Monday, July 23, 2012


If there's one thing that I have learned by living with my dear boy, Oscar, it is that he is constantly pushing me to be on my toes.  Just when I think we are in a good place, he'll do something to slip the rug out from underneath my feet.  While I appreciate this gesture, this constant challenge for me to do more, learn more and be more, sometimes I'm ready to call it quits. Sometimes our connection just plain old sucks.

There were times during the weekend that Oscar and I were totally chill, totally connected, having conversations with one another without saying a word.  We would look at each other and I could feel our connection.  Then there were times when, honestly, I don't know what happened. Oscar would run over to the fence and bark at our neighbor I was having a conversation with after being totally fine with the neighbor just a few minutes prior.  It's confusing, frustrating and makes my trust in him fall to pieces. It's incredibly humiliating to both of us having our connection crushed like that.

I understand and appreciate the belief that we get the dog that we need, but being a person who runs on the border between stable and anxious I don't need a dog who errs on the side of reactivity. When I work with clients who have "problem" behaviors in their dogs, I find it quite easy to help them get to a better place.  A place of better understanding on both sides of the relationship through mutual participation. With a little education and understanding and some coaching I have seen near miracles happen in these partnerships. I know this takes determination and commitment.

Getting to this level with Oscar is harder than I've ever imagined it to be. I feel know that I put in an enormous amount of effort and am more than willing to try new things to get to the land of mutual participation and respect. And, sure, there are times when Oscar and I have a connection, but I know there are times when he does not trust me and completely tunes me out.  It's as if he doesn't give a crap if I was around.  This makes me confused, upset and frustrated...not at him, but at myself.  I often look at him and ask him, "What more do I have to do here?" "Why can't you just trust me?" "Would you be happier some place else with someone else?"  In return I get a blank no one is one is listening.  Does he even want to be part of the relationship or would he rather just go live somewhere a land of never-ending tennis balls and Frisbees?

I am committed to developing this relationship and going with the organic flow of ups and downs. And God bless Oscar; he has been there to at least try everything I have asked of him with minimal fuss, however there are still areas in our relationship that need work. I need him to trust me and I know that part of this equation is me trusting him to do what's right. I will keep learning, but the relationship needs to be a two way street...I need a little bit of reinforcement from him sometimes that I am doing the right thing.

So, here I am getting off my soapbox with just one request...and I hope Oscar's listening..."Can we go about our lives together with a promise to one another that we will be equal and willing participants in our relationship?"

No comments:

Post a Comment