View from a mountain I climbed many years ago.
While Monday Memories is on vacation I found myself in a revelation of emotional and mental gift I was not expecting. I am the type of person who likes to try and scale a mountain in a day and actually expect to be able to do it without any glitches or trouble. I tend to push myself with expectations that are insurmountable. And well, most of the time I barely get off the base or I'm so far in the valley I that a couple of steps bring so much frustration and humiliation that I find myself helpless and hopeless.
Now I rarely put this kind of stress on the dogs, I am much more sensitive to their needs and limitations. I have found myself more than once pulling back tremendously on a training or behavior technique because it is too much for them or for myself. But when I'm doing my own thing, I can't seem to find that line that crosses between trying hard or thrusting myself over it. And if there is one thing I can't stand it is having limits. Physical, mental or emotional. I hate having to pull back for myself because it makes me feel weak and worthless as a human. But couple me with a dog or two and they help me gauge those limitations that are in place for my safety and well being.
And I was at it again this last week. Trying to do the impossible. Wanting to be superwoman even though I kept tumbling down the hill. When I softly cried into Chance's fur, I heard the word, "patience." And he reminded me of all the years of patience I took with him. He used to run and scream from a brush in my hand and now loves to be brushed. Or how my patience with Blaze took her from a psycho path lunatic when left alone, to a calm secure girl who's so excited to play "let's be calm" game. Or how it has taken Brut years to become so stable and happy that he glows after being such an angry, miserable dog. How it has taken time for Zappa and I to get to know each other and gain some respect between us when he's been my husband's dog all along. And the trust that has been building with Fiona and I after the hurt and betrayal she felt since Blaze came back. All of these took time, patience and steady love. To know when to push and when to hold back. Building trust with all the dogs and gaining their respect didn't happen over night. Why would I think I am any different?
And as I lightly stroked Chance's his head, he said he'll wait. I gave that patience and trust, now he wanted to return the favor. They all did. I'd taken care of them, now it was their turn to take care of me. They were willing to give me all the patience and love I needed to help me do climb that mountain and we could do it together.