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  • Writer's pictureRachel Meadows

The Magic dog training 'Fix it' pill!

Is it just me or does everybody just want a quick fix?

Is it just me or is everybody looking for instant gratification?

Is it just me or have human beings forgotten about the journey and focus solely, on the destination?

When we reach our destination, Then what?

Do dogs have a destination in mind as they go about their daily lives both within the constructs of a house or the confinements of a garden, or the prison sentence of a ‘rescue centre'?

They don’t!

Dogs respond to their internal nervous system which is contingent upon the way they perceive the context in which they are experiencing life at that given moment. The behaviour of another sentient being is not cut and dried, black and white or set in stone.

When working with traumatised or sensitive animals, or people, for that matter, there is no magic cure, ‘one size fits all' that relieves them of their, sometimes unsavoury, behaviours resulting from their previous learning experiences and the genetic template from which they exist.

To deny the belief that they hold a pallet of emotions, complex by nature and rich and colourful through nurture, is to assume they are no more worthy of respect and empathy than the leg of the chair you sit on.

When dogs end up in a rescue centre it is truly through no fault of their own. It is most certainly because that dog was misrepresented, misunderstood and denied the opportunity to be heard.

Whether that is something which came about through neglect or a lack of education or awareness, It is important that we stand up and face the truth about dogs in society today and the role in which we play the biggest part.

We are failing them.

Just as we are failing other vulnerable, unrepresented or minority groups of people in our society. We are failing to understand the needs of others and we have lost the ability to empathise, and more importantly to take action. We are failing to ask the right questions, listen to the answers with integrity and humility and to accept what we are being shown.

We are failing to see other beings' TRUTH, without the clouded judgment of subjectivity. Dogs are, as are people, suffering from their own pain and unresolved traumas. We are failing to see and understand that the problematic, ‘unsavoury’ behaviour from both dog and human, is just a symptom of their suffering. However, WE, humans, have the added benefit of a cognitive, ‘thinking brain' and the choice to do something about it. Dogs not only have no choice in where they live or how they live but they don't possess the cognitive abilities to understand their complex emotional platform.

When there has been wrongdoing everyone wants to attribute blame somewhere. Instead of reacting we need to take action. Sometimes the best way to take action is to sit back, ask more questions and listen to the answers.

There is no magic pill that cures all dogs from all the behaviours that we find ‘unsavoury’. Just as there exists nothing of the sort for humans.

When we are lured into a false sense of security with the promise of the magic ‘fix it' pill we add ourselves to a long list of the other people who have failed the dog that stands before us and contribute to the injustice this dog has experienced up to now. As a dear colleague of mine Sarah Fisher, says:

‘The only dog expert is the dog itself'.

It’s time to throw out everything we think we know about dogs and start to listen to what they have to tell us. Once we take ourselves out of the picture and what we see, hear and observe is no longer about what we WANT to see and hear, we begin to unveil the Masterpiece that the DOG is painting, a symphony of music that no human could ever dream of composing.

No one, other than the dog holds the secret to that magic ‘fix it pill'. The sooner we all accept that, the sooner we will begin to untangle the knotted web of egoism and the trauma driven world of the pet industry and begin to assist in the healing process of these dogs that have been failed by generations of human intervention.

Do we, as humans, have a responsibility to heal our own traumas before taking on the responsibility and suffering of others' more vulnerable than us? I believe so!

Is it just me or do we all need to take a big look deep inside ourselves? Let the change we want to see in the world, begin with me.

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