It’s been said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I don’t think this is true. I believe dogs learned how to avoid mastering new tricks by changing their situation…which is a trick in itself, right?
Maggie never liked loud noises. She also disliked when a lot of people were in her house; especially if it disenabled her ability to herd efficiently. If the two were combined, I had one unhappy doggie. A group of people talking loudly in all rooms of my home….excuse me, I mean Maggie’s home. When Maggie was a puppy, she became totally frustrated with trying to fix the situation. However, as she grew older, she learned a trick to pacify her instincts. Maggie would find the quietest corner in the house and snuggle her body against the wall, while tucking her head in her chest. She removed herself from a situation she could not control.
As humans, how often do we try to fix a situation we cannot control? It is our basic instinct to help one another. The characteristics of kindness, empathy, and compassion are qualities we look for in someone to call a friend, spouse, or mentor. Many people have a fear of walking away from a situation, because they may be viewed as insensitive, weak, or self-centered. When we realize what we can and cannot change, it is at that moment we understand the trick being taught by the many ‘life situations’ we encounter. Our character is not defined by how we fix the situation, but how we react to the situation.
Maggie taught herself how to avoid noisy and crowded places, and became a much happier dog because of it. As humans, we must teach ourselves how to respond to life’s many situations. The change within ourselves appears when we have more faith in the lesson being taught, than the outcome of the situation.