Saturday, June 11, 2011
The healing process that happens between my dogs and I is mind blowing. Somehow they are able to reach that place deep down inside of me and tap into it. It doesn't take any special talent or coaxing, I don't have to be thinking about anything and somehow they just zero in on my heart.
Brut, my Bipolar dog, is completely obsessed with food. Violently obsessed. I have had to eliminate treats from training unless I separate him from the other dogs. My relationship with Brut is one of a special nature due to his particular fears and aggressions and one thing I have learned is respecting Brut is a must. It is a trust that goes both ways, especially when food is involved. I take many things into consideration with Brut and food, he is only threatened by other dogs though I am always cautious with him.
We were alone in the living with a puzzle cube that had treats inside, that Brut has to roll around to get the goodies out. I had to pick up the cube to move it, which meant Brut might go after the cube at the same time. Instead of acting out of fear or just grabbing it, I told him to sit and stay, while I moved the cube. As this instinct kick in with me, he responded beautifully. He was alert, he was calm and he was radiating. I didn't try to control him, I didn't put him in a difficult situation that made him chose between his instincts and me, I gave him the respect he deserved by setting up a safe environment that he could flourish in. I didn't try to test him with something he couldn't handle by putting us both at risk because he counts on me help him help himself and as a result he was doing fantastic and having a great time.
We were clicking along with our new game when I felt the piercing in my heart as Brut looked to me with those beautiful carmel eyes and I burst into tears, thinking, why can't I be this way with myself? Why am I not this gentle and considerate of myself? This fabulous dog who gets such a bad rap with his aggression was literally glowing with the attention and safety I was providing for him knowing how to protect him. I was giving him what he needed to succeed in spite of himself. Why can't I do it for myself?
I have never tried to change Brut or eliminate any of his aggressive nature that he has with dogs, I have learned to work with it, shape it, and mold it to work for him rather than against him. Why I am having such a hard time doing that for myself now? Where is the love and respect that I have for Brut with myself? Why am I not able to set up those parameters of safety and security for myself like I do for Brut? Why can't I be understanding with me? My depression is no secret. I already know my answer and I'm still not ready to face it. I can't. Because it is me. I am the one who can't look at that girl that I keep shoving down in the bellows. I am the one who will not forgive her and has no plans on it. I am the one who wants to destroy her. Why do I keep fighting the vicious battle instead of seeing who she really is? Why can't I see her like I see Brut?