Thursday, October 6, 2011
Putting the .45 back in it's holster
I had this awesome moment today with my dog Chance. I rushed too quickly with getting him used to a harness, a dog that took me over a year to be able to brush without him flinching. He doesn't like foreign objects on his skin. I didn't give him any time to get used to this contraption that cradles his chest and runs the length of his back. I was too much in a hurry to get him used to dog sledding and didn't give him hardly any time to adjust to this awful thing on his body. Chance is a puppy from our litter that was returned to us quite abused. While he was always fine when he was running and pulling a sled, he never got used to the harness. In fact he doesn't like it at all. If anyone should know, I should know what it is like to be put in a position you are uncomfortable and not being able to ask for help. But he was telling me and for some reason I missed or ignored the signs. A couple of weeks ago, I got the harness out, he let me put it on him, put he fought with a rising anxiety and I finally became aware, this was just too much for this pup.
Here's the part I find amazing-for one, I recognize I made a mistake. And for some reason I am rather at ease at knowing that. Which is minding blowing in itself. Two, I am very aware of where my mind was at these last couple of years and I am actually forgiving myself instead of beating the crap out of myself. For some reason I was quite ignorant of Chance's reaction because he masked it very well. i.e. always letting me put harness on and pulling with ease. I also thought these two facts alone would help him work out his issues with the harness by themselves. I was wrong. And for some reason I am OK with being wrong. And Three, the big one, I am just going to start over, from the beginning with him by taking my time and gradually get him accumulated to the harness as he is comfortable with it. We may not even get to go sledding this winter. I'm OK with that. In fact, I am more than OK. It takes a ton of pressure and weight off of me to try to "perform and get everything perfect." For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I have time to do just about anything I want. There is no clock ticking or deadline since I just dog sled for fun. My entire being just sighs in relief at not putting myself in that timeline vice, and "this winter or else" mode of thinking. I have plenty of time to work with Chance and I will give him all the time and space he needs to learn to love the harness and what it represents. And if for some reason he never gets that far, that OK too. His mental and emotional well being is far too precious than watching him be miserable. And so is mine. It's not worth it. (can you hear the light bulbs snapping on?? I think I may need my sunglasses!! lol)
Whether I believe in time or not, I have witnessed miracles occur because of time alone. After living in a pressure cooker for so many years and trying to be perfect at everything right now because everything was under such life and death decisions, I am beginning to feel the tension loosen in my wrenched brain and body. I am beginning to understand I have choices and that I can choose what I want and need without that .45 pointed in my face. And heaven forbid, if I died tomorrow, I would die in the comfort and peace of knowing I released that tension off of Chance and never once blamed myself for being a horrible, awful person who didn't deserve to live anyways. And that my friends, is the best feeling I could ever ask for.