Dog Life Lesson: Relationships

This month I swear has been puppy month for me. Trust me, when I say this; there is proof. Nipping. Razor sharp teeth. I left sessions this week covered with scratches having helped demonstrate how to encourage a soft bite and redirect to the correct chew toys to families.

This past week I remember one little guy in particular. He has such a great personality. I love his spunk and he is a little pushy. I have to admit, I like that side. The owner was really frustrated and sharing this with me. I looked at her and said in seriousness, “He is worth it. You have a great dog here. Just stick with it. Be patient. I am not going to tell you it’s going to be easy, but I know you can do it and he is worth it in the end.”

When I left this in-home session I was thinking to myself, how many times in our own relationships do we get a little frustrated, maybe even experienced a little pain and we just abruptly decided to end it and walk away.

Are relationships worth sticking around for? Are they worth working things out? Some of the best people in our lives may have come in the beginning with conflict. I have worked in customer service for years, even before I was training dogs. I can say hands down that some of my toughest customers became some of my closest friends.

Relationships can be difficult, but many times it’s worth going through the tough part to get the long lasting goodness. We just have to stick around long enough to see it through. As far as the puppy, I look forward to seeing how him and his owner do in the coming years too.  

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Dog Life Lesson: In the Moment

I think that there are two core things that dogs were sent to teach us humans: heart centeredness – a simple four letter word- LOVE and to teach us to stay in the moment. I am not sure if it’s just our  day and age or if it’s something mankind has struggled with for ages, but we are either in the future worrying about it, waiting for it, or hoping for it or we are in the past upset over it, living in pain from it, or obsessing about it. If we are in either we are not fully present in the moment.

Truth is, this moment is all that we have. In this moment you have everything you need and dogs teach us that.

One of the exercises that I do on a weekly basis with my students is leash walking. It’s human nature while we are out on a walk we are either on our phone, thinking about the bill that’s due, the un-ending list of to-dos, or maybe thinking about an argument shared with a spouse an hour before the walk.

While working on polite leash walking exercises with your dog, you are continually forced to stay in the moment, asking yourself “Is my dog pulling?” I am guilty, like all humans of getting lost in the moment myself! I have gotten lost in thought and realized 5 minutes later that my dog had been pulling!

Learn from your dog, and maybe even practice with leash walking by staying in the moment because the truth is all you have is this second right now. Or how about trying to stop what you are doing and sit with this moment for just one minute? Maybe spend it petting your dog, but while you are petting him/her don’t look at your phone and don’t think of anything but your dog. How it feels to pet him? How he is breathing and your own breath?

Living in the moment will change your life and it is for sure something that we can all work on. What has been your experiences with living in the moment? Has your dog taught you anything about this? Please share in comments below.

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Dog Life Lesson: Stop and Look at Me!

Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something either from my own pets or ones I am training. Either I learn a new way to solve a problem behavior, a new way to tweak my own training programs, or even sometimes I am lucky enough to walk away with a life lesson. A life lesson is a nugget of dog wisdom that I get to keep treasured in my heart forever.

When I was in my early 20’s I owned a pet shop. What a lucky girl I was to be living my dream at such an early age. I LOVED it. Some parts were very stressful, while others a pure joy. What I do remember fondly is driving to work every day thinking about how much I enjoyed what I did.

Unfortunately, I was working so many hours during that time of my life that I barely had time to sleep or anything other than work. I may have on average gotten about four hours of sleep a night (crazy girl!).

The reason I was thinking back on this time was one night in particular that I learned from dog wisdom.

It was late. I dragged myself from the garage to the backdoor of the house. As I walked in to the door my dogs were excited to see me. Okay, they were going nuts. When I walked in to my house, my mind was already focused on the next set of 20 things to do on my list. I walked straight in and inspite of the greeting I just patted everyone on the head and continued working my way through the house. Out of my four dogs, I “heard” my dog Morgan say, “Look at me.” I patted her quickly on the head again and quickly went to move through the kitchen. Very forceful she said, “No! Stop and look at me!” (Let me also insert that I don’t normally “hear” dogs, but Morgan and I always had a heart to heart connection where I could almost “hear” her thoughts at times.)  I didn’t dare budge. I looked down at my beautiful dog and we connected our eyes.

At that point, I stopped everything and sat down with her and realized in that moment, that I hadn’t given my dogs what they deserved from me. I had been so busy that I was “with” my dogs without really being “with” my dogs. I was focused on to-do’s, tasks that would come and go, but that moment with my dogs would never be had again.  There will always be something to do, but that moment will not always be. 

Although, not perfect, I learned a lot in that moment with Morgan. From that moment on, when I sit down to have coffee with a friend I stop and look at them. I am not on my phone, thinking about something other than my friend. When I sit with my kids, I clear that moment for them. Always take time to enjoy those moments and learn from Morgan as did I: “No, really, stop and look at me.”

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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