Saturday, January 27, 2007

My Mentor

I could learn a lot from my dog.
Maybe its just the breed but Belle is a genuinely happy creature. She does not seem to get upset or down. Everything is as it should be. She goes with the flow. That is probably because she doesn't know any better and has no sense of the future and little memory of the past except where food is concerned. On Maslow's scale she is living in and for the physical needs and those are all met. So she is absolutely happy.

But it is more than that. She really wants to make everyone around her happy too. If you pretend to be depressed or sad she will bring you her toys. A soggy stinky chew toy with the stuffing coming out may not be your idea of fun but it sure is hers. How can you be down with great stuff like that to play with and a friend who is more than willing to play with you in the mix.

When there is nothing going on she naps no need for entertainment. The trainer in her class calls it a default down. When there is nothing going on the dog learns to lie down calmly. Well she does that but some times she goes well past a calm lie down and sprawls as far as a small beagle can and naps. The theory being, I'm guessing, that someone will wake her or make noise when the action starts again. And again she is perfectly happy.

She hasn't a mean streak in her make up. She is not possessive about food or toys. She will forget herself and get rough but that is just playing. If she thinks she has hurt you she will back off and be more gentle.

The only thing that brings her down is if she does something wrong and gets scolded or punished for it. Scolding is as good as punishment because she seems to be hurt when she thinks she has not been good. And she will do whatever she can think of to get back in your good books. Physical punishment just makes her scared of you. And if she does get in trouble all is forgotten and forgiven in ten minutes or less. She does not forget what she did wrong she does learn, slowly some times, but she forgets or forgives you for being angry with her.

She's not perfect there are things she does that she shouldn't and we are working on those but, yep, I could learn a lot from my dog.

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