I just wish Jedi was in the same spot I feel am at now. No, he is going to need more time. He doesn’t believe me yet, that I am in control. While this upsets me, it won’t stop us. It drives me, I want Jedi to feel this same thing.
This journey has helped me with one of my life’s goals. I have had extreme anxiety and fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, since I was a child. It has kept me from living to my fullest potential. Kiska has helped me along the way and Jedi’s reactivity has helped me solidify the last of my last stubborn resolve to fully change this.
Change appeared to be my best option. I am overjoyed with my confidence now. Yes, I needed this journey to change and will take the gifts wherever I can get them.
I finally figured out that experiencing life is how you learn, grow, change. Yup, sounds simple doesn’t it. It is those tiny thoughts, the ones you rarely hear yourself thinking. Once in a while, you shock yourself, wondering why you would think those things.
I heard things like, why would you fly out of your house at this moment on a skateboard with two dogs! How can you control them and you know my dog is reactive, really you choose this moment you come at us? Or why would you let your dog wear jingly dog tags at a reactive dog class? You know that will set off most dogs! Hence, setting your dog off.
Yup, I was thinking those reactive thoughts all of the time. The day the 10 year old kid came at us on his skateboard with his two dogs from behind two parked cars, that was the moment I heard myself.
That is the moment Jedi reacted. It was clear to me then, I was adding to these situations and didn’t even realize it. I didn’t hear those thoughts, they didn’t register. I needed to let that little crap go, people can do whatever they want, as long as they don’t harm us. That is the beauty of the world. I had to get over it before Jedi could follow, improve my leadership skills.
Now I seek out these situations for us to encounter at a safe stress level for Jedi. I have to show him we don’t care what other beings do. Our own actions were paralyzing us from experiences the real world. Boy, am I constantly tested. Can I remain calm, even when people are saying ugly things. Yes, for Jedi I can, the surprise is how it spills over into your daily life.
I can see clearly now that I needed to stop being afraid to get there and try things out. Always keep your goal in mind, not where you are during the journey to the goal. Not how quickly others may be moving on their journey.
The grass isn’t always greener, just different. Take down the fences, don’t get hung up there. You will miss out if you don’t stay in your own moment, your truth. Your journey may take longer if you get stuck in one spot and that too is ok, just part of the journey.
ALWAYS take your successes as they come no matter how small, they are also part of the journey. Recognize them and celebrate them, take the time to do this or you won’t notice the change of scenery.
If you have a moment where you feel you failed, remember these are life’s learning opportunities, use them for direction, trial and error, shake it off, try again. Gain knowledge for it is power.
Happy trails and wagging tails!