Power

I begin every day with a cup of coffee and a quick browse through our local paper.  I scan the news (while trying to ignore the comments), skip the sports, check the obituaries, and read the horoscopes.  Honestly, the most interesting find of my morning paper time is often the general horoscope introduction for the day. Today was no exception.

Holiday Mathis our resident astrologer, began the horoscopes of the day with this profound line “True power is the ability to command oneself.” The obvious wisdom of this line is so simply perfect, or perfectly simple, and yet so often ignored.

Throughout my almost sixty seven years, I have seen every extreme of those who are obsessed with having and holding the power to command or control others. I have seen the screamers, the physical threateners, the manipulators, the whiners and complainers, the reactors, the ultra organizers, the bullies, the victims, and the blamers. I have seen it all and at times in my life – I have been it all.

The thing about creating our best life is in knowing that the only real power we have is in the ability to command ourselves.

This is true throughout our lives and in each and every situation in our lives. Currently, one of the most challenging situations in my life is in dealing with our new furbaby, Molly.

As a puppy – a Pyrenees puppy, Molly can be a challenge at times – a BIG challenge. I had some idea of what I was doing going in, and what was important to having a content, well behaved dog in our home. Having a BIG dog, is something I am rather new to and having responsibility for training said BIG dog is something I was not totally prepared for. So… yesterday I turned to Google and You Tube.

I went through a fair amount of advice on training dogs to be well mannered and responsive. The best advice that I found, focussed on training myself to best react to Molly’s good, and not so good, behaviour. I found ways to encourage her good behaviour and ways to discourage her unacceptable behaviour – without turning our lives into a power struggle. πŸ˜‰

One ‘trick’ I found that works amazingly well with Molly is avoiding eye contact and crossing my arms if she is doing anything unacceptable (like trying to chew on me or jump on me) to get attention. It works like magic almost every time. If she is super wound up, a two minute timeout in the porch and she comes back calm and settled. Another ‘trick’ deals with her propensity to steal and chew on shoes, clothing, furniture and the like. I still say NO and take away what she is chewing on – but then I offer her a choice of something more acceptable (like one of a growing number of her own chew toys). I am fortunate that I am home with Molly all day, so I can praise her when she is doing well and guide her in another direction when she does misbehave.

The bottom line for both Molly and I – and for all of us regardless of circumstances is to remember “True power is the ability to command oneself.”

And… Nobody’s perfect. πŸ™„

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day. πŸ’ž

22 thoughts on “Power

  1. Great post, Anne, so full of positivity! I couldn’t handle training a dog these days, too used to having my home to myself haha! She is a beautiful dog, those puppy-dog eyes! ❀️

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  2. I wish I had known about avoiding eye contact and crossing my arms. That might have worked with grand-dog Sadie when she jumped on me. Sadly, she is 2,000 miles away now, and I can’t try it. I’ve enjoyed reading about your training Molly.

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  3. Thank you, Anne. When a dog jumps up on us or the like, it is SO natural to look straight at them, yell no, and push them away. That is exactly what they want – to engage with us in some rough (unacceptable) play. Not really a problem when you have a little Cavalier, but a major issue if you are raising a BIG dog. I am sorry that Sadie is so far away now. πŸ’ž

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  4. You have way more patience and power than I do. I have only owned one dog as an adult, Tristan the Cocker Spaniel. However, Tristan won more battles than I ever did! My hat’s off to you!

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  5. Thank you, but I grew up with a Cocker Spaniel, had a Springer Spaniel (aptly named Sprocket) when I lived up north and Kat was a Cavalier (miniature spaniel). Don’t beat yourself up – you were fighting a losing battle. πŸ˜›πŸ˜‹

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  6. Great advice!! Love this post and your are doing a great job. The training is not to different than when we train the horses! Just different scenarios of course. But praising good behavior, and more often ignoring the bad behavior. I won’t get into all the detail but they do learn with the positive reinforcement and you can’t win wrestling a thousand pound animal so fighting with them we will never win! 🀣 Have a great week Anne!! πŸ’ž

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  7. Thank you, Diana! It makes sense that one wouldn’t win a lot of wrestling matches with a 1000 pound horse! Fortunately, like dogs they respond to the proper techniques. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

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