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Doggy Lessons

Lessons from the furry friend.

Lessons from the furry friend.


I walk our dog almost every day and most days we go for at least two walks. This little beagle is teaching me a lot, much I didn’t expect to learn from a dog.

I found out that Sonya is about the most social creature in the world. Lyle says that every time she sees someone, she runs the risk of wagging her tail right off her butt and I totally agree.

She is super friendly and never holds a grudge. If someone torques me off, I can stay pissed for days. I actually got pretty frustrated with little Miss Friendly the other day because anything from bunnies to people to rocks in the street diverted her attention from the task at hand.

On our next outing I decided to take a few treats and concentrate on praise instead of correcting negative behavior. I also decided that I would keep words to a minimum – no use confusing the issue with stupid conversation that she can’t understand anyway. I stuck with good girl, come, sit and hold, which is our word for heel. The simple commands worked beautifully.

It occurred to me that I needed to follow a bit of this same lesson, and I could also utilize the same tactics with Russell, who is ready to drive me over a cliff. I talk way too much – don’t tell him that I know that. I’ll never hear the end of it.

Distractions also fill my world right now, and then I fail to listen to the simple commands I really need to follow. If I focus on a few basic tasks, my days progress quite nicely, it’s only when I complicate my world with senseless babble that I get into trouble. The rest is dribble.

The dog presents pretty simple needs. As long as we feed her, play and walk with her, give her attention and praise her she is pretty darn happy. Aren’t those the same things I want?

What are the words or brief phrases I need to concentrate upon? How about: take a nap when tired; be kind; one thing at a time; eat to live; it’s not all about me and play nice.

I feel my tail wagging already.

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2 Responses

  1. I have a beagle as well and am totally shocked when I look back and her tail is still attached! She does get soooo excited over every little thing… just like I used to do. I don’t know when or why life became so cumbersome, but I want desperately to move beyond this feeling. I hope to continue with weight watchers… or rather get back to attending meetings so that I can finally get out of this rut.

  2. Hang in there. I try to take just one thing at a time that I can focus on. To try to do everything at once just seems too overwhelming. It’s about the new (small) habits we develop, which make the biggest change in the long term.

    For me, WW helped me realize I wasn’t all alone in the process.

    take care.

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