I’ve lived with animals my entire life. For some reason, I keep forgetting that the training process is on-going. Hmmm, for the record, that means my training, not necessarily theirs.
I grew up always living with a dog. From time to time we also had other animals, birds or turtles and I will never forget my wonderful horse Barney, big blue eyes, and sweet personality. For some reason, during all of those years, I was convinced that I was training these companions. Yeah, right.
Boxers have been my buddy of choice since I have become an adult. First, there was the unforgettable and most dignified Rocky.
Followed by the very undignified, joyful clown of the dog world, Rascal. Now I live with Indiana, or Indy who makes it clear to me on a daily basis that this training stuff is not even close to being over.
Anyone who has ever met Indy has generally commented on his sweet demeanor and very nice manners. It turns out that it was all a scam. I didn’t train this boy at all; he’s been training me for more than five years. And he’s doing a pretty good job of it; at least I think he is.
Indy recently suffered his second stroke. Actually, I’m not at all sure that ‘suffered’ is the right word to use as this boy doesn’t seem to be suffering at all. He now tilts rather dramatically to the left and stumbles quite regularly, especially on the vinyl floor, but he has adapted very well. And he’s training me¬¨‚Ä† to adapt right along with him.
This smart boy waits for me when he reaches a step. If I don’t notice right away, he will sit there and either make little dolphin squeaks or Chewbacca noises, they seem to be used interchangeably so I can’t say why he chooses one over the other. Once he gets my attention, he starts butt wiggling and waits for me to grasp his collar to walk down the stairs. This way he is avoiding any more falls. One smart boxer boy!
Apparently, Indy is also feeling the chill in the air much more than he used to. He will curl up on the edge of his large comforter and wait for me to cover him up, usually tucking his snout down into the blankets as well. For some reason Indy, doesn’t seem to feel that my husband or son need as much training, or perhaps he has decided they are not capable of being trained as he doesn’t seem to do these things for them.
More proof that my training isn’t finished? Indy keeps reminding me that I owe him some one on one time, whenever I return home. The guys will tell me that he has been happily curled up into a ball for hours, but as soon as I come home he begins to act as though he is losing his mind. Doing the boxer kidney-bean, making all of his favorite sounds he calls me into the family room. This continues until I sit on the floor. He then promptly curls up with me, waits to be covered up and the snoring commences. I usually feel the Reiki begin to flow immediately. I’m convinced that Indy is very aware that I am able to offer him Reiki and he knows that Reiki offers him healing energy and support.
This could go on and on. The way Indy has trained me to offer him a treat when I want him to come in, rather than simply calling him. He sits in front of me and offers unconditional love with those big chocolate eyes to get his ears rubbed. It’s really an endless story.
Animals are so much more intelligent than many of us give them credit for. They watch, learn and adapt to situations quickly and adeptly. No time is wasted on remorse or recriminations, they simply move on. Learning how to make the best of the situation they are in and generally training the humans they live with along the way.
I try to keep this in mind when I’m working with life coaching clients as well. Facts today are simply what they are, period. How do we cope with the moment and bring about the results we desire? If we learn from the animals I have lived with, we will achieve better results, if we focus on what we want to happen, and then try our best to communicate this to ourselves, those who are around us and have the ability to affect our lives and the universe in general.
How does this apply to people, cause you know it does right? We are constantly teaching others how to treat us. How do we respond when someone is kind, negligent, friendly, rude, helpful, etc? Our response teaches or trains others that certain behaviors are acceptable or not. We teach others to treat us with kindness or contempt depending upon our expectations and on our response to their treatment. I try to keep this in mind when I’m working with life coaching clients as well. If we learn from the animals I have lived with, we will achieve better results, if we focus on what we want to happen, and then try our best to communicate this to ourselves, those who are around us
and have the ability to affect our lives and the universe in general.
No doubt Indy has much more to teach me. Just yesterday he convinced me to move his food to an area that is much easier for him to eat. It seems that the training will continue. I’m grateful that Indy is a patient trainer and of course he always rewards me with snuggles, very sweet.
This week I encourage you to focus on training. What you are teaching and what you are learning. Awareness will allow you to fine-tune and embrace that which is important to you.
Wonderful post, sounds like Indy is very well aware of your ability to “hear” him. Animal communication is nothing more than being willing to listen and accept that they can.
As to his being aware that you have “Reiki on tap,” I’m certain he does. Mine certainly are, especially since I have a home office with healing practice. You might enjoy this blog post, about a little cat named Gracie who definitely knew where to come for assistance: https://wildreiki.wordpress.com/2007/07/07/gracie-the-cat-and-fireworks
My best to both you and Indy in your loving partnership (-:
Great post! So true – my dog’s got me trained to feed him on the couch upstairs or in bed downstairs, to wait for him as he sniffs every plant and rock on our trails, and to rub his belly three times before he will actually come downstairs and go for a walk with me. You know what, though? I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I wanted to ask – were any of your Boxers rescues? I’m about to publish a book entitled “Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Boxers” that is full of stories from people who have adopted. It’s part of a series that raises awareness of, and funding for dog rescue organizations.
If you’re interested in participating, submission guidelines can be found at https://happytailsbooks.com. It’s a lot of fun and for a good cause! Woof!
(The deadline for Boxer stories is 1/31/10. We’re also collecting stories on other breeds.)