Relationships take time....friends, lovers, grandchildren, dogs. In my heart, I've known this...although there were times when I did not listen; times where I jumped into a relationship without going through the steps of developing and learning and listening...all those tiny steps that make for strength, deepness and trusting. I'm challenging myself to take time.....all the time it needs to nurture all that I am longing for in life.
I'm working a new-to-me little dog that has been here for three weeks. She is all trained up and shiny in the right hands. But for me, I have my own way of doing things; my own way of communicating......and she does not understand me, at least not at this point. In three weeks, we have done a lot.....real work pushing to sort lambs for shipping, small field work to develop understanding and trust, and a little big field work. Most days, in the familiar, she is coming along with me.
That old phrase "it takes a year to partner up with a dog" is such a great reminder when things go...well, really wrong! At a recent trial, I thought perhaps...with all our "coming along" I could exhaust a little with her. And with that....pretty much everything that could go wrong on an exhaust did.....well, we did not run sheep into the fence but we did everything else really wrong. It was a good day for me to practice all the things a good developing relationship needs to continue to be deeper and filled with trust and understanding. I went and helped her.......immediately..... I got what I could while whisking the sheep off the field..... then, we stopped.
This relationship needs more time! We need to chat on the phone a little, go to lunch, laugh, share experiences, watch a few movies.....all the little things that happen as a friendship begins. I can't expect her to go from "not knowing me" to " best friend" without the time and miles. This dog brings such perspective and I'm grateful for the reminder!!
I'm working on three things...all of which I wrote on my hand at the recent trial. I wrote it in ink on the back side of my hand so when I looked down I would see the words and remember:
Bella loves it when I run with those three qualities. Our relationship has the time behind it, plus the miles...and when I am really calm, and very quiet, and honestly fair....she shines. I stumbled a few times while I ran her this weekend...but, with my eyes wide open....she told me when I was off. For me, that is exactly how relationships, the good ones anyway, work. The give and take in communication, the adjustments made based on the feedback, that miraculous dance that occurs when the partnership is in sync.....yep, this is why I go back for more.
In talking with a friend about all the above, I came to the conclusion, yet again....changing myself, growing myself, developing myself is my highest calling. I mean really, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right? I love it when my dogs give me their all......I owe it to them to keep to my task of giving them my all right back...calm, quiet, and fair. And when "it" goes to crap...because there will be days it will.....the relationship will be the calm in the storm.....if the time was invested.
These are the things I need to remember......
Seize the Day!
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