Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From fighting each other to harmony...

Okay, now look at this photo. Isn't that the scariest thing you have ever seen? I first saw it at the pet store, where they sell all kinds of fun things for dogs like me. They sell balls and squeaky toys, in all kinds of colors. They sell beautiful collars and harnesses and leashes. They even sell dog food and, most of all, they sell TREATS. But do you think that my Mom got me any of those wonderful things? No siree. She got me that thing that's in the picture.

Earlier in the day, she had had a talk with me. She seemed kind of upset, as she explained that she had to do something about the way I walked on a leash. She said that the harnesses, she had bought for me, just were not working. She said that I still kept pulling on my leash and yanking on her arm. She told me that she was just plain tired of me walking her, instead of her walking me.

Now grant you, I enjoy having power over my Mom. I love it, when I see another dog and start running, as I'm walking on my leash, and end up yanking on my Mom's arm. It also feels good, when I see another human and am so excited to get a pat on the head or a cuddle, that I take off toward that human, catching my Mom off guard and pulling her behind me. BUT, deep down, I know that I'm a DOG and that I would be happier if she were my ALPHA DOG.

So while we were in the pet store, Mom explained that she wanted to try this training collar, to see if it might help me get used to her pace, when we are walking, instead of her having to get used to mine. I know that Mom loves me and wants the best for me, but still, that training collar looked really menacing to me. It looked like I could really get hurt wearing that.

Mom reassured me that she would make sure that I didn't get hurt. She said she would just lightly tug on the collar, whenever I started walking too fast or lagging behind or starting to chase another dog or trying to run over to another human. She told me that she wants to be able to take me more places and to walk me at some parks, where there are lots of people and other dogs. She said she didn't want it to feel like we were fighting each other. Instead, she said she would like to see us walking in HARMONY.

I had to admit to myself, and I showed her in my eyes, that I really didn't know how to do that walking in HARMONY stuff. I felt bad that at three years old, I still didn't know how to walk on a leash, the way I had often seen other dogs walking. So I gazed into her eyes, and in so doing, I let her know that I was ready to LEARN.

After we got home, I reluctantly let her put the training collar around my neck. It felt really heavy, and I immediately felt less powerful. Yet I felt trusting of my dear Mom.

I have worn the collar for two days now. I really am noticing that, when Mom wants to take me in a certain direction, she just gives the collar a little tug, and boy do I move, lickety split in that direction. I'm also walking slower, at her pace. She quickly pulls me away from things on the ground, that I see as food, but that she sees as things that may make me sick.

So anyway, I'm starting to see myself as a real DOG, not more than a DOG, nor less than a DOG. I realize that I'm not the ALPHA DOG. It's kind of a relief. It's like surrendering to a Power greater than myself, a Power who loves and takes care of me. I'm so grateful for my Mom, who is now taking more responsibility for teaching me how to be a well mannered dog. I know that, in the long run, living in HARMONY with her will bring me more happiness, than when I was living in the illusion of being the ALPHA DOG.
I want to thank all of you Pugs and Humans and that Poodle, who have commented on my blog. Your kind comments have warmed my little Puggy heart. Thanks to DW, Susan, Wilma, Tiffy, Little Janie Pug, Josie Poodle, Minnie Moo, Molly, Tweedles, Camille, Chewy, Sequoia, Petunia, Sabrina and Puglet. I also want to thank those who are following my blog. I am happy that my voice is being heard!


Tiffy said...

Poor Bella Mia! I am in the same boat as you. I never learned how to walk on a leash so now at 5ish I am just trying to figure it out. I tug, pull, and yank, too! Momma is constantly tugging, pulling, and yanking me the other way! I've gotten a little better over the past few weeks because I know if I don't then I will have to wear one of those scary looking collars.


Sequoia & Petunia said...

Bella cutie pie if that scary one doesn't work out there is one more options. Its a harness that is made to train you while walking it has a special mechanism that makes it impossible to go the wrong way and such. They have it at Petsmart. I don't go for walks as I am old and get carried or pushed in a stroller. Good luck girl.

Tuni woons

The Devil Dog said...

Hi Bella Mia. Luckily for me, when mom takes us for a walk, I get to go with PlusOne and he doesn't care how I walk. Otherwise I would probably be in the same boat as you.


tweedles said...

My sweet Bella Mia
I listened very carefully to every word you were saying. I heard the frustration on your words.
I wish there was a miracle that would work for you and for me both...
I hope the colar works, and I got to thinking about what Tuni said,,, I am going to go look at Pet Smart,,, for the one that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to do the wrong thing.
Good luck..
nite nite