Dog Park Picture Praise Post.
I never grew up with pets (aside from a black fish that we named ‘Blackie’ whom died during a convenient Fish ‘n’ Chips meal, not even joking – I wish I was). Getting Lily was somewhat of a spur of the moment event in our lives. I remember we decided on a Wednesday we were going to be getting her, and we got her on a Sunday. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday were spent scouring the Internet for tips on welcoming a new puppy into the home, how to crate train puppies, and what kind of food our dog should be eating. Sunday, we cleaned the house so it was spic and span for our new member of the family, and by cleaned I do indeed also mean puppy proofed.
Looking back, I knew next to nothing about raising a dog. I wasn’t quite sure how to enforce rules, even though when we got her she was under 2 lbs. After we got Lily, I read 3 Cesar Millan books, following every word of his like he was royalty, or some spiritual being. I’ve learned tons about dog psychology – but I still feel like I know nothing. It’s a huge topic and I am constantly craving to know more. For somebody who is so into how human beings work and develop relationships, it doesn’t really come as any sort of surprise that I feel the same way about our next best friends – the trusty and ever so loyal canines.
The bond between human and dog is obviously a profound one. How many people grew up with dogs and went on to be dog owners themselves? It’s incredible. I never understood this bond either until we got Lily. At first, I think I likely made a tiny mistake of humanizing her into my “cute little baby.” But really, with that face, that’s one of the hardest things. EVER. The most fascinating thing to me is the amount of trust she placed in us and us in her. It’s amazing to be at the dog park or somewhere new to her, and have her come bolting up to us and gently take her place behind us, her confident pack leaders. She knows where to seek comfort, she knows where to seek shelter, and she knows where to seek food – the basics for survival. This to me is incredible and so very, very beautiful.
In reading Cesar (and various other articles in regards to dog training, dog psychology, energies) I can respect this bond so much more when I allow myself to treat her as a dog and not as the “cute little baby.” Deep down she may be that “cute little baby” (c’mon – let’s face it) but in order for her to feel comfortable, confident, and respect us as her pack leaders, we can’t treat her as one. It’s been very beneficial for Kyle, Lily and I to realize this, and to live our lives accordingly. It has only increased and intensified the bond that we all have, and helped to further build the trust upon which our relationship was created.