Susan Garrett has had some really great stuff on her blog lately. It’s like she’s been in my mind, reflecting my own thoughts and expressing them much better than I could. So I’m cannibalizing two of my favorite posts.
First, she writes about not creating self-limiting beliefs for yourself and your dog. You know, stuff like saying, “He’ll pop out at the 10th pole, he always does” or “My dog can’t heel outdoors, he’ll be too distracted.” Another word for this is "self-fulfilling prophecies." Sometimes we make things happen simply by believing they will happen. Why do we always pick BAD things to believe!
Instead, Susan writes:
“ . . . when I look at my dogs I can only see greatness.
“I don’t focus on what isn’t there with my dogs, I focus on what is. I take up ownership of anything that can be made better and I spend that dog’s career trying to make it better . . . Why, because we want to do agility, must these dogs suffer us acting, talking or joking about them as if they have failed us some how?”
It’s okay to admit your dog isn’t working up to your criteria but put a positive spin on it, don’t focus on the negative. For example, “Phoenix and I are making great progress on his out-of-sight stays” instead of “He hates those out-of-sight stays and doesn’t want to do them.” (By the way, it’s true, we ARE making great progress!)
Then, Susan writes about believing that our dogs are with us for a reason, that some cosmic hand of fate placed them with US, not a different owner, because they have something special and specific to bring to us. So many of us say, “My dog would be great if only he had a better handler.” I admit to thinking that, too, sometimes. But no more!
Susan believes we have the dogs we have for a reason. In other words, regardless of “achievement” as measured by superficial stuff like titles, scores, ribbons, etc., they belong with us JUST BECAUSE! She writes:
“Regardless of how it may appear to any of us watching, every dog’s life is always one of great intention. The odyssey is unique to each dog and their person. Those of us on the outside looking in may never be privy to all that is being fulfilled during the time you have together but the impact is likely more than any world championship ever could provide.”
For the complete posts, visit http://susangarrettdogagility.com/
What beautiful thoughts. Go home from work today and hug your beautiful dogs.